Dear Friends,

Do you remember what it felt like to earn your first paycheck?  Though it was many years ago, I remember it clearly.  I worked in a hospital delivering food to patients.  My first paycheck was $76.  I felt a new sense of purpose and independence and I was ready to take on the world. 

A meaningful job can transform a life.  As an active member of society, individuals gain self-confidence, a higher level of economic independence and become more socially connected.  Their family gains assurance that their loved one will be okay, their employer gains a high-performing, loyal employee, and overall, the increased workforce positively impacts the state of Maine. It's a win-win-win-win.  The benefits are life changing.  The need is critical.  That is where Pine Tree Society comes in. 

Since 1936, Pine Tree Society's mission and vision has been crystal clear:  A commitment to transforming the lives of Maine people with disabilities while providing their families with support through innovative programs designed to meet unmet needs without duplicating services already available.  This vision has been a guide throughout Pine Tree Society's history.

Literally, today, you can see this vision in action at Pine Tree Society as we launch a new network of programs designed to help Maine people with disabilities secure meaningful employment opportunities.  Employment programs have changed since the time we offered a sheltered workplace nearly 50 years ago. Our new programs offer a full spectrum of support from transition to adulthood and career exploration to skill development and job placement.

PeerWork is a perfect example of our innovative approach. PeerWork offers the opportunity for a short-term supported work experience as a member of the Pine Tree Society team.  We offer a variety of opportunities from clerical to maintenance. PeerWorkers go through the typical hiring process - they submit an application and take part in an interview - and upon hire, they are matchedwith a job coach for support and they earn a market wage.  This experience is designed to be a stepping stone to permanent employment or to build skills in new areas. 

Jacob, who worked with us over the summer, said of the experience, "I can do more than I thought."  The self-confidence and hope for the future that Jacob built as a result of this program has been life changing.  His life story has been altered.  And his mother?  She said "Our prayers have been answered." 

Your support continues to be critical as we offer vital new programs.  We cannot do it without you.   Your gift will immediately be put to work to help people with disabilities live fuller, more socially connected lives.  Your support will transform the lives of thousands of individuals and families who turn to Pine Tree Society for help each year.  Thank you for your generosity. 

Sincerely,

 
Noel J. Sullivan 
President and CEO