Talk of the Times: New multilingual site connects people with help

Community Impact Unit /Courtesy photo/Campbell Funeral Home donated $5,000 on Friday for the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit's Kops-N-Kids program. “Kops-N-Kids is a great organization for the wonderful kids and families of Gloucester. Young people are the heart of this community," said Stacy Goodhue Sabia, far right, managing funeral director. "We feel delighted to contribute to youth programs.” Also pictured are, from left, funeral director apprentice Lauren Campbell, Benjamin Mulligan, Emme Sabia, Augustave Sabia and Allan Sabia.  
  


Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House are launching Gloucester Connection, an innovative multi-lingual website that connects the greater community to Gloucester’s social services for education, health care, housing, and much more. 

"Every day, at the Sawyer Free Library, we aim to improve the lives of people in our community with the power of information. Gloucester Connection is a direct expansion of our core mission," said library director Jenny Benedict. "There is a wide range of social services available throughout Cape Ann, but trying to find what exactly you are looking for can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to Gloucester or English is not your primary language.”

The new free-to-use web platform is an easy-to-navigate centralized online director and calendar that consolidates information from local organizations, services, and events for residents, visitors, and service providers, prioritizing accessibility by making it available in more than 100 world languages. 

As they identified a need to streamline access to critical local resources, Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring, with contributions from Action Inc., Gloucester Housing Authority and Gloucester Public Schools, came together to align their efforts to create the web platform. 

Social Capital Inc. was hired to develop the site. 

"We want community members to have easy access to the resources and services they need, whether they have just arrived or have lifelong family ties in Gloucester," said Melissa Dimond, president and CEO of Wellspring House. “Gloucester Connection helps people get clear and current information for any number of life circumstances. For example, we see firsthand at Wellspring House the many challenges immigrants face as they adapt and get acclimated in their new community. Our collective hope is that the Gloucester Connection will help make this transition easier. It is part of what it means to be a welcoming community."  

Cape Ann-based non-profit organizations or resource-focused agencies are invited to join Gloucester Connection to help strengthen the resource network for Gloucester residents. Those interested in registering with the platform may contact Sawyer Free Library community librarian Julie Travers at jtravers@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

To access services or to learn more, visit www.GloucesterConnection.org.

Seed giveaway

Backyard Growers will be hosting a free seed giveaway Saturday, April 3, outside the Community Garden at Burnham’s Field, 9 Sargent St.

Members of the public may stop by between 10 a.m. and noon and pick from a range of vegetable seeds, as well as a small selection of flower seeds. The free and discounted seeds were donated by Corliss Brothers Nursery & Garden CenterFedCo Seeds, High Mowing Seeds, Johnny’s Seeds, and Renee’s Garden.

Backyard Growers will be staffing an Ask A Gardener booth to answers questions about from starting seeds to planting seedlings, harvesting produce and naturally repelling pests.

There will also be a small table available for swapping seeds with other gardeners. If you do bring seeds to swap, please ensure that they are in their original packaging so that other gardeners can read details like the germination date, planting, and harvesting instructions. Coin envelopes for gardeners to take the number of seeds they need will be available.

Attendees should wear a mask to this event. Hand-sanitizer will also be available.

Bracket Madness

1623 Studios created its own March Madness bracket pitting some of Cape Ann's iconic locations against each other and asking the public to vote on Twitter.

While several Gloucester locales began the tourney, the winner was a spot in ... Rockport.

Rockport's Halibut Point beat out the Essex Shipbuilding Museum for the championship, after bypassing the Fishermen's Memorial on Stacy Boulevard and Masconomo Park in Manchester in the Final 4. 

Also in the bracket at the Elite 8 stage were Hammond Castle on Hesperus Avenue, Motif No. 1 in Rockport, Manchester's town center, and Motif No. 2, also known as the House on Marsh, on Eastern Avenue in Essex.

The winning spot is being featured at 1623 Studios' #PublicArt projection at it headquarters at 11 Pleasant St. 

Art show

Eastern Point resident Katherine Coakley organized and is participating in the "Perennial Power: Women, Art & Nature" exhibition at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.⁠ The show commemorates the collective accomplishments and enduring dedication of women in the arts in Miami and runs through Sunday, April 4.

Coakley is a member of the North Shore Arts Association, Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Rocky Neck Art Colony, Copley Society of Art and the National Association of Women Artists. She is an associate member of the Rockport Art Association.

 

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