Valley Grange socks it to local schools

GUILFORD – Valley Grange members and friends are delivering bags of children’s’ socks to local schools (Piscataquis Community, SeDoMoCha, Brownville, Ridge View, and Harmony elementary schools) for distribution to kids who need them during what is undoubtedly some of the most bitterly cold weather so far this year. Windchill factors are taking local temperatures to as much as 40 below zero.

“Our volunteer deliverers are bundling up and wearing their own warm socks,” commented Walter Boomsma, program director, who is being assisted by Janice Boomsma and Pat Engstrom. “We could call this ‘Operation Warm Toes,'” quipped Boomsma. “From the reception we’re getting while delivering, it’s safe to assume that this cannot be limited to a one-time effort. We’ve still got plenty of winter weather left and lots of little toes, so we’ll be asking for community support again.”

Photo courtesy of Valley Grange
MATCHING UP SOCKS – Valley Grange Master Jim Annis starts the sorting of children’s socks to be delivered to five area elementary schools.

“We stopped counting,” Community Service Chairperson Mary Annis said. “Thanks to members and friends, we were able to fill five bags with socks for our local kids. It’s nice to measure in bags rather than pairs. We used almost half of the dining hall to spread things out to sort and bag! But we’re sure there’s going to be a need for more.”

Kids’ sizes and adults’ sizes are needed. Boys, girls, unisex … warm socks are best, obviously. There are several ways to donate. Online shoppers can have an order drop-shipped to Walter Boomsma, 17 River Road, Abbot ME 04406. Valley Grange will be meeting on Friday, Jan. 21 for a potluck supper at 6 p.m. The public is invited to bring a dish to share and some socks. 

There’s also a collection tote on the porch of the Grange Hall located at 172 Guilford Center Road in Guilford. “Just be careful,” Boomsma warns. “this time of year the steps aren’t always cleared off between meetings and events.”

Local businesses and organizations are invited to serve as collection points. Contact Boomsma at 207-343-1842 or Annis at 207-564-0820. “We’d like to make our next delivery soon, probably early in February,” Annis said. “We need to act fast! Thanks for helping us help the kids and their feet!”

Valley Grange maintains a website ( and Facebook page. The Grange was first chartered in 1874 and continues to help build strong communities and build rural resilience. The Valley Grange Hall is located at the corner of  Butter Street and Guilford Center Road in Guilford.

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