Table of Contents
Message from the Executive Director
Investing in the Power of Women and Girls!
All the Rage
In a Flash: What is Driving Our Work
A Message from the Executive Director

February is the month for lovers, thanks to St. Valentine and his famous day. The American Heart Association has taken it further to define the heart as not only for loving, but also for living. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women across the country and in Maine. Didn't know that? Too few women do; it's still considered an older man's disease. The national Go Red For Women program was created to change that.

Remember last month I said I would save the New Year's Resolutions about "getting healthy" for this month? Here's why: in most cases, heart disease - and its complications and death - is almost 100% preventable in most cases. Yes, it's true: in most cases heart disease is entirely preventable. And that's where your Resolutions come in. As I said last time, make your goals small steps to the larger goal. For example:
  • Don't resolve to lose 25 pounds when you've been resolving the same thing as long as you can remember. No one wants to set themselves up to fail, and your shouldn't do that to yourself! Set a goal of 5 pounds, and look for help to do it. Electronic tech is on post-holiday sale now; you can score a Fitbit, techy watch, or even join an online group or meal program.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day most days. Sound like you don't have time for that? Try 10 minutes, three times a day - I know you can squeeze that in. Do it while watching the evening news - hey, these days a little breath work is a good thing!
  • Don't decide to go vegan (or whatever) overnight. Eating less red meat has been proven to reduce risk for heart disease, but changing a lifetime of an omnivorous diet takes planning, and perhaps discussion with others is the household. Start by stretching Meatless Mondays to Tuesday, Wednesdays, etc. Explore Fishy Fridays to enjoy heart healthy fish rich in Omega acids. Ease into it, and you can make your diet healthy, your tummy happy, and your whole body will thank you.
  • Quit Smoking, and use help. A buddy system, or the Maine Tobacco HelpLine is free and proven effective. I have faith in you - and I know it's hard! But you can do it, and now is a great time to get started.
As luck would have it, these resolutions for a healthy heart are the same for cancer, lung disease, stroke  and diabetes prevention, so feel good about making small changes each day, week, and month, and see your risk for the leading causes of chronic disease, disability, and death in the US. Now that's a New Year we can live with!

For more information, check with the real pros:
Make this year your best year.  Until next time,

     Megan Hannan
     Executive Director

 Investing in the Power of Women and Girls!

Thank you for helping us spread the word about our grants program! 

The deadline for submitting Letters of Interest for our 2018 Grants Cycle is now closed. We are happy to report we received  70 Letters of Interest! Our Grants Committee will now read each letter and narrow down the organizations which will be invited to submit a full proposal later this winter. The Maine Women's Fund Grants Committee  includes its board members and individuals with expertise in the needs and experiences of women and girls  across Maine as well as Maine's extensive non-profit community. 

The committee includes many factors in the decision making including:
1) the strength of the applications; 
2) diversity of applications funded (including geographic and demographic distribution);
3) opportunities to make the greatest impact across all six funding areas with the Fund's limited resources. 

The grants committee makes final recommendations to the board, which makes all final grant decisions.

We look forward to announcing  our grant awards in May!  

 All the Rage
Last month we were in Orono to hear Dr.  Jamila Perritt, MD, MPH, FACOG, speak at Mabel Wadsworth Center's  45th Roe v. Wade celebration.  We learned an incredible amount from her talk, and we hope you will, too. During the Q&A period, we took the opportunity to ask a question about forced sterilization by the US government of women in tribal communities, including Wabanaki Communities. Dr. Perritt then talked about some of the reproductive injustices that have happened here in America.

Want to learn more about Reproductive Justice from a founder of the Reproductive Justice movement? Come hear Loretta J. Ross talk  at USM on March 8th about "Reproductive Justice in the Age of Trump." If you want a little home schooling on the subject, che ck out  Sister Song .

Maine is a rural state and we believe the Reproductive Justice movement will resonate deeply with rural women. Lack of economic opportunity has left both rural and urban individuals and communities struggling with poverty predators like the opioid crisis, which has driven down the US life expectancy two years in a row. Economic and environmental justice issues have also had a disproportionately impact on many rural areas. To  learn more about the challenges rural women in Maine face you can tune into this great WERU Community Radio podcast with Maine Family Planning staff. 

You may have also heard that the President's Budget, just out this week, would prohibit any federal funding from going to any organization that provides abortion care. Here's what that means to Mabel:  

"More than three decades ago, Mabel Wadsworth Center's foresighted founders intentionally created an independent feminist health center that would be free from restrictions imposed by political ideologues. That decision is just as relevant now with news of President Trump's budget announcement to prohibit any federal funds from going to any organization that provides abortion. We do accept reimbursement from either Medicaid (MaineCare) or Medicare for clinical services. While Maine's Medicaid program doesn't cover abortion care, (which we argue violates Maine law), nearly half of our clients have MaineCare that they use for our other clinical services." - Andrea Irwin, Executive Director

 In a Flash: What is Driving Our Work
Excerpt from #Girltalk, written and performed by the A Company of Girls Ambassadors

Maybe instead of judging we can just be curious? A girl who seems boring or basic might be quirky and fun.We're judged on everything: our music, our hair, our clothes, our grades, our friends, our crushes, our bodies. 

It gives us anxiety!!!... 

I'm anxious about college. My parents expect me to go, but I'm not sure I want to - but I don't dare tell them that. Won't they be disappointed in me?
I'm anxious about growing up. How will I take care of myself? Who will I be? What will I do?...
I'm anxious about everything.  Talking about being anxious is making me anxious. 

But what if I controlled my narrative?  What if I had the power?  How would that feel?...  


On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for 
investing in the power of women and girls!

Office location:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 

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The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.