Originally published in the Katahdin Region News on May 14, 2020
By Shelley Farrington
KATAHDIN REGION – The Millinocket Elks Lodge 1521 is working with Mobilize Katahdin (MK) to purchase and provide hard to get necessities for local residents said MK Resource Navigator Shelly Blaisdell.
According to Blaisdell, Kristy Allen, publicity officer for the Elks contacted her to let her know her organization had received a $2,000 grant and wanted to know what MK needed.
Based on requests, Blaisdell said she told Allen paper good and cleaning supplies so the Elks have been purchasing these hard to find items as they can and donating them to MK. Blaisdell said the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce offered to store the supplies while they are given out to individuals and as part of food pantry boxes.
Blaisdell said this act of generosity is a great example of how individuals and organizations have come together to work with MK to provide for the needs of those who are having difficult times.
“They reached out to us,” Blaisdell said, “she (Allen) just asked ‘what do you need?’
Allen said helping MK was simply the right thing to do. She said the “Gratitude Grant” received from the Elks National Foundation was given to provide the community with hope during this difficult time.
She said when Blaisdell told her there was a need for paper goods and food pantry staples they reached out to “friend” Luisa Surprenant, who owns Chester Fried Chicken and other Millinocket businesses to help order hard to get items. As a result they’ve been able to purchase a stockpile that MK can drawn on as needed.
Allen said local Elks members are “continually working” to raise money for national foundation efforts and those efforts come back to the community in the form of grants.
Anyone in need of help or wanting more information on MK can go to www.mobilizekatahdin.com or call 370-1581.