Brunswick, May 24 – Eighteen local initiatives benefiting women, children, and families have received a total of $100,000 in grants from the Maine Women’s Giving Tree, a tax-exempt charity based in Brunswick.
Representatives of the non-profit award-winning organizations were honored today at a ceremony held at the Highland Green Community Center in Topsham. Since awarding its first grants in 2012, the Giving Tree has contributed nearly $600,000 in grants to dozens of local organizations to support programs benefiting women, children, and families.
“We are a group of women with a shared commitment to support outstanding initiatives that benefit women, children and families in the communities where we live,” said Jane Fenderson Cabot of Harpswell, the group’s president. “We’re thrilled that our grant awards for 2023 represent the largest annual total amount of giving in our history.”
The 18 local grant recipients are:
ArtVan – $8,000 to support on-site mobile art therapy for under-resourced youth, ages 3-17, who live at Hyde Park and Maritime Apartments in Bath and at Perryman Village in Brunswick.
Bath Area BackPack Program – $4,000 to purchase pre-packaged food bags for weekends and vacations for approximately 200 school children ages 5-18 in RSU-1 schools in Bath, Woolwich, and Phippsburg.
Bath Area Family YMCA – $6,000 to create a second Veggie Van bus route within the Bath, West Bath, Woolwich and Phippsburg RSU-1 school district. The new route will reach at least 20 additional families in need.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick – $6,000 to re-establish an after-school High School Big Program, which was suspended during the Covid-9 emergency. At least 32 high school students will mentor younger students attending middle schools in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bath for at least one hour a week during the school year.
The Gathering Place – $5,000 to support the Direct Service Delivery Program of the only daytime shelter in Greater Brunswick, helping to ensure that no community member falls through the cracks but receives needed assistance, including emergency housing and healthcare.
Growing to Give – $5,000 in continued funding to support an organic grow-for-donation Farm Program in Brunswick to address food insecurity, build community among volunteers, and provide educational opportunities.
Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers – $5,000 for its Critical Home Repair and Modification Program to help 60 local homeowners, who are mostly low-income older adults, with repairs, weatherizing, and home modifications needed to help them remain in their homes.
I’m Your Neighbor Books – $3,000 to purchase a traveling set of 30 children’s picture books, with teacher/librarian discussion questions to spark conversations about immigration, welcoming, and belonging. There are 80 students in the Brunswick School District registered as multilingual learners, and that number is expected to double in the near future.
Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association – $5,000 to support an expanded pilot program to determine the feasibility of offering a ready-to-eat option of monkfish stew to the Bath Area Food Bank, MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, and Freeport Community Services Food Bank, and to schools in our area.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program – $9,000 in continued support for the School Pantry program, which includes in-school pantries at three local schools, take-home backpack bags containing food for four meals, and in-school snacks for teachers to distribute during school hours.
Midcoast Literacy – $4,000 to expand programs for English language learners (both adults and children), including Workplace Literacy that provides job-specific, on-site English language classes, English language instruction, including one-on-one tutoring for adults and older teens, and Read Together for children ages 6-14.
MidCoast Youth Center – $7,500 to support direct costs of basic needs (including clothing, haircuts, toiletries, and sports gear) for homeless youth in local school districts through the Merrymeeting Support Collaborative for Youth Experiencing Homelessness.
Oasis Free Clinics – $8,250 to purchase medical and dental supplies, including 50 blood pressure monitors, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and 25 pairs of eyeglasses for uninsured, low-income residents of Freeport, Brunswick, Harpswell, the Islands, Durham, and Sagadahoc County.
Oliver Place (NFI North) – $4,750 to create a new “Say YES Fund” for teens living at Oliver Place Children’s Home in Bath. Funding will cover “extras,” such as driver’s ed, clothes for a new job, birthday and holiday gifts, repairs to broken iPhone screens, and recreational trips for which funding is not otherwise available.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England – $8,000 for contraceptive and medical supplies intended for low-income patients at the Topsham/Brunswick Health Center.
Tedford Housing – $5,000 in ongoing funding for its Breaking Down Barriers fund which helps women, girls, and families gain and maintain permanent housing. Funds may be used for birth certificates and application fees, phone cards, car maintenance, and gas cards for interviews.
TogetHER Invested – $1,500 to underwrite the costs of a Waking Up to Wealth workshop in the fall to help women understand financial literacy essentials and to build healthy financial habits.
Wayfinder Schools – $5,000 in ongoing support for the Passages Program, an alternative high school aimed at helping at-risk young people and teen parents get a second chance to earn a high school diploma.
Founded in 2009 by two local women, the Maine Women’s Giving Tree is a grant-making organization of women with a shared commitment to improve the lives of other women, children, and families living in our area. Giving Tree members pool their contributions and vote every year on how to distribute these funds.
The organization is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity by the Internal Revenue Service.