Jenny Pendleton has tips. She wakes up in the center of the evening with them. And most of them revolve close to acquiring means to maintain children from likely hungry.
“Kids really do not have a selection in their problem,” she said.
Pendleton grew up in South Bristol, 1 of only 6 small children in her class at South Bristol School. When points weren’t always easy, she remembers the joys of expanding up by the water.
“We experienced so significantly independence. We’d get on a bicycle, pack a picnic, be long gone the overall day,” she said. “Just remaining carefree youngsters. No cellphones. We’d devote as much time as possible down by the h2o.” She explained sitting down on the swing bridge in South Bristol and driving it “for hours.”
“During Halloween we would begin at the faculty and walk the total island. In winters the bus would fall us off at the ice pond and we’d skate right up until dark and stroll residence with frozen feet,” she explained.
“Kids right now have no strategy what freedom actually is,” she said.
Pendleton attended Lincoln Academy and, soon after expending a 12 months and a 50 percent doing work at the “very posh” Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca Raton, Fla., she returned to Maine for cosmetology programs at Headhunters Academy in Portland.
Pendleton experienced needed to be a hairdresser due to the fact she was a 5-year-outdated chopping her doll’s hair. She said she likes observing the distinction concerning the starting and the close. And she loves talking to people today. She brainstorms with her consumers. They assist her strategies evolve and take condition.
“It’s the finest position at any time,” she mentioned.
It took a few decades for her to develop into proven as a hairdresser in New Harbor, and Pendleton sponsored her money with other work opportunities. She was a waitress at the Samoset Restaurant, an additional career she loved.
She labored the initially two winters following she finished college packing shrimp in South Bristol, a task she liked considerably less.
Pendleton described layering on sweaters and coats to head to the docks at 10 or 11 p.m. She labored exterior in the wet, cold, and snow right up until 3 or 4 a.m. But she made the revenue she required to start her possess business enterprise.
She has owned that organization, Coastal Cuts, for the very last 31 many years. She developed a area on to her house and numerous of her purchasers viewed her small children grow up out the window of her home-primarily based salon.
Just one of the inspirations for Pendleton’s activism was Patti Dee, a head waitress at the outdated Samoset Cafe who began an yearly Easter egg hunt at the restaurant more than 35 a long time in the past.
Pendleton has helped with the event almost just about every 12 months considering the fact that and even now helps make absolutely sure that children in the Bristol space have a little something to glance ahead to all through holidays. The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus have ongoing to go to the New Harbor fire station, regardless of the pandemic, handing sweet and toys as a result of windows as households drove earlier.
Eleven decades in the past, when Pendleton was a volunteer at the New Harbor Foodstuff Pantry, she wanted to locate additional strategies to assist kids. She questioned the academics at Bristol Consolidated University for their views. “I had no thought how a lot further aid some of these families necessary,” she mentioned.
Pendleton begun Caring for Youngsters by keeping a property sale out of the basement of her residence, selling her individual kids’ outgrown outfits to increase income. She put out a connect with and friends and neighbors brought a lot more stuff. Renys donated clothes racks the Miles in Motion Thrift Shop gave her additional coat hangers.
“I observed volunteers by reaching out to buddies and family and just explained, ‘Can you assist me?’ Nobody’s at any time explained no. When you inform folks you’re doing it for little ones, they volunteer,” she explained.
Pendleton has had 35-40 common volunteers action up to assistance considering the fact that she began Caring for Kids. She’s striving tricky to keep all-volunteer — while she reported it is obtaining more durable with the quantity of work required to operate the compact thrift shop and two foods cabinets that are also section of the group. “This could be a complete-time career,” she stated.
Pendleton operates 3 comprehensive times a 7 days at her salon and watches her grandkids on Mondays. But Fridays are reserved for the young children who require her help.
She spends the day at the New Harbor hearth station, boxing up foods for the 16 family members she aids feed. She stated it has been a hard time to determine out how to remain secure and still get things to kids and families. “I have to seriously, actually imagine exterior the box,” she claimed.
Her most current innovation is recruiting college bus drivers to supply weekend snack packs to schoolchildren. The snack application had been halted when COVID-19 hit, and she has been seeking to determine out how to make it work ever given that.
“We’ve acquired a great deal given that then. We know we can deal with points properly now,” she explained.
Pendleton however has aims. She needs the meals cupboards at the New Harbor and Bristol Mills fire stations to be open and obtainable 24/7 so family members in will need can have accessibility when is most hassle-free and comfortable for them.
And she anxieties about the families she has fallen out of get hold of with due to the fact the pandemic began. There were being some she helped by way of the faculty that she does not have a way to get in touch with. She wonders if the kids are Ok, if they have sufficient, how she can assist.
Which is what retains Jenny Pendleton up at night time. Which is what drives her.
For more facts about Caring for Children, go to caringforkidsinbristol.org
Do you have a suggestion for a “Characters of the County” subject matter? Email email@example.com with the issue line “Characters of the County.”)