2017-07-12 / Front Page

Application increase expected for backpack program

By Dee Menear Irregular Staff Writer


The United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem has a long list of items needed to fulfill its mission but there is one thing Operations Manager Tammie Gould has on the list that is not a priority. “It’s a wish and it may seem silly but we would really like a flower garden in front of the bunkhouse,” she explained. She asks that as people are cleaning out their garden beds to think of UMEM when giving away plant divisions and extra bulbs. (Dee Menear photo) The United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem has a long list of items needed to fulfill its mission but there is one thing Operations Manager Tammie Gould has on the list that is not a priority. “It’s a wish and it may seem silly but we would really like a flower garden in front of the bunkhouse,” she explained. She asks that as people are cleaning out their garden beds to think of UMEM when giving away plant divisions and extra bulbs. (Dee Menear photo) SALEM — It might seem like school just let out for the summer, but the folks at United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem are hard at work making sure kids are prepared when school begins again at the end of August.

According to Operations Manager Tammie Gould, last year UMEM had more than 200 applications for the program, which provides backpacks and school essentials to children in the area. “I expect more this year,” she stated.

While Gould expects more of a need this year, she is pleased that donations to the program have increased, due in part to Western Maine Underwearness Project. The project organizes collection drives of new under clothing, socks, underpants, undershirts and bras for children and young adults. UMEM is one of the recipients for the collections. “Every package of underwear we have donated to us is one less package of underwear we have to purchase, leaving that money for another need,” stated Gould.

Donations of durable new backpacks, new sneakers and general school supplies — especially pocket folders and binders — are always welcome.

Applications for the program are available at UMEM. Gould explained applications could be filled out over the phone as well by calling 678-2611.

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