By the way for Jul. 1

Reminder: The Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year which means the federal holiday will be observed on Monday the 5th. Federal offices and public transit will be closed on July 5.

Help the Turning Point Center of Addison County hit a homerun. The Middlebury nonprofit — a peer recovery center that supports individuals and their families seeking recovery from substance use disorder and other addictions — is a finalist for 2021 Impact Award of $10,000 through the Red Sox Foundation. There will be three winners in each New England state. It’s a competitive process, so supporters are being asked to vote for their respective organizations, at, in order to push them into grant contention. The Red Sox foundation will accept votes through July 9, so make your pitch for Turning Point. The winning organizations will be invited to a participate in a special pregame ceremony and check presentation at Fenway Park on July 22.

Drunken driving doesn’t only apply to vehicles on land; it’s also a crime when piloting a boat. With that in mind, marine patrol officers from the Colchester Police Department, wardens from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and troopers from the Vermont State Police have been trained to identify, detect and apprehend impaired boaters on state waterways this season — and they’ll be out in force this July 4 holiday weekend. Vermont has recorded at least one boating-related fatality each year since 2015.

Places of worship in our area are gradually resuming in-person worship and other functions as the COVID-19 pandemic thankfully wanes. St. Peter’s Catholic Church at 85 South Maple St. in Vergennes has reopened its charitable shop, offering clothing, housewares, jewelry, books, puzzles and more. Store hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Meanwhile, St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal Church in Brandon will hold its first indoor worship service since March 2020 on Sunday, July 4. The Rev. Rachel Field will celebrate Eucharist at 10 a.m. in the historic St. Thomas Church building. Refreshments afterwards on the front lawn (weather permitting). Masks are suggested for those who haven’t been fully vaccinated. Then, at 1 p.m., members and friends of St. Thomas & Grace will gather in front of the church for a silent vigil against racism — a public witness of social justice the church has been holding on first Sundays since June 2020.

As is the case for so many businesses, Middlebury’s non-profit Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects is having trouble filling a few positions in its warehouse. At the same time, the volume of donated goods for HOPE’s resale shop is coming in at an all-time high. HOPE officials are working very hard to prepare items for the store, but there aren’t enough employees at this point to keep up. So the HOPE warehouse will close to donations this Saturday, July 3 (though the resale store will be open for shopping). Then, starting July 6, HOPE will hold a big sale, lasting until the end of the month. All kitchenware, housewares, art, decor, and textiles will be 20% off. All shop profits benefit HOPE’s poverty relief work. And if you know of someone who wants a warehouse job at HOPE, call 388-3608.

Bristol’s Mountain Health Center has created two new programs in an effort to increase food security in the 5-Towns area. First is “Grow A Row,” for home gardeners to help the hungry in their own communities. Staff members throughout the Five-Town Health Alliance will be growing and sharing their “extra row” with patients. Whether your vegetable garden is large or small, add an additional row, bed or pot to plant something extra and donate your harvest to the Five-Town Health Alliance, or to your local food shelf/food pantry. Also, the “Five-Town Fridge” is a refrigerator open to all of Mountain health patients, so that everyone may have the opportunity to leave food for others or to help themselves to food they need. Food donations may include fresh produce, including home-grown fruits and vegetables. Please be sure the food you donate is of the same quality you yourself would eat. For additional information, please email [email protected].

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