The holidays are here once again. After a difficult two years, I find myself appreciating even more deeply all that this season has to offer. The holidays are a chance to give back to others, to ask for help if you need it, and to reflect on the things in life, however small, that we have to be grateful for. And with a community as strong as ours, I find myself with a lot to be grateful for right now.
From the Botanical Gardens to the Boothbay Common to streets across Lincoln County, our community is lit up with good cheer. The Boothbay Winter Festival is running on the Common through the first of the New Year and is a great opportunity to spread some holiday spirit, support local vendors and frequent some food trucks with your family, friends and neighbors. You can learn more at boothbayfestival.com. Over the past few weeks, so many people have worked hard to make sure that the holidays didn’t go unnoticed in our corner of Maine – from the Gingerbread Spectacular to the North Pole Express and small celebrations happening in homes, churches and community centers all over the county.
Our community also came together this year to offer up assistance to those who need it, whether it was a Thanksgiving meal or a present under the tree. Thanks to organizations like Healthy Kids, the Boothbay Region YMCA and the Central Lincoln County YMCA – and all the wonderful volunteers who power them – kids in our community will be able fully participate in whichever holiday they celebrate, knowing that their neighbors are there to support them when they need it. It’s actions like this that help ensure the next generation of Mainers have the same appreciation for our community that we do.
We also turned out to support local businesses this year. Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest took place the first weekend this month and was a great way to kick off shopping season while reminding us that shopping small has a big impact on our communities. If you’re doing some last-minute shopping this week, it’s the small businesses in our community that will be there with a unique gift for your loved ones. And the dollars you spend there will stay circulating in our community, supporting local causes and employing our friends, family and neighbors.
As wonderful as this time of year can be, I know that for some it can be difficult. If you need a little extra support around the holidays, there are places to go for help. Kennebec Valley Community Action Program can help connect you with heating assistance, emergency rent or utilities relief and so much more. You can reach them at 1-800-542-8227 or www.kvcap.org. If your family needs some help putting food on the table, Good Shepherd Food Bank has a food map that can help you find food resources nearest you; you can access that at www.gsfb.org/get-help/food-map. Maine’s 24-Hour Crisis Hotline can help if you or someone you care for is struggling emotionally and can be reached at 1-888-568-1112. As always, 211 can put you in touch with a variety of resources; you can reach them by dialing 211, by texting your zip code to 898-211, or by visiting www.211maine.org. And if there’s ever anything I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at Chloe.Maxmin@legislature.maine.gov or on my cell phone at (207) 200-6224. You can also find helpful winter resources that my office has compiled all in one place at www.mainesenate.org/2021-winter-resources.
I’m so grateful for our strong community, and for the fact that you trust me to represent you in Augusta. Happy holidays to you and your family, and all the best wishes for a safe and happy new year.