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June 2016

Greetings!

June has been a very exciting and dynamic month. I grew up in a family that had big vegetable gardens and am reminded that this is the season to get serious about what we are planting, caring for the seedlings, tending, watering and doing lots of hard, hopeful work. My hope grows as I watch the children from The Children's Place tending their raised bed gardens and playing.

Wise gardeners know that there are seasons to plant, to rotate crops and to harvest. I have to add celebrating to this list. The main ingredient we continue to sow into every program is to "build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life."


We are thrilled that Charity Navigator has recognized the longstanding good work and careful management at The Maine Children's Home. We celebrate that seven Teen Parent students were able to graduate this month, with another senior needing just a little more time.

We celebrated with our good friends at the Mid-Maine United Way at their annual meeting, with Nancy Marshall and her team as they gathered to mark their 25 years of success, with the Trust Department at Kennebec Savings Bank and with the Healthy Northern Kennebec Partnership. We do our work in partnership with many of our vital community connections.

We give great thanks to Angie Woodhead for several years of intuitive and compassionate leadership of the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program and welcome her back to the adoption unit. We congratulate Becky Judd as she assumes leadership from Angie.

I could spend a lot of time talking about the incredible caring and committed staff of The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers. They participated in the first of many staff meetings earlier in the month to share the strategic plan, to discuss new opportunities, to carry on successful programs and to make needed updates to our policies. I celebrate their big hearts and concern for our long-term success. Lastly, I have to congratulate the adoption unit for a nearly perfect deficiency-free survey from the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Our adoption program is a model program.

As I look back over my first six months, it's very exciting to survey all the seeds we have planted, the careful tending, as well as the extraordinary supporters, friends, partners and donors who provide the vital tools and gifts for us to carry out our work. Day to day, week to week, month to month we are having a wonderful impact on every child and family we support. Thank you all for the encouragement, advice and feedback to keep growing in our work.

 
Richard Dorian, Executive Director

The Maine Children's Home Earns Top Rating from Charity Navigator

We are excited to share that The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator. This is the first time that The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers has earned this top distinction!


Stephen Mayberry, development director; Diana Rafuse, finance director; and Rick Dorian, executive director proudly pose with The Maine Children's Home's Charity Navigator 4-star certificate.

"The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers' exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public," according to Michael Thatcher, president & CEO of Charity Navigator. "Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world's most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers."

Congratulations to the board, staff and many people who have worked to make this possible. It's a positive sign that The Maine Children's Home has a strong history, is moving in the right direction and is being a responsible agency.

Read more...

Agency Monthly Report

There's Still Time to Send a Kid to Camp!

Although we've had a strong response, we still need more help to get kids to camp. We have already registered more than 90 children for summer camp through the Summer Camp Scholarship Program, with nearly 100 more children still on the waiting list for their life-changing week. As we have advertised more broadly, requests have also increased.

We have donations and commitments of more than $25,000 but need to raise at least $5,000 more by mid-July to meet our $30,000 goal. It only takes $250 to sponsor one child for a week at overnight camp. Though we are incredibly fortunate to have contributions from the George Keller Campership Fund, private donations, corporate and foundation support, and gifts from the Friends of The Maine Children's Home, more support is needed.

Each year, The Maine Children's Home and many supporters work to send at least 120 Maine children to summer camp through the Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

Since 1967, the agency has conducted an annual special fundraising campaign to provide an overnight camping experience for children who could not afford to attend otherwise. The activities, friendships, and positive role models they experience in that one week can shape a child's character in enduring ways.

For more information, please call Cristen Sawyer at 207-872-0261. We are so very thankful for your help and generosity.

Successful Fundraisers

Friends' Annual Yard Sale

On Saturday, June 4, the Friends organization held their annual yard sale at The Maine Children's Home campus in Waterville.

This year, in the largest yard sale to date, more than $3,700 was raised which will help send 15 children to overnight summer camp for a week through the Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

Special thanks to many Friends, staff from New Balance and more than 20 other community volunteers who worked for weeks to pick up donated items and organize and tag the items.

As always, thank you to the community members for your donations and contributions!


Concert with Big E (Eric Lunt) and Friends

We were thrilled to have the great talents of Eric Lunt (Big E Live) and many of his friends on the night of June 4 for Big E Live and Friends to present Share the Gift.

There were more than 15 talented performers from across the Kennebec Valley who came to share their gifts to support Maine Children's Home's Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

The Friends volunteers provided refreshments and a 50/50 drawing was held. We were honored to have the talents of Steve Fotter on guitar with a number of his students. Through ticket sales, the 50/50 and a matching donation, $1,568 was raised. This will help support six children to attend summer camp. Special thanks to Eric Lunt for the careful recruitment, organization and talents shared.

Third Annual Children's Place Family BBQ & Fun Day

On Sunday, June 26, more than 50 children and families enjoyed spectacular weather, food, and fun activities at The Maine Children's Home campus for a Family BBQ & Fun Day!

There were bubbles, face painting by Mimi Nancy Strout, a photo booth provided by the McKenney family, a bounce house, a dunk tank, Kennebec County Deputy Sheriff Galen Estes and his patrol car, and a musical performance by Zach, Sam & Vanessa of Hello Blue Sky.

A special thanks to following families who planned and organized the event: Meg and Mike Loubier, Danielle Mann, Lindsay Bragdon, Racheal and Davis McKenney, and Raya Kouletsis.

Sincere appreciation to the following sponsors: Central Maine Motors, Skowhegan Savings Bank, and the Sheridan Corporation, as well as discounts and donations from Joseph's Meat Market and Gifford's Ice Cream.

A special shout-out to Easton Howard, Mike Loubier, Sam Murphy's mom Amanda, and Gabe and Michael's Uncle Ryan for volunteering to climb in the dunk tank! It was a great way to kick off a summer full of smiles!

Save the Date: Passion for Fashion

Thursday, September 22
6 - 9 p.m.
Country Manor (formerly John Martin's Manor),
College Avenue, Waterville

Calls are already coming in for the Passion for Fashion Event. It has been scheduled for Thursday, September 22, from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Country Manor (formerly John Martin's Manor) on College Avenue in Waterville. There will be a silent auction, live auction, fashion show, a fun game and dinner. Tickets are $30 and should be ordered in advance by calling the development office at 872-0261.

Don't miss this enjoyable and important event benefiting the Teen Parent School Program. Hope to see you there!

Teen Parent School Needs

This past month, our dedicated Development Associate/Christmas Program Director Cristen Sawyer celebrated her birthday, and in lieu of gifts or cards, asked her family and friends to contribute diapers to the Teen Parent School Program's students and babies. Thank you, Cristen for your contributions, and to those who made Cristen's birthday wish a success!

We are always and gladly accepting donations for our Teen Parent School Program students and children--from diapers to safety latches and other equipment to high chairs. Thank you for your support.

 

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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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