Knox County Sheriff’s Office launches ‘Sand for Seniors’ program

Sand delivery available to help seniors, those living in rural areas

Posted:  Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 7:15pm
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ROCKLAND — The days are getting longer, giving some of us hope that winter may be wrapping up soon. But, if you believe Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction after he scurried out of his marmot hole and saw his shadow Feb. 2, then the plow trucks, shovels, bags of sand and salt are all staying put for at least six more weeks.

The elderly who are living alone, especially in rural areas, are more vulnerable during the winter with the combination of snow and ice storms. Not everyone has help to keep the outside of their homes safe or have relatives or friends who regularly stop by. Seniors can become even more homebound during the winter months.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is now participating in a collaborative program, “Sand for Seniors,” to reach out to these senior citizens, some who may have physical limitations and need help, by delivering sand to snow covered driveways and walkways.

The partners in the program include Lowe’s, the Knox County Deputy Sheriff’s Association Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police No. 700 and local town offices.

Sheriff Donna Dennison said that earlier this winter, Deputies Timothy Davis and Paul Spear approached the leadership at the Sheriff’s Office, hoping to expand upon a program that Davis helped to start while he was an officer with the Camden Police Department.

“The program is not just about dropping off sand to a senior’s home,” said Davis. “It is also a chance to have contact with that person and a check-in about how they are doing.”

Spear added that the visits are especially valuable for people with physical limitations or those who live on dead-end roads without many neighbors.

Chief Deputy Tim Carroll emphasized that the program is a team effort within the Sheriff’s Office.

Any officer will deliver the sand as long as it is needed for the rest of the winter season. Participants will first receive a five gallon bucket of sand at their home and when that bucket is emptied out, a quick phone call to the Sheriff’s Office will get a deputy on the road with a new, full bucket as a replacement. At the end of winter, an officer will pick up the empty bucket.

Eligible seniors interested in the program must complete an application and submit it for review to the Sheriff’s Office. Qualifying applicants must be 65 years of age or older and show proof of disadvantage by answering some basic questions.

Applications can be picked up at local town offices, at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 301 Park Street in Rockland, or can be downloaded on their website at www.knoxso.com/community/sand-for-seniors.

An application is also attached as a file to the story.

Anyone interested in the program or have questions, should contact either Deputy Paul Spear at 594-0429, ext. 714, pspear@knoxcountymaine.gov or Deputy Tim Davis at 594-0429, ext. 716, tdavis@knoxcountymaine.gov.

Reach Sarah Shepherd at news@penbaypilot.com