Franco-Americans living at home with kindness

Something good will come of all things yet.“- Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

We can share kindness by keeping each other safe, and participating in many free and enriching at home programs.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has impacted all of us, the quote by Kerouac is evident in all those who are dedicated to caring for our communities, in spite of the risks of exposure to disease.  We salute the kindness of the health care workers, the physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, hospital technicians, sanitation workers, the clerks who service our grocery stores and our restaurant workers.  We are all in this together and they are the courageous matrix that supports our ability to rise above the coronavirus crises. They give purposeful evidence to Kerouac’s wise quote.  Merci beaucoup to all of us who are doing what we can to help others at this time. We create good will by acknowledging the heroes who are serving on the front lines to help others during this unprecedented pandemic. God bless them and us because we are all in this together.

Merci beaucoup!

We are grateful for the care givers and the helpers!

Following are some stories and social media sites to follow while we are caring for ourselves and others by sheltering in place.

Friends From Northern Maine follow up by Cathie Pelletier:

“Today we ordered 500 yards of 1/4 inch elastic for ear loops, and also 1,440 yards of cotton twill for ties. It all shipped today. Our donated fabric from Old Town arrived in Fort Kent, amazing fabric. And we just learned another donor will give more! Sheets arrived in Fort Kent too, donated for the gowns. So many amazing people are working long hours and driving to deliver things!”

Franco-American Collection University of Southern Maine

St. Mary’s Hospital- Check out the Facebook page for information and educational links.

UPDATE from Cathie: “We still need people to sew health care cover GOWNS for Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent. Cathie Pelletier, the organizer, says on the group’s social media page that they have a small group forming, including an amazing woman in Pittsfield (west of Bangor) who wants to help northern Maine for family connections. DROP OFF for used sheets for the gowns (or 100% cotton for masks) is Shop N Save in FORT KENT and SHOP N SAVE in PRESQUE ISLE. Remember, material for gowns can be blended cotton/polyester. GOWNS are desperately needed (we have their pattern) and also MASKS for all local hospitals/health facilities. We can use the elastic from fitted sheets then for masks ear loops.”

Meanwhile!- Look for the free learning resources we can share at home (chez nous!):

Governor Janet Mills’ Executive Order to Stay Healthy at Home directive, during the coronavirus pandemic, requires that Maine people stay at home, unless to leave for an essential job or an essential activity.

During the Governor’s “Stay Healthy at Home” directive, the University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American Collection, located at the Lewiston Auburn College (USM LAC), is closed.  Although physical access to the building and the archives is not allowed at this time, the FAC Board  is supporting opportunities where our community and membership can continue to participate with the archives while at home. Helpful on-line links are offered to view free to movies and to join the memoir writing seminars with Denis Ledoux on his YouTube channel, from The Memory Network.

There are several links to vintage photographs and free web programs on the Franco-American Collection at the University of  Southern Maine social media page: Link here.

Be sure to watch the excellent and free Susan Poulin’s TedxPortsmouth talk.  Link here (be sure to click “skip ads”, although you may want to watch the promo about learning to be a chef).

Speaking about being a chef, you can watch all of the classic Julia Child French cooking television programs, available on line. Link to Julia Childs here.

To learn more about where to locate information about Franco-Americans, check out the Franco-American Portal Project at the University of Maine Franco-American Centre website. Link to portal here. (

A virtual tour of Franco-American Lewiston is available on the Franco-American Collection USM website – check “Franco-American Lewiston scavenger hunt” Link to tour here.

More interesting free programs and movies will be made available, so please continue to check the University of Maine Franco-American Centre and the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine websites.

S’il vous plaît! Of course, continue to stay safe and be well!

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.