You can count on it like the church bells that ring from the Chestnut Street Baptist Church every hour — the Camden Rotary Club’s holiday nut sales.

It’s not that we relish being out in the sleet and snow and freezing rain — but we are passionate about gathering all the resources we can to make our community the best it can be. That’s why we “go nuts” as winter descends, braving the elements and cajoling our neighbors and friends to buy a bag of almonds, pistachios or other delights.

When you buy a bag of nuts from us, you’re getting more than protein or a nice hostess gift to take to a family gathering; you’re empowering the Camden Rotary Club to invest thousands of dollars in grants to our community.

Since 2011, we have awarded $202,500 in grants to nonprofit organizations in Knox County and Lincolnville. We have also distributed $104, 000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from Camden Hills Regional High School since 2017.

This has been a banner nut season for us. Thanks to the many people who purchased nuts, we have raised $6,000 to help fund this year’s cycle of charitable grants.

We are deeply grateful to French & Brawn Market Place for allowing us to set up our sales table in front of their store during weekends. We also greatly appreciate the generous assistance with in-house nut sales of these local banks and their customer service representatives: the Rockland, Union, Camden Square and downtown branches of Camden National Bank, and the Camden branches of TD Bank and First National Bank.

In addition to selling nuts, we prepare and deliver food baskets to our neighbors in need. We were delighted to deliver our care packages of turkeys and all the fixings to 16 local families last month.

We wish everyone in our community a healthy, peaceful new year!

Joan Phaup, President, Camden Rotary Club