A gift from the Seacoast Mission with its white parchment paper wrapping tied with red string has been a welcome addition under the tree for many Downeast families. Applications for the Mission’s Christmas Program, which provides presents to children under 18, are now open. If you would like to apply for the Christmas Program and receive gifts, please apply at the link here.
The Christmas program serves residents of Addison, Bar Harbor, Beals Island, Cherryfield, Columbia, Columbia Falls, Deblois, Eagle Island, Frenchboro, Great Cranberry Island, Harrington, Isleboro, Isle au Haut, Islesford, Jonesboro, Jonesport, Matinicus, Milbridge, Monhegan, Mount Desert, Southwest Harbor, Steuben, Tremont, and Vinalhaven.
“The holidays can be a stressful time for many, we try to help ease that burden a little. We have streamlined the intake process this year to make signing up and shopping more efficient,” says Stephanie Moores, Community and Family Engagement Program Manager.
Starting in late October, the Mission turns part of its Cherryfield campus into an “Elves’ Workshop” where elves, a.k.a. Mission volunteers, receive donated gift items, organize presents for shopping, and stage a gift-wrapping station for the Mission’s Christmas Program. Once a family’s application is approved, they are invited to either come shop in-person for gifts or they can send a list to the elves who will help them fulfill their list. In addition to toys, there is also clothing, toiletries, and more. Gifts can either be left unwrapped or wrapped in the Mission’s iconic white parchment paper tied with red string.
The Sunbeam also makes a yearly journey to provide Christmas gifts to people living on unbridged islands. “Handing out Christmas presents is one of the many meaningful things I get to do for the Mission,” says Douglas Cornman, Mission’s Director of Island Outreach and Chaplain. “Not only do I witness the excitement on each child’s face as I hand them a gift (and often receive a huge hug in return), I have the privilege of listening to stories from parents, grandparents, and sometimes even great grandparents who also received gifts from the Mission and delivered by the Sunbeam. These gifts are the most poignant example of the Mission’s legacy on the outer islands.”
Families can sign up to shop or receive gifts from the Christmas Program here or contact Community and Family Engagement Program Manager Stephanie Moores at [email protected] or (207) 546-5868.