From fundraising for families, to village bell-ringing from porches and churches, and the new group Alna Cares, area residents are finding ways to connect and to help one another through the coronavirus crisis.
The bell-ringing in and beyond Wiscasset village, including by St. Philip’s Episcopal and First Congregational churches, is set for noon Sunday, Elizabeth Palmer said in a phone interview Saturday night. Her idea was inspired by scenes of Italians and others around the world breaking into music as they shelter at home, and by her thinking of her family at their homes in California, New York and Pennsylvania, where people have been called on to stay home.
The bell-ringing Palmer hopes will become daily will be “a moment of pause ... a way to be together” while keeping to social distancing, she said. And she welcomes people in other parts of town and nearby towns to ring bells. After announcing Sunday’s event on social media, she heard from someone telling her they would be ringing from Alna.
Some of Sunday’s ringing may be more of a clang. Palmer’s Discover Wiscasset Facebook event page “Wiscasset Bells” states in part, “Grab a bell, bang a pot, grab your axes and riff, but be on your porches at noon and let’s take a moment to listen to and hear each other as a village ...”
Shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday, the event page showed 24 going, 38 interested and 31 shares.
The planned bell-ringing is among area residents’ moves amid the outbreak. By Saturday night, day-old gofundme campaign “COVID-19 and a coastal community with a big heart” had 19 donations totaling $1,180. According to information one of the organizers, Terry Heller, provided, Friends of Wiscasset Village is sponsoring the effort to raise $15,000 to help feed up to 150 families and help pay their rent and utilities.
To volunteer, email email@example.com. To seek support from the volunteers, contact Shute at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 504-3020, or Alna EMA Director Tom Mckenzie at email@example.com or (434) 466-6944.
“As we continue to react to a quickly changing landscape, let’s not forget the importance of personal connection while practicing social distancing and following CDC guidelines and the health benefits of spending time outside doing well enjoying that quickly emerging spring,” the group’s March 18 announcement read.