NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – Two weeks into the New Year, Island Health Director Sharon Daley, RN noticed on Facebook a call for help from Terry Staples at Swan’s Island Bread of Life Food Pantry. While no one was on duty, the pantry freezer quit. “The end result,” wrote Mr. Staples, “was the loss of several hundred pounds of meat.” It will take time to replace the freezer, said Terry. Meanwhile, “if you are…grocery shopping and…could pickup a couple extra meats for us it would be a great help…,” he said.
Sharon asked Mission President John Zavodny and Downeast Director Mel Adams if the Mission could help the Swan’s Island food pantry. The answer was: Yes.
Mission Food Security and Sustainability Programs Coordinator Megan Smith partnered with Downeast Campus Facilities Manager Scott Shaw. They identified ten frozen turkeys and 210 pounds of additional frozen meats which Scott Shaw delivered 45-miles from Cherryfield to Northeast Harbor.
Meanwhile, Terry Staples told Sharon Daley the mail boat to Swan’s Island from Bass Harbor would transport the meat one hour over the water if the Mission could get the meat to the ferry by 11:00 am Monday, January 24.
On the 24th, Sharon Daley and Mel Adams received an email from Megan Smith. She said, “The frozen meat and turkeys are on the ferry heading to Swans Island…. I am so glad that we could help Terry and the Swans Island pantry.”
“I wanted to send this pic of Jillian ‘caught in action’ posting one of her inspiring signs in Cherryfield. I happened to be driving by and busted her red handed posting one of her quotes of hope and inspiration!”
Scott Shaw is the Mission’s Downeast Campus Facilities and Housing Rehabilitation Manager. Jillian is the Sunbeam Steward.
L-to-R: DCP Development Associate Megan R. Hayes, Bobbi Harris (DCP), Mission President John Zavodny, DCP Operations Manager Dale Basher, and Scott Shaw (Mission)
MILBRIDGE, ME — On a misty Monday morning, August 3, a tall yellow crane is suspending a new tiny house in mid-air while carpenters guide the building onto its cement foundation. Four years ago this tiny house was an idea sketched on a paper napkin. The idea grew, and attracted support from four partner organizations, several sponsors, and many volunteers.
Partner organizations Downeast Community Partners (DCP) and Maine Seacoast Mission were already working together — with volunteers — through the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program to make homes in Downeast Maine safe and warm through home repairs and home insulating.
Neither DCP nor the Mission had ever tackled a tiny house. But perhaps tiny houses could serve as a new way to provide safe, warm housing to the elderly, low-income individuals and families, and military Veterans?
Word reached Mission Housing Rehab Program Manager Scott Shaw that a Washington County disabled military Veteran named Ryan needed a place to live. Ryan’s situation was a perfect reason to build a tiny house.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — “Lee Watrous is our all star volunteer/contractor from Gales Ferry CT,” said Housing Rehabilitation Program Manager Scott Shaw in an email about the Downeast Maine Tiny House Project. “Lee has agreed to help us out with the project,” said Scott. Lee is now working on the tiny house at Assabet Valley Regional High School, finishing and preparing the house for transporting to Milbridge, ME. “Lee also offered to work on the home in Milbridge,” said Scott.
Mission fans may remember Lee Watrous and his volunteer work crew in 2018 when they finished the Final Phase of expanding and modernizing the Weald Bethel Community Center. The finished building included a commercial-grade community kitchen, additional dormitory space for Housing Rehabilitation Program volunteers, new EdGE classroom space, and space for weekly community functions.
And for Lee’s work on making Housing Rehab Program area homes safe and warm, one homeowner said, “Absolutely nothing will stop the progress of a job site when Lee Watrous and crew are volunteering with the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program.”
Downeast Campus Director of Service Programs Wendy Harrington called Lee Watrous, “Super Volunteer.”
Starlet Moffitt, Joe O’Campo, Levi Shaw, Stephanie Moores and Wren Wakeman. They were packaging foods to get ready for distribution. They all work for the Mission.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Megan Smith, Maine Seacoast Mission Community Resource Coordinator, gives yesterday’s “culturally relevant food” distribution at the Mission Food Pantry a big “Wow!” In a follow-up email, Megan said:
“What a wonderful amazing day. The partnership and camaraderie I saw today was beyond compare. We were able to serve the “culturally relevant food” to 105 families! Adding the number of families served yesterday for our regular day brings the total families served to 163. We are all exhausted but happy that we were able to fulfill so many requests.
“I want to say thank you to all the staff and volunteers from Mano en Mano and Seacoast Mission who made this possible. Without you we wouldn’t have been able to turn this around so quickly,” Megan said.