Methuen Rail Trail events

Mark your calendar for the following Methuen Rail Trail events:

Monthly meeting: April 9, 7pm at Nevins Library.

Earth Day trail cleanup: April 20, 8:30am. Meet at the depot parking lot on Railroad Street. Gloves, grab sticks and trash bags will be provided. Coffee and donuts will be available. Trail merchandise like hats and T-shirts will be available. Rain Date is Sunday, April 21.

Monthly Full-Moon Walk: April 28, 6:30 pm. Meet at the IHOP/ PEP BOYS end of the trail in Salem, N.H. Come enjoy a twilight walk as the moon rises. Weather permitting.

Time to sign up for school!

Registration is now open for the following educational programs for the littlest learners:

St. Monica School Early Childhood Program: Currently accepting applications for their PreK 3 and PreK 4 programs for fall 2024. The Catholic grammar school is located at 212 Lawrence St., Methuen. For a tour, call (978) 686-1801.

Chapel School: For children 2.9-5 years old, there is a 2-, 3- and 5-day preschool program with customizable days. There are also half-day classes and extended-day classes. Chapel has been in Methuen for 60-plus years. Info: (978) 689-8414. Chapelschoolmethuen.com.

Disabilities group seeks volunteers

If you are a current resident of Methuen who is interested in advocating to make this a great place to live for people with disabilities by ensuring our city is accessible and in compliance with ADA standards, consider joining the Methuen Disability Commission.

To apply, go to the website cityofmethuen.net and search for “Talent Bank application.”

Here’s to a healthy river!

Merrimack River Watershed Council is working hard to steward, protect and restore the health of the 117-mile river and allow people to use it in ways that are safe. Learn more about MRWC programs and support their efforts during their fund-raiser, set for May 21, 6-8pm at The Deck in Salisbury. Tickets are $100 per person and available at Merrimack.org by clicking on Upcoming Events.

Rummage Sale set for May 18

Community members are invited to take part in First Church Congregational’s Rummage Sale, set for Saturday, May 18 from 9am-3pm at the church on Pleasant Street.

Parking lot spaces are 18×8 feet and will rent as follows: 1 space, $25; 2 spaces, $40; 3 spaces, $50.

Inside spaces measure 10×10 and prices are as follows: 1 space, $30; 2 spaces, $50; 3 spaces, $60.

Note that the spaces are the only thing provided. You must bring tables, etc., to display your treasures.

The event will take place rain or shine. For more information, contact Carole Silva at Johnfsilvas@netscape.net.

American Legion re-opens

American Legion Post 122 in Methuen is again open for business. The lounge has been completely renovated and there is no smoking. The hall is open for rentals. To find out more, contact the bar manager at (978) 687-9724.

Backpack program re-stocking shelves

The Methuen Schools Backpack Program recently announced they’re running low on a few popular items. Can you help re-stock their shelves?

Food-filled backpacks are given out each Friday to needy students referred to the program, helping to sustain them over the weekend.

The program is in need of cereal; microwavable soup, mac and cheese and Chef Boyardee; snack bars (granola bars, cereal bars, etc.); fruit cups; and peanut butter and jelly (plastic jars please).

Donations can be purchased and dropped off at any of the Methuen Public Schools, Central Office (located at Branch Street) or use the program’s convenient Amazon Wish List (search MPS Food Backpack Program) have food delivered directly to their food pantry. Gift cards are also greatly appreciated.

Y invites you to My Kids Closet

My Kids Closet at the Methuen YWCA is a great place to donate unwanted, good-condition clothing. It’s a free clothing exchange for families, with items ranging in size from 2T to 14. Register for a 15-minute time slot to shop or to drop off items by calling (978) 683-5266.

Try your hand at bocce

Don’t just sit around this winter! The Sons of Italy Methuen Lodge 902 is forming its Winter Bocce Leagues for all levels of play. If you’ve never played bocce before and want to learn how, come to Open Bocce on Fridays at 6:15pm. SOI seasoned bocce coaches will facilitate and teach bocce during fun pick-up games (ages 18 and up).

SOI’s Merrimack Street building features the only 4 indoor bocce courts on the East Coast! For more info, call Lisa at (603) 560-3262 or Jim at (978) 994-1276.

Needed: Canes, walkers, wheelchairs

The Methuen Senior Activity Center has resumed its durable-equipment loan program on a limited basis. Methuen seniors can borrow equipment temporarily as a cost-saving measure. Do you have a good-condition walker, wheelchair, cane, tub seat or other items that a senior in need could use? To make a donation, call (978) 983-8825.

Adult ed offers language, GED help

Do you want to take ESOL classes to improve your English language skills or Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes to prepare to pass the HiSET or GED to obtain high school equivalency?

Fall registration at the Dr. Shirley Forrest Callan Methuen Adult Learning Center, 36 Boylston St., Methuen, is ongoing and by appointment so call (978) 681-9407.

Classes include: Beginning ABE, Intermediate ABE, Fast Track Math, Beginning ESOL, Intermediate ESOL and ESOL.

