Stories of Giving Back
Maine’s nonprofit community provides helping hands wherever there’s need, and offer much to say thanks for this season.downeast.com
By land and by sea, Maine Seacoast Mission offers a lifeline to residents of islands and Down East coastal communities.
From the moment Brenda Clark stepped foot on Isle au Haut, she loved the feeling of peacefulness she felt there — surrounded by ocean, 6 miles from the mainland. Her love of island life hasn’t ebbed in the two decades since she moved. But now that Clark is 65, it has gotten more complex. Getting medical attention off-island can be expensive and time-consuming. “It can be a real hardship,” Clark says.
For Clark and other year-round islanders, Maine Seacoast Mission offers a critical lifeline. Its M/V Sunbeam V, a 74-foot floating support vessel, stops on 10 unbridged islands regularly providing food, fellowship, and healthcare. Sunbeam Steward Jillian serves meals. Island Outreach Director and Chaplain Douglas Cornman offers counseling, activities, and classes. Island Health Services Director Sharon Daley, RN performs routine health screenings, hosts telemedicine visits with primary care doctors and other medical professionals, and she comes ashore to visit homebound islanders.
Director Daley is also active with several island health workers in helping island elderly have the option of aging in place within their communities. Daley hosts an annual Island Elder Care Conference sponsored by Maine Seacoast Mission