In Their Words

 

Yoga2Sexual Support Services of Midcoast Maine, REACH (Recovery, Education, and CreativeHealing) Program offers trauma-sensitive yoga to adult female survivors of sexual violence. Awarded $2,500, 2014-15

Through the group, I learned coping skills, how to ask for help, and how to take care of what I need. This group was excellent and I can’t see it be anything but helpful to anyone struggling with sexual assault issues. (I) feel the group has given me a strong foundation and confidence in having boundaries and saying no.

Family Focus provides “healthy meals and snacks for children in our care.” While many child care centers require their families to bring in their own food from home, Family Focus made the commitment to provide them with regular daily nutritious meals. Awarded $5,000, 2013-14

Within days upon receiving the grant awarded this last June, our cook and I met with the owner of a local organic farm, the Shamrock Green. Each Wednesday Mick McGuire would deliver fresh produce to the early learning center…. He spoke to the children about farming and gardening. Many of our children had a hard time conceptualizing that the food we were eating doesn’t come from a can! Not only were the children introduced to a healthier style of eating, their families learned…better nutrition practices. This grant has been a blessing….

Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program “Providing food for today…and hope for tomorrow” has piloted a Weekend Backpack Program for 20 children in Harpswell. Awarded $5,000, 2013-14

Speaking at a press conference announcing the expansion of our pilot program to additional schools, a Brunswick teacher made the chilling observation that “teachers in our area know not to give tests on Mondays” because so many kids come to school hungry after the weekend.”

A teacher in Harpswell received this note from a mother: “Thank you for all your generous help; the food is delicious and my children love the oatmeal, the fruits, the beans…everything…. Thank you, we appreciate it.” Another teacher shared this story: a fifth grader ran up to her, gave her a hug, and said, “Thank you, thank you! How did you know that I love pineapple?” She said it brought her to tears. “He is one of the students with the least to eat at home.”

People Plus Teen Center “The center that builds community” offers an after-school program for young people at risk. Awarded $5,000, 2013-14

TeenWelcome copy

MWGT funding for an additional open day per week at the Teen Center Program has enhanced our ability to provide a safe and welcoming place for area teens…. Every day that we can provide safety, food and caring, especially to those who don’t always get that elsewhere in their lives, is a better day for them! Many…appreciate the consistency of coming in after school and often remark that it feels like a family.

Elmhurst, Inc. With MWGT funding support, matting and framing materials were purchased to enhance the sale of paintings and other crafts created by mentally and emotionally handicapped persons. Awarded $5,000, 2012-13

For many of our artists the income they generate from the sale of their artwork is their only source of independent income. Artists are very proud whenever they sell a piece of their artwork, and proud that they are earning an income…. One of our projects involved making simple dresses [for] African orphans. Artists were enthusiastic about making something with their own efforts that made [other] lives a little bit better….

Trust for the Future: MSAD Education Fund Working with Bowdoin College and the United Way of MidCoast Maine, area teachers, business people and community members attended two conferences featuring noted speakers on the impact of poverty on learning and on brain development. MSAD 75 administrators attended six community study circles on the impact of poverty on learning, while two study circles with staff and community members on stress and brain development were also held. Awarded $5,000, 2012-13

During one of the study circles, a school counselor remarked that she “had no idea how critical a mother’s mental health is in the brain development of an infant. It was remarkable to see footage of a baby cooing at his mother only to receive a blank stare. The baby eventually went into distress and began to cry. Then we saw slides of neurons in brains of infants who did not receive adequate interaction…. These children were not wired for success. I just never realized the rippling effect of postpartum depression on future learning in school! We need to reach out to families in our community to help them get their children ready for school and it really begins [at birth].”

Family Focus provides state-subsidized childcare for children whose parents are enrolled in educational programs to improve their earning capacity, but these subsidies don’t cover semester breaks from college or vocational school. A grant from MWGT funded “scholarships” to bridge this gap, thereby ensuring that the children could continue in their regular daycare programs. Awarded $5,000 2012-13

The generous support from MWGT [enabled] seven of our children…to receive continuous childcare throughout the year…. [In an unanticipated development], our Executive Director contacted MWGT with a special request that you granted involving a child whose parents had both been incarcerated, [leaving her] in the care of her grandmother…[who] worked full time and needed care for her granddaughter [outside] regular school hours. Your support enabled this little girl to be in the best place possible. While in our care…she received the much-needed attention she deserved and the highest level of care possible.