Mainely OEI
July 2021 Newsletter
A Letter From A Sister: Bruce's Story
For those who don't know his story..., my grandparents took in Bruce as an infant foster child. His parents didn't want him because they were told he was "mentally retarded" and would never live to be an adult. That was 66 years ago. I am ten years younger than he. I remember when I was learning to read he would learn with me. We grew up together as I was often at my grandparent's house. I went to Friendship Village grammar school K-5. He was the assistant janitor there for about twenty years. The school was 2-3 miles from his home. In good weather, he would ride his bicycle or scooter to work. He had his own skiff and outboard and fished a few lobster traps in the summers. My grandfather, father, brother, and uncle are/were all lobsterman. My grandmother cleaned local cottages. Bruce lived in a small modest house right on an ocean cove with a wharf, he had his own two-story building where he had a wood stove and lots of tools to build with. He took painting classes from a local friend and attended a day program for many years when he was younger in Camden for those who were developmentally delayed. It was his community and his school. He attended the Methodist Church in town religiously. He attended all their events and was a strong member of the Church community. In his 30's and 40's, he would look forward to going to Lake Pemaquid Campground for two weeks with me and my family. We did this for many summers. My grandfather was incredibly loving and easygoing. My grandmother was very overprotective, controlling, and extremely social. She never let Bruce cook until he was in his mid-thirties and I insisted she let him do more than she allowed as she wouldn't be around forever and he needed to learn. She kept tabs on him as if he was a ten-year-old... Always. They were all seen on the roads often... Heading to go shopping or off to visit people. Always on the road... The three of them and their toy poodle "Peppi". One day they were on a drive and someone pulled out of a blind driveway in front of them. It caused an accident that ultimately took the life of my grandfather when he was in his mid-70s. My grandmother was injured with many broken bones. Bruce and the dog came out of it physically ok. My grandmother lived to be 93. The last couple of years she was in a nursing home (Coves Edge) and Bruce visited her frequently with my dad. He was able to live at home alone during that time with assistance from my dad and brother who lived in the town. Then she passed away and I took over guardianship because she made me promise a hundred times through the years to "take care of Brucie when I'm gone". At that point, I had moved from that area to Augusta and things were much more complicated due to the distance, and my job as an RN is very time-consuming. That's where you all come in. The saying "It takes an Army" is so true and I want to thank you all for being the best Army a person could ask for. You are all amazing in Bruce's support, which enables him to live in Waldoboro near his home community as independently as possible. It seems clear your work is more than just a job. Thank you for all you do for this 66-year-old who was never expected to see adulthood. 
Kindness Activity
July is Parks and Recreation Month, which means that we all get 31 days to celebrate all the parks, playgrounds, pools, lakes, and trails that are loved in our community! OEI has chosen to focus our attention on playground cleanup and sanitation as a way to get our youngsters outside so they can get their "play on" in a safe and clean environment.
June Kindness Activity Recap

Kindness BINGO was a huge hit! We all had a blast completing the "kindness activities" to fill up our BINGO cards. Some of us even worked in teams to complete the actions together to see how many BINGOs we could get, keeping track of our progress on a master BINGO card. This is something that we will definitely do again!
Rising Stars Therapeutic Farm
Meet "Izzy" the donkey!
15 fun facts about donkeys:
1. A donkey is stronger than a horse of the same size
2. Donkeys can see all four of their feet at the same time
3. Donkeys can vary hugely in size, from 26 inches to 68 inches tall
4. A donkey's bray can carry up to 60 miles in the desert
5. Donkeys have incredibly efficient digestive systems, utilizing 95% of what they eat
6. Donkeys don't like being in the rain for long periods as their fur is not waterproof
7. Donkeys have been used as working animals for at least 5,000 years and they are still a lifeline to families in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America
8. Healthy donkeys can live well into their 50s
9. A blind donkey will often bond with a seeing donkey who will act as their guide
10. Donkeys can be a calming influence on other animals
11. Donkeys are very clever with a keen sense of curiosity
12. Donkeys are not stubborn but can be reluctant to do anything that might be unsafe - they consider situations before deciding what to do
13. Donkeys are extremely nimble and can cross tricky terrain
14. Donkeys are very sociable and form strong bonds - you will often see pairs of best friends within a herd
15. Donkeys are different from horses in their physiology, communication, thinking, and behavior - they do their best with other donkeys as companions
The Cupcakery Cafe & Bake Shop
It's a fun but busy time of the year for all of us. With all of our favorite July activities like BBQs, beaches, family get-togethers, and of course fireworks, let's not forget to take along some delicious patriotic treats from The Cupcakery! Call to order ahead, with reasonable notice, or grab something ready-made from our display case or freezer. See you all soon!

Starfish Greenhouse & Gift Shop
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Out and About In The Community
Getting ready to display some flags for Memorial Day in Wilton
Planting some gorgeous summer blooms!
Nothing better than a beach picnic on a hot summer day
Getting out for a neighborhood walk will always bring a smile to our faces!
Welcome New Team Members!

Ramadhan BisharDirect Support Professional

Canica BouthotDirect Support Professional

Thomas ChestnuttCase Manager

Isho MohamedDirect Support Professional

Franklin MorganAssistant Program Manager

Amina SalatDirect Support Professional

Hunter SawyerDirect Support Professional

Laura WelchProgram Manager

Employee Highlight
This month we would like to highlight Nancy Herrick. Nancy is a Program Manager for OEI in the Auburn Region. In July Nancy will celebrate her 13 YEAR Anniversary with the agency! During her tenure at OEI, she has held many positions in various departments to include residential, home and community support, career planning, and has even covered shifts at The Cupcakery when needed! Nancy’s work ethic is one to be admired, she is ALWAYS willing to step up and do whatever is needed to help the agency and the individuals we support.
Nancy is also the queen of all things Special Olympics! Having taken on the role as head coach for summer bowling and swimming and organizer of OEI’s Special Olympics Team for many years now, Nancy has grown our team to be the largest in all of Androscoggin County! Her passion for this does not go unnoticed, seen through her commitment to making sure all athletes are prepared and ready to participate each year! To say we are thankful to have Nancy as a leader at OEI would be an understatement! She found her calling in this field and we are beyond lucky that we can call her part of the OEI Family. Thank you, Nancy, for ALL that you do and for all that you’ve done over the years! We appreciate you and look forward to many more years to come!
Have a safe and happy July from all of us here at OEI!