Updated: Oct 27
In observation of #MakeADifferenceDay 2020 we thought we would remember a few of the things Phinney Lumber did during this crazy year to make a difference in our community!
Making a Difference
We’ll start with a little background: long before #MakeADifferenceDay became a thing, Phinney Lumber has been supporting groups and organizations including: Gorham Women’s Club, American Legion, Keep Kids Safe Maine, Stop Trafficking Us, New Year’s Gorham, Sebago Days, Gorham High School Alumni Association, Gorham Lions Club, Young Farmers Club, Scouting USA, Hoyt Therapy Dog Program, Gorham Cooperative Preschool, Schoolhouse Arts Center, Gorham Community Chorus, Gorham High School Girls' Basketball, Gorham Fire Department, Portland Eagles Club, Casco Bay Concert Band, Casco Bay Wind Symphony, Gorham Middle School Drama and more; and we plan to continue to do so for decades to come.
Lunch for Kids
2020 arrived with it’s own set of challenges, and Phinney Lumber was there to meet them. As COVID 19 closed schools, many Gorham kids who depend on school lunches were hungry. Enter “Operation Feeding Gorham Kids,” sponsored by Gorham schools, where
every day at lunch time characters from beloved children’s books welcomed hungry school kids to the Phinney Lumber parking lot to pick up their school lunch via a safe and healthy drive through station. Phinney Lumber also donated 100 rolls of “highly refined wood product” (a.k.a. toilet paper) to be given away with the lunches in hopes it would evoke more than a few smiles.
After hearing that many customers and employees were having trouble finding toilet paper, president Michael Phinney ordered 600 rolls of the essential stuff from a supplier who happened to have some so that Phinney Lumber could hand it out for free to
customers stopping in to pick up their orders. “It’s just the right thing to do,” said Phinney. Free toilet paper was given away to customers at the counter and in the office as well.
When COVID 19 drove everyone to shelter in place, Phinney Lumber launched a “Weekend Quarantine Boredom Buster” series on their Facebook page to inspire customers to complete a home improvement project over the weekend while offering them the
convenience of pre-selected items. These items, along with their prices, were posted right on Phinney Lumber’s Facebook page so customers could choose which ones they wanted and call in their order for either curbside pickup or grab-and-go ready at the counter; no lines, no waiting.
N95 Masks for Nurses
“Can I buy the Envo mask and a set of filters?” came the message through Phinney
Lumber’s Facebook page. “Sure!” was the response from Phinney’s social media monitor, Francine, “let me know what you need and we’ll get you all set up.” And that’s how the little lumber yard from Maine connected with an ER nurse named Christine in Anaheim, California. It was the end of April, and Christine had been searching the internet for masks since the beginning of March because the hospital she worked for was not able to get them. She had been treating patients while wearing a paper mask and “cleaning” it by putting it on her car dashboard in hopes the UV light from the sun would kill the virus. Word got around, and Phinney Lumber mailed masks and replacement filters to nurses in need across the country.
Free Stuff for Customers
In July we just needed some fun, so we celebrated #NationalGiveSomethingAwayDay
by giving away gift bags full of goodies and offering a chance for 3 customers to win free Phinney Lumber hats and t-shirts. We also gave away free pizza, drinks, and chips at our outdoor-and-socially-distanced contractor lunch.
Speaking of giving stuff away, in August we offered a huge selection of clearance items 100% FREE to our customers!
Barn Sale Donations
We held two big Barn Sale events, one in June and one in September, and when the fun was all over we donated unsold items (including a whole truckload of cabinets and doors!) to Habitat for Humanity and Building Materials Exchange so our leftovers can help folks in need.
Phinney Lumber has been serving the community since 1928, and has weathered many local and national crises not unlike the coronavirus, and they have done it by keeping focused on what is important – figuring out what the community needs and responding to that need.
How do you make a difference? Share your story with us!