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December 2016

Greetings!

Wow! As we have arrived at the end of 2016, I look back and wonder "how did all this happen?" I need a much larger space to thank the many people who have helped our team through my first year with The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers.

I will begin by lifting up the extraordinary staff here, who do the heaviest lifting every day; the Board of Directors who govern, guide and advise; hundreds of faithful volunteers who give of themselves; and many generous donors.

This extraordinary community works because of the shared commitment to make life better for all Maine children and families. In this e-newsletter, you will read about the great success of the Christmas Program once again, and many other recent highlights. Please know that we recognize our success is your success, too.

It has been an incredible season of generosity and kindness. Thank you to the dozens of clubs, work teams, businesses and individuals that wanted to be sure that Christmas would be brighter for Maine children. When the call went out for extra support it showed up in wave after wave of grace and kindness from all over the United States.

We have a lot to celebrate and we hope you will consider joining us at our Annual Celebration next month. I am reminded of this wonderful encouragement from Neale Donald Walsch: "Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another's life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift - yet sometimes you don't let yourself know that.)" I'm reminded of the hundreds of caring people that do give of themselves to help.

We have received some wonderful gifts recently and are thrilled to share news about the grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation in support of the Sharon Abrams' Teen Parent School Program Endowment Fund. Those restricted funds will provide support each year to assist our teen parents and their children to grow and reach their goals. We are deeply grateful for every gift. No gift is ever too small to help make a difference in our programs and services.

In sincere gratitude,

 
Richard Dorian, Executive Director

Harold Alfond Foundation Awards $400,000 to Teen Parent School Program

The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers is elated to announce that the Harold Alfond Foundation has awarded the nonprofit with a $400,000 grant to support the agency's Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program endowment fund.

Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, Greg Powell, with The Maine Children's Home's Executive Director Rick Dorian and Development Director Steve Mayberry.

Chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation, Greg Powell, with The Maine Children's Home's Executive Director Rick Dorian and Development Director Steve Mayberry.

The Teen Parent School, founded in 1974, is an alternative high school program open to pregnant and parenting teens across Maine. The program provides prenatal and parenting instruction, as well as academic and life skills courses. All students are registered as Waterville High School students and work toward earning a Waterville High School diploma.

A group of Maine Children's Home leaders, staff and board members have worked closely with the foundation to meet their funding criteria and objectives. The grant will be incorporated into the Teen Parent School Program's endowment fund, which will generate new revenue each year. These resources will help to provide urgent funding for pregnant and parenting teens to prepare for healthy childbirths, taking care of newborns and guidance to raise their young children. The support includes instruction on childbirth by a registered nurse, social work guidance, case management, child care, educational support towards the students' high school diplomas and ongoing child-care education.

"We are deeply grateful to the Harold Alfond Foundation for awarding this grant to such an important program. We have been operating our unique model of critical support for pregnant and parenting teens since 1974," said Rick Dorian, The Maine Children's Home executive director. "The growth of the endowment ensures the agency can continue helping at-risk teens and their babies far into the future."

Read more.

Agency Report Card

Maine Children's Home agency report for December 2016

Christmas Program Success: Thank You!

Thank you to hundreds of volunteers and donors who helped ensure 1,768 children from across Maine enjoyed a very Merry Christmas.

Please remember us as you shop post-holiday sales. It will help us to get a jumpstart on filling our shelves in preparation to begin packing again in October for Christmas 2017.

We end the Christmas Program this year with gratitude in our hearts for all those who so generously made this year's great success possible.

Leaders & Luminaries Recognition for Board President John Stanley

From left to right: Rick Dorian, The Maine Children's Home executive director; John Stanley, board president; and Linette Gamache, incoming board president.

In October, we were thrilled to nominate our board president, John Stanley, for the Camden National Bank -- Leaders & Luminaries award for outstanding service, creativity and commitment to The Maine Children's Home. In 1992, John Stanley was first invited to become a board member. John recently received this plaque from Camden National Bank in recognition of his dedication and service.

John remembers being impressed when he did stories about the agency as news director for a Waterville radio station in the 1970s. John's mother was a long-time member of the Augusta Chapter of the Friends of The Maine Children's Home. She had recruited John's wife, Elaine, and his mother-in-law as Friends members, too, so he had a long-term familiarity with the agency's programs and a personal appreciation for the difference it could make in children and families' lives.

In 1993, he was the president of the Augusta Kiwanis Club (then the largest Kiwanis Club in New England), and helped connect The Maine Children's Home to some of the funding the Kiwanis Club provided to local nonprofit agencies.

In this season where civility and respectful communication are sometimes lacking, John's gifts really shine. He has always modeled clarity, focus and respect. It was during his first term as board president (1993) that a special committee was formed to write the agency's first documented mission statement and multiyear strategic plan. These tools helped to form the foundation for the board and agency leadership, and clarified where the agency wanted to focus its resources. Today, it still provides guidance to the board of directors when they discuss proposals to create, change or discontinue service programs.

We are overjoyed that John's foundational work on the board was recognized and will help to carry the mission and work far into the future. Congratulations, John!

Adoption Unit Successes 

It's been a very busy year with much growth in the adoption unit. In reviewing our statistics for the year, we want to share that the total number of children welcomed into families for 2016 is 20, compared to to seven in 2015. We have nearly tripled the number of adoptions! The adoption team is currently managing 164 adoption cases. Great work!


Judge William B. Blaisdell IV, Heather Albert-Knopp, Ezra Owen Reed and
Erich Reed finalizing the adoption.


Heather Albert-Knopp, Ezra Owen Reed and Erich Reed.


Teen Parent Student & Child Christmas Party

The teen parents and their children enjoyed their recent Christmas party. Santa Claus took time out of his busy schedule to stop by and deliver gifts, read stories and eat cookies with the kids. Some of the toddlers were a little shy at first, but quickly warmed up.

Mark Your Calendar

Annual Celebration
January 19, 5:30 p.m.
Waterville Elks Lodge (76 Industrial Street, Waterville)

We invite our board, staff, volunteers, friends and supporters to the Annual Celebration for The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers on Thursday, January 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Waterville Elks Lodge.

There will be a silent auction, a catered dinner, and recognition of outstanding staff, volunteers and supporters. The guest speaker will be Yellow Light Breen, president & CEO of the Maine Development Foundation. We will share highlights over the past year, recognize outgoing board members, install the new board members and kick off the annual fund drive.

 

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Adoption

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 »

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