All classes are free and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen.

Methuen Public Schools is hiring

Looking for a job where you are on the same schedule as your school-age child? Methuen Public Schools may be the place for you! Wanted are program assistants, crossing guards, food service staff, cafeteria monitors as well as teachers and other staff. For a full slate of job opportunities in the district, visit Methuen.k12.ma.us.

AgeSpan offers caregiver support

Taking care of loved ones can be challenging! AgeSpan, previously known as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, offers a variety of family caregiver support groups, both virtually and in person.

*Caregivers Caring for Those with Memory Loss: Virtual and in-person options. Contact Cindy Hession Richard at chession@agespan.org for info.

*Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Third Thursday of the month), 11am-noon.

Contact Cindy Hession Richard at chession@agespan.org for info.

*General Caregiver Support: Virtual program offered the third Thursdays of the month, 1-2pm. Contact Lyn Brennan at lbrennan@agespan.org.

Order birth, death certs online

You can now order copies of birth, death and marriage certificates online, through the City Clerk’s Office. In general, cost is $10 per certificate, plus mailing. There are also options for the public to pick up the certificates for free, and to pay by credit card, debit card, check or money order.

Go to cityofmethuen.net, hover over “How Do I,” then click “Birth, Marriage, Death Certificate.”

Unsure whether the certificate you need is on file in Methuen? Call the office before ordering! (978) 983-8515.

Mobile Market is open to all

The AgeSpan Mobile Market offers fresh food and nonperishable grocery items the third Tuesday of each month from 10am-noon at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, 136 Water St. This is free to Merrimack Valley residents of all ages. First come, first served. Info: AgeSpan.org.

Meals on Wheels drivers needed

It’s called one of the best volunteer “jobs” you can have!

AgeSpan, formerly known as Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore, is seeking drivers and on-call volunteers to support their home-delivered meals program. This is a way to help older adults who are isolated at home and continue to be hard hit by the lingering effects of COVID.

Volunteer drivers deliver a daily nutritious meal as well as a friendly face and smile. The role requires a three-hour commitment, a valid driver’s license, and background check.

AgeSpan provides a stipend and free training for adults aged 18 and over. This is a fantastic opportunity for retirees, couples, friends, and family members to help out adults age 60-plus and those with disabilities.

Learn how you can make a difference by calling Joyce Dastou at (978) 651-3021 or e-mail jdastou@agespan.org.

State offers 24/7 mental-health help

Are you or someone you care about struggling with mental health or substance use? In crisis, or working hard to prevent one? It can be difficult to know where to turn for help.

The new Massachusetts Behavioral Health Help Line connects you directly to clinical help, when and where you need it. It’s free, it’s available 24/7, and real-time interpretation is available in over 200 languages. The helpline can help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system and access treatment, including mobile crisis services.

Visit www.masshelpline.com or call or text (833) 773-2445 for support.

New life for old eyeglasses

The Methuen Lions Club has partnered with Nevins Library to help those in need of eyeglasses.

A drop-off center for used prescription and reading glasses has been set up at the library, in the room to the left of the main desk. For nearly 100 years, Lions members have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

To join the Lions, call Dave at (978) 398-5313.

VFW invites you to play pool, bingo, etc.

The Arnold Greenwood VFW Post 8349 invites the public to socialize and have fun at their 26 River St., hall. They are open Tuesday to Sunday from noon until the bartender’s discretion.

Tuesday is Dart Night, Wednesday they play the card game 45s, Thursday is for free pool tables and Friday is 3-card bingo with Joe and Linda. On Saturday at 2pm, the Auxiliary raffles off gift cards from Methuen merchants and restaurants. Sunday is Chill Day, where the public can come down watch sports on TV with friends.

The VFW supports veterans and other local residents.

The post’s hall is available for rent, and veterans get a discount.

To find out more, stop in or call (978) 686-9626.

Hope for loved ones of addicts

The Circle of Hope, a support group for family members dealing with a loved one suffering from addiction, meets Mondays at Sanborn Hall (same building at the Methuen Police Station) at 6:30pm.

For more information or resources, please call Phil Lahey at (978) 886-2949. Not ready for a group meeting? Call Phil to talk privately.

Volunteer drivers needed

Be a spot of brightness for a senior, and volunteer to drive!

The Northern Essex Elder Transport Program (NEET) provides rides for seniors from their homes to medical appointments. Can you volunteer to drive 6 to 8 hours a month? Mileage reimbursement and supplemental insurance provided. Call (978) 388-7474 to learn more about this flexible volunteer opportunity. Info: driveforneet.org.

Old meds, needles can go to station

You can dispose of your prescription medication and needles at the Methuen Police Department anytime of the day or night. There are two drop boxes located in the police station lobby that the public can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The MedReturn Drug Collection Unit allows citizens to drop off expired or unwanted prescription medications (no loose pills, please). The Sharps Container Disposal Unit lets you dispose of used needles in a safe manner. Simply bring your sharps in a safe container for disposal or there are containers located next to the box.