Celebrating the 6th Anniversary of the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty

Celebrating the 6th Anniversary of the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty

CHERRYFIELD — Wendy Harrington,  the Mission’s Downeast Campus Director sent this news and photo saying, “I’ve attached a photo of some of the founders of the Table of Plenty at the 6th Anniversary dinner.

“On Sunday, December 4th, the Downeast Table of Plenty’s 6th anniversary, we celebrated the Table of Plenty and the wonderful people who make it so special.

“We celebrated the people who cook the meals, those who set up and clean up, the loyal patrons who come every week, the musicians who share their gifts each week.”

Learn More about our Downeast Table of Plenty.

Downeast Table of Plenty 6th Anniversary

L-R: Linda Rees, Bonnie Johnson, Bunny Look, Alice Duston, Wendy Harrington, Jillian

Maine Seacoast Mission Launches Land & Sea Giving Tuesday Campaign

Maine Seacoast Mission Launches Land & Sea Giving Tuesday Campaign

Monday, November 21, 2017

BAR HARBOR — For the first time, the Maine Seacoast Mission is joining the Giving Tuesday global movement and launching our own Giving Tuesday campaign. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. In 2015, it helped raise $116.7 million dollars online.

By tapping into global excitement and support for Giving Tuesday 2016 through social media, the Mission’s goal is to attract new donors, build awareness for its programs, and encourage existing supporters to spread the word.

The Mission 2016 campaign is focused on suggesting donations to our Housing Rehab Program (land), and our Island Health & Telemedicine Program (sea).

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Everyone deserves to live in a warm, safe home. But housing in Washington County, Maine is often old, hard to heat. Especially on a limited budget. Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehab Program, with 350 amazing nationwide volunteers, and collaborating with other housing agencies, each year fixes or rebuilds twenty such houses for local families.

Since 1905, Maine Seacoast Mission has played a vital role in connecting residents of Maine’s most isolated islands with medical care. For island residents, accessing even basic health care, when possible, is expensive and time consuming. Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, RN, meets with islanders on the Sunbeam, in their homes, and keeps in touch by phone and internet.

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We thank you in advance for helping us spread the word about the Mission’s Giving Tuesday Campaign. Please contact Ellen Pope, Maine Seacoast Mission’s Director of Development with questions and comments at 207-288-5097 or by email.

Learn More

The Magic of New Beginnings: One Mother’s Story About the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program

The Magic of New Beginnings: One Mother’s Story About the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program

Story by Nancy Saunders
Photos by Scott Shaw

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The Maine Seacoast Mission’s housing rehabilitation program based at our Downeast Campus addresses fixes up or rebuilds twenty houses a year. Repairs and renovations range from painting to insulated mobile home skirting to new roofs. Every year we completely rebuild two mobile homes or houses for local families. The families contribute sweat equity to the rebuilding projects and often have one or more children active in the EdGE program.

Downeast Campus Director of Service Programs Wendy Harrington sent this profile, written by Nancy Saunders, of a mother and daughter who reached out to the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program — and the result. The before-and-after photos are from Housing Repair Program Coordinator Scott Shaw.

“And suddenly you know that it’s time to trust in the magic of new beginnings.” This inspiring quotation, framed and hanging in the hallway of Tara Small’s newly rehabbed mobile home, expresses the sense of marvel she and her daughter feel as they settle into their warm, safe, structurally sound, and attractive home.

The significance to Tara and her daughter of the transformation of their home can be appreciated more fully by stepping back in time less than one year. Their home had leaks in the roof, mold, decaying floor boards, dilapidated siding, little insulation, and an interior dating back to 1968. Tara says her normally outgoing daughter felt unable to invite friends to their home because of its condition.

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Tara’s home before.

Tara herself, after coping with a severe, chronic illness requiring multiple surgeries and hospitalizations from the time she was fifteen years old, as well as a difficult divorce, had all but given up. She became very depressed, tearful, unable to sleep at night nor function during the day. She says “I felt like a turtle, unable to leave my shell.”

Tara applied to the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehab Program. This program’s efforts are based on the Housing First philosophy, which asserts that people can improve their lives (i.e, seek employment or education, and become more engaged in the community) only after they have a home that is safe, warm and dry. The Mission’s Housing Rehab Program applicants must be able to demonstrate both financial and housing need, be involved in their community, and agree to contribute 200 hours of “sweat equity”.

Tara was selected this Spring, and work began in the Summer by the many volunteers who come to the Mission for a week at a time, and donate their time and skill to the extensive rehab process. Tara and her daughter became very attached to these groups over the summer. One of them even knitted prayer shawls to match the colors of the new rooms.

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Tara’s home after.

And what colors they are! Tara’s daughter’s bedroom is painted “passionfruit pink with cupcake brown trim.” She placed her bed at an angle, and using PVC pipe, arranged the curtains to create a canopy. One of the groups made a grow stick for her wall. She provided her own decorative stickers and put her porcelain dolls on her dresser.

Tara’s room is purple, which is the awareness color of her medical condition, and it reminds her to be positive and hopeful. She has pictures of butterflies on the walls — delicate symbols of transformation, and a framed quotation which reads: “a dream is a wish the heart makes”.

Their living room is green and its theme is hunting and fishing, which both Tara and her daughter enjoy. The kitchen is blue and will feature light houses and lobster boats. The new cabinets, stove, and hanging pots and pans invite cooking and social gatherings.

The “transformation hallway” features pictures of the volunteer groups, as well as Scott and Wendy. “We will never forget any of them”, says Tara. “It is from the bottom of my heart that I say ‘thank you'”.

Learn More about the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program