Open Arms enewsletter header

August 2016


Warm August greetings from the Dorothy 'Bibby' Alfond Campus in Waterville.

It has been another very productive month here at The Maine Children's Home. The staff has also been using vacation time to refresh and get ready for the change of seasons that takes place when the students return to school.

The Lunder building has been quiet for most of the summer as both the teen parents and AOS 92 alternative students have been enjoying summer break. The maintenance team has been busy cleaning, painting and getting the building ready for another season of learning and activity, as well as completing a number of improvements across the campus.

Although it's still summertime (barely!), we have been pleased with the steady stream of calls and visits from community members and friends eager to volunteer and help with our various programs. We welcomed a team of six volunteers from a mission team from Springfield, Massachusetts, that was in Maine at Camp Mechuwana; steady visits from the Friends of The Maine Children's Home; dozens of helpers working to stock up for the Christmas Program; and the dynamic team preparing for the Twelfth Annual Passion for Fashion benefit on Thursday, September 22. It takes a lot of hands to lift up the children, youth and families we serve. Have an idea of how you and your group can help? Call our development office at 207-872-0261.

I am humbled by the commitment I see every week in the hard work of children, youth and families to grow, to learn and be successful. Through much community investment of time, talent and support we are making life better for hundreds of children and families every month. Their success is your success.

In sincere gratitude,

Richard Dorian, Executive Director

Agency Report Card

Maine Children's Home agency report for August 2016

Teen Parent School Program Happenings

Teen Parent School Program Needs a Vehicle!

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program is in need of a large passenger vehicle, such as a minivan. One of the ongoing challenges for nearly every pregnant or parenting teen is figuring out how to get to and from our Waterville campus each day. We draw youth from a 55 mile radius of our campus. Some students drive or need rides to get to school and back home, while others spend nearly two hours each day riding to and from the program. The transportation is not a covered service and many students are forced to miss days of school and make up work later due to this barrier. A safe vehicle would help with safety and participation, and allow us to install proper car seats and transport students (and their children) to and from school and appointments. Presently, we are piecing together options on an ad-hoc basis that makes planning very difficult. The Maine Children's Home is a tax exempt organization and your gift of a vehicle may be tax deductible. The vehicle does not have to be new, but inspected, safe and in good operating condition. Ideally, we'd like to find a minivan that could hold up to six people. Please let us know if you can help in any way with this. Call 207-873-4253.

We have openings!

We are very excited to share that we currently have openings in the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program. We have had a number of visits but still have more space to serve pregnant or parenting teens that are seeking to complete their regular high school studies and participate in the program.

Maine Children's Home Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School building

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program at The Maine Children's Home is an alternative high school program for pregnant and parenting teens. Our school program has been in existence since 1974. Open to pregnant and parenting teens statewide, it provides prenatal and parenting instruction along with academic and life skills courses. All students are registered as Waterville High School students and work toward earning a Waterville High School diploma.

The program takes place in Lunder Hall at The Maine Children's Home Dorothy "Bibby" Alfond Campus. There are five certified teachers on location, and additional teachers from Waterville High School come to teach specific courses. A full-time clinician is available to support students with individual counseling. On-campus childcare is also available and free of cost to students while enrolled in our program.

Achieving financial and emotional independence is a tremendous feat in anyone's life. Early parenthood can make the journey more challenging but not hopeless. Our aim is to remove as many deterrents as possible and to build on the strengths of each young parent. Our goal is to help teen parents understand the concept of positive parenting, to support and assist them as they learn to deal with troublesome issues and to provide a high quality and relevant education so they can acquire the knowledge and skills to move forward in a healthy lifestyle.

Education Options

  • High school completion
  • Prenatal classes
  • Parenting classes
  • Independent living education and support

Additional Support

  • Individual counseling
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • On-site childcare at The Children's Place
  • College and career support
  • Referrals for vital supports for health, well-being and family security

To learn more, contact Program Director, Rebecca Judd, at or 207-873-4253 ext. 213.

Passion for Fashion to Benefit the Teen Parent School Program

Don't miss the Twelfth Annual Passion for Fashion!
Thursday, September 22, 6 - 9 p.m.
Vintage Manor Event Center (formerly the John Martin's Manor)
54 College Avenue, Waterville

All proceeds of the event will go to the Teen Parent School Program, the nonprofit's alternative high school program open to pregnant and parenting teens statewide. The program allows students to work toward a high school diploma through academic and life skills courses, while also providing prenatal and parenting instruction.

The Passion for Fashion event includes a fashion show with clothing and accessories from Divine Consigns of Waterville. There will also be a game, dinner, as well as live and silent auctions. Some of the auction items include a handcrafted dollhouse with furniture, original art, crafts, gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses, and household help from students from Colby and Thomas Colleges. A limited number of pashminas will be on sale.

