Harold Wiggin helped start the Head Start program in Knox County, ran the local Job Corps and wrote the grant that created Coastal Trans.
A civic leader, Harold devoted his career to bringing many of these national programs to the Midcoast. “It was the late 1960s and all these programs were started by President Lyndon Johnson’s Administration to address “America’s War on Poverty,” explains Harold.
For years he worked for Community Action, known today as Penquis, running a program to help people who had dropped out of high school find jobs and new opportunities. Much of the community work he did was on a volunteer basis, serving on committees to help set up the social service network and organizations that continue to help people in the Midcoast Maine today.
Harold even helped Reverend Kinney, the first Executive Director of Methodist Conference Home, with the HUD application that funded the majority of costs to build the home to help provide housing to seniors in the region.
“I didn’t write the grant for that project,” he laughed, “I just let Reverend Kinney use the Community Action photo copier to prepare the application.”
Harold’s wife, Phyllis, worked for the Sylvania Plant for 38 and a half years. Over her tenure she did many jobs, her favorite being a tool and die maker.
After retiring both Harold and Phyllis continued to help the community by volunteering at Pen Bay Medical Center for 20 years.
Now 88, Harold has undergone a total of 20 surgeries over the last several years. He had to stop driving at 80.
“We take care of each other,” says Phyllis who handled all the driving and cooking until she got sick last fall. After Phyllis started undergoing chemo for breast cancer, the couple began receiving Meals on Wheels.
“Thank God for Lois, and for Meals on Wheels,” said Phyllis. “The program has helped a lot.”
Both Harold and Phyllis say they appreciate the nutritious food that Meals on Wheels delivers to their home in Thomaston. Over the last eight months, Harold says there has only been one meal he hasn’t liked. Each day, they look forward to seeing Lucy, the volunteer driver who delivers their meals. “Lucy is always right on time and takes a moment to chat,” says Phyllis “and all the snow storms last winter never stopped her from coming.”