Dear Friends,

Maine is in bloom and we’re racing to get everyone vaccinated before variants can set us back. We hope efforts to reach every person in Maine are effective including the reopening of the Maine CDC’s Health Equity Office; a recent set of grants made to groups like our member, Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN), to support community outreach; free transportation; and mobile pop-up clinics and mass vaccination sites

MaineShare is also in bloom! We just hosted a virtual member meeting with over 50 participants from our 41 member groups. During this meeting we were able to: celebrate strong financials, and a successful Fall 2020 Workplace Giving Campaign - in spite of the pandemic; welcome new board officers & say good-bye to two fabulous board members; and discuss and engage with our members about our talks with Maine Initiatives to acquire the MaineShare programs.
 
MaineShare is doing well, but during times of transition, it is always good practice to explore if strategic partnerships can improve the meeting of mission. Last Fall, we approached Maine Initiatives to begin discussions about a potential partnership. We felt that we have a lot in common and they agree. We both work to provide long-term unrestricted funding to Maine’s collection of nonprofits working to promote social, economic, and environmental & animal justice.
 
Talks are going very well and we are exploring the possibility that Maine Initiatives acquires MaineShare which will continue to run as a significant program of Maine Initiatives. Now we want your input! MaineShare member groups have already participated in a survey and many will also participate in focus groups and one-on-one interviews.
 
If you are a donor, represent one of our workplaces, or are another interested party, we want to hear from you. Please email me at bpeluso@maineshare.org for more information.
 
Please enjoy the following updates from some of our member groups. Good things are happening. Please consider supporting MaineShare & our incredible members.






Brenda Peluso (she/her/hers), Interim Director
On behalf of the The Board of MaineShare
Maine Federation of Humane Societies (MFHS) Teams Up for Spay/Neuter!

As a state-wide federation, the MFHS works hard to ensure animals across the state receive the care they need, by supporting large and small shelters, rescues and other animal welfare organizations. During the pandemic, veterinarians have been extra busy and PPE restrictions caused fewer spay/neuter surgeries to be performed. Because of this shortage in sterilization surgeries, MFHS is collaborating with our network of local animal groups to perform spay/neuter surgeries in needy areas of the state, particularly Washington and Aroostook Counties. We’re excited to be able to offer this assistance and help raise the bar for animal care state-wide.

To learn more about MFHS, visit our website.
MASH-Style spay/neuter clinic collaborations in Aroostook County
Maine Access Immigrant Access (MAIN) COVID Relief Programs

MAIN works integrally with community partners to provide critical access to the resources needed to fight COVID-19. Here are just a few examples of their critical and collaborative efforts:

  • Hosting several in-community COVID Vaccine Clinics - the next one is on May 22nd.
  • Helping community members with COVID to safely quarantine, access appropriate healthcare, and navigate systems to safely get food and other needed assistance.
  • Helping community members understand the latest CDC recommendations for keeping safe.
 
For more information, visit them on Instagram, Facebook or on the web.
Disability Rights Maine (DRM) & the Client Assistance Program are ready to help

In 2020, DRM assumed operation of the Client Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP provides advocacy assistance to people with disabilities who receive services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened, and the Independent Living Services Program. For individuals who need help with accessing services (including those who have been denied) or who disagree with their counselor/agency’s decision, the DRM’s CAP advocates might be able to help. 

If you or someone you know needs advocacy assistance, or if you simply have questions about your rights as a consumer of rehabilitation services, call DRM at 800.452.1948 or fill out our online intake form

To learn more about the Client Assistance Program at DRM, visit our website.
April is Genocide Awareness Month

The month of April is recognized globally as Genocide Awareness Month, a time for commemoration and recognition of "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group...." 
 
The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) honors Genocide Awareness Month by focusing on The Holocaust and other genocides on our website
In the coming months, HHRC will explore the role of bystanders, understanding the choices made by individuals, and what it means to be allies. Watch their website for more information.
 
HHRC promotes universal respect for human rights through outreach and education. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other events past and present, they encourage individuals and communities to reflect and act upon their moral responsibilities to confront prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination.
Maine can clamp down on corporate tax dodging by targeting tax haven abuse
MECEP’s latest research shows how large corporations sheltering their US-based profits—often referred to as tax havens—costs Maine tens of millions of dollars annually, at a time when our schools and communities lack the resources they need to meet Mainers’ needs.
 
This practice is well-documented and permits companies to avoid paying their fair share.

Take a look at MECEP’s report to learn what Maine can do to clamp down on tax avoidance schemes by multinational corporations and restore some of the revenue needed to invest in Maine’s communities.
Maine Equal Justice (MEJ) - Dental Care IS Health Care! 

Maine is one of only ten states that has no adult dental benefit in Medicaid, except for limited emergency care. Poor oral health often makes people self-conscious and can hurt their mental health, their employability, and their opportunities to be active in the community. Maine Equal Justice and allies are advocating for the passage of a bill in the legislature, LD 996, that would expand access to dental care for adults with MaineCare, providing critically needed care--and a reason to smile--for 150,000 Mainers. Good dental health is key to overall health. This idea is supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
 
See our fact sheet on the costs and savings of creating this benefit in Maine or find out more here. Hear from someone who needs this benefit in this one-minute video. And sign a letter to your legislators here.
Genesis Fund helps transform an empty school into affordable senior housing

Built in 1964, the 11,000 square-foot former Kenduskeag Elementary School is located on 10 acres, just a few miles from Bangor. For years, it sat empty, until Patricia Dearborn, a Maine-based housing developer with extensive experience constructing affordable, energy-efficient housing, was able to purchase the building from the town.

Her vision was to renovate the space into 14 units of much-needed senior and adaptive rental housing, making the units affordable for those with low and fixed incomes. With Genesis Fund financing, Pat was able to renovate the building to create 1 studio, 9 one-bedroom, and 4 two-bedroom apartments, with rents from $550-$750/month.

These units are bright and airy, and feature well-appointed kitchens and baths. Residents also enjoy ample parking, access to a common area, a laundry room and storage room.

Before the renovations were even completed, all 14 units had already been leased to eager new residents, who now enjoy affordable, independent living alongside their peers, many of whom have been their neighbors in the Kenduskeag community for years!

Kenduskeag Senior & Adaptive Housing is one of several Genesis Fund projects providing affordable housing for seniors and frail elders. Photo credits: Flax Studios
Sierra Club will be hosting four (4) community conversations in May. These hour-long, lunchtime sessions are free and open to the public, but you do need to RSVP:

Tuesday, May 4th, 12-1PM: Science Communication Through Art
Join artist and science communicator, Jill Pelto, who has conducted field research around the world. Click here for more information & to Register.

Tuesday, May 11th, 12-1PM: Nickie Sekera of Community Water Justice
Join Nickie Sekera, who will discuss concerns for the future of our groundwater in Maine, and the hurdles to modernizing our legal infrastructure to protect our water sources. Click here for more information & to Register.

Aislinn Sarnacki, author of three Maine hiking guidebooks and outdoors columnist for the Bangor Daily News, will share some amazing lesser-known trails and share tips. Click here for more information & to Register.

Tuesday, May 25th, 12-1PM: Heat Pumps for Old Homes
David Gibson is a certified energy manager and LEED Accredited Professional for Building Design and Construction. He will share examples of Maine homes that have transitioned from oil heat to air source heat pumps. Click here for more information & to Register.
This is just a small sampling of the critical work MaineShare members do to build a better Maine. Please join us in supporting and learning from the great work of ALL our member groups.
MaineShare | 207-622-0105| giving@maineshare.org | www.maineshare.org