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CARIBOU, Maine — Hannah Lucas, who runs the Northlane Siberian Huskies and Seppala Siberian Sleddog Team and a kennel of Siberian Huskies in Caribou, is helping vulnerable residents as the coronavirus spreads throughout the state.
Since mid-March, Lucas and a group of mushers have been delivering groceries to elderly residents in the Caribou, Presque Isle, Limestone, Washburn and Woodland areas so they can stay at home and minimize any risk of exposure to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
Lucas ventures out with two teams that each run with six dogs, and she said they have on average made between four and six deliveries each day. On Tuesday, she made six deliveries between Caribou and Presque Isle.
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In addition to running the team and kennel, Lucas said she also works at a local Circle K convenience store, and was inspired by how many potentially at-risk customers had been coming to the store.
“I noticed that people were coming in all the time,” she said. “It was non-stop, and most of the time it was elderly people buying small things like a half gallon of milk or three bananas. So I wanted to offer my services to deliver groceries so they don’t have to come out all the time.”
Lucas said the response so far has been incredibly positive.
“They were all really appreciative of it,” she said. “We pick up prescriptions at Walgreens just to save them the trip. A couple of them have had cancer and [have] really compromised immune systems, and right now it’s a really bad time of year with allergies on top of what’s going on. A lot of these people aren’t working anymore due to businesses closing down.”
And though she typically covers the cost of groceries, Lucas said the best way for people to help out would be to sponsor one of her dogs as the team gets closer to racing season.
“We race in Greenville, Brownville and the big Can-Am in Fort Kent,” she said, “and we let local businesses sponsor either one dog in particular or the whole team. And then we hang the business names out en route one as a thanks for sponsoring our teams. We also give race pictures and a bunch of cute little trinkets that people can have for sponsoring the team.”
With entry fees costing between $100 and $300 per race, in addition to the cost for lodging, Lucas said sponsoring the team during an upcoming race would be a big help.
Anyone in need of assistance, or who knows someone who may need groceries delivered, can call Lucas at 757-968-6655 or message the Facebook page “Northlane Siberian Huskies and Seppala Siberian Sled Dogs.”
“I’m just happy to help everyone out,” Lucas said, “especially when times are really tough now.”