Tickets to the event are $30, and can be ordered in advance by calling The Maine Children's Home's development office at 207-872-0261.

Please note the new location, and don't miss the fun!

The Commitment to Excellence in Adoption Grows

The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers has grown and changed a great deal since its services began in Augusta in 1899. What hasn't changed is the commitment in every adoption to see children ethically placed in loving adoptive homes. The Maine Children's Home is a comprehensive Maine adoption agency, offering professional services and support to all members of the adoption triad, including adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees. Since adoption is a life-long commitment, we firmly believe in an educational process that allows all participants to make informed decisions. The Maine Children's Home also believes in making a life-long commitment to the families it serves.

The Maine Children's Home's adoption staff (from left to right): Cindy Smith, Debra Levenseller, Richard Dorian, Caroline Hutchinson, Sharon Abrams, Angela Woodhead and Lindsay Bragdon.

We are proud to share that the adoption unit staff have more than 155 years of professional social work and direct adoption experience. Our caring staff members are here to guide families through the entire process and to offer support long after the adoption has taken place. Our experienced adoption staff is ready to help find the best program to meet your needs.

The Whittaker family recently worked with The Maine Children's Home's adoption team.

A number of people continue to ask if our agency is an orphanage. While our 117-year history includes a period of time as an orphanage, there are no children living on our main campus in Waterville. Our focus for the past hundred years has been placing children into loving families. Today, our Hague-accredited adoption program is Maine's longest-operating adoption program, providing expert assistance to those hoping to adopt internationally or domestically.

Adoption services we provide:

  • Domestic infant program (in-state and inter-state)
  • International program
  • Private home studies
  • Birth parent services
  • Post adoption services
  • Referral services as needed

Please reach out to Lindsay and the adoption team if you think adoption might be a goal for your family. It's never too early to start planning and researching. We are pleased to share that we have a new lending library in the suite of offices in the Parks Building on campus.

If you're interested in learning more about adoption services, we invite you to attend a free informational meeting the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at The Maine Children's Home campus (93 Silver Street, Waterville). For more information please contact Lindsay Bragdon, adoption program coordinator, at 207-873-6350 ext. 210, or via email at

Community Support

A HUGE thank you to the Kennebec Valley Chapter of Credit Unions for their wildly successful Christmas in July promotion to benefit the Christmas Program. The credit unions dropped by to donate the impressive collection of items (below). We are thrilled to have donations arriving at this time as we work to build our inventory for Christmas 2016. A special thank you to Heather Crowley, who organized the event and the drop-off.

The Kennebec Valley Chapter of Credit Unions Christmas in July drop-off to benefit the Christmas Program.

Earlier this month, the Friends of The Maine Children's Home also generously donated 25 books to The Children's Place Early Child Care and Education Center to help promote reading and learning.

The Friends Organization is a group of volunteers who support The Maine Children's Home through volunteerism and fundraising. For information about joining the Friends, please call Cristen Sawyer at 872-0261.

Friends President Debbie Plummer and Children's Place Program Director Mandi Howard with students Layne, Gabriel and Karsyn.

Shopping on Amazon?

We've updated our Amazon Wish List with items needed for the Christmas Program. Packing for the Christmas Program will begin before we know it, and we need the inventory to serve more than 1,700 Maine children.

Please ship your packages to:
The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers, Building 3
93 Silver Street, Waterville, ME 04901
Attention: Cristen Sawyer

If you wish to receive written acknowledgement, please include a gift message with your full name and address in the body of the message. Or, email Cristen with your information and an itemized list of what you have ordered at

Please Remember:
At you can shop just like you always do on Amazon, but for every purchase you make, they will give to a charity of your choice. Please select The Maine Children's Home as your charity of choice!

We greatly appreciate your kindness and support!

In the News

The Maine Children's Home recently earned a top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the good news was shared in the publications below. Click the links to learn more.

Two Cent Times

Central Maine Newspapers



Donate online nowConnect on LinkedIn - Like Us on Facebook Connect on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook


Our Hague-accredited adoption program, Maine's longest-operating adoption program, provides expert assistance to those hoping to adopt internationally or domestically. more »

The Harland A. Turner Counseling Center

Offering outpatient mental health counseling, specializing in play and art therapy and adoption counseling. more »

Adoption Counseling

Specialized counseling for people considering adoption as well as adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees of all ages. more »

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program

Providing education, counseling and guidance to pregnant and parenting teens. more »

The Children's Place

Delivering nationally accredited early care and education to children 6 weeks old to age 5. more »

The Christmas Program

The only program of its kind providing new clothing, books, games and toys to underprivileged children throughout Maine. more »

Summer Camp Scholarships

Providing an overnight camp experience to approximately 150 disadvantaged Maine children each year.more »

    ^ top ^