Innovating, Adapting, and Building a Better Maine

Watching our member groups innovate and adapt has been inspiring. The first story in this newsletter is about an event planned before the shutdown and canceled 24 hours before it was to begin. In the events section of this newsletter, our members are really evolving and creating exciting virtual experiences.

This additionally is an incredible time for our democracy. MaineShare member groups are working to make sure all of our voices are heard, our votes are cast and counted, and democracy thrives.

Unrestricted, reliable streams of income, like the funding MaineShare provides to our member groups, allows nonprofits to be nimble and adaptable when the only thing that is constant is change. Many of you are loyal supporters of MaineShare and thanks to you, we are contributing to our members’ ability to flex!

If you can, please consider supporting MaineShare as we and our members work to ensure a just, equitable, healthy and safe Maine.
 & support all of our 40+ member groups with one gift
Innovating & Adapting Events
Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund Reimagines Maine Girls’ Day at the State House

Just 24 hours before it was set to begin, The 24th Maine Girls' Day at the State House, hosted by member group, Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund (MWLEF), was cancelled due to COVID-19. MWLEF was determined to find a way to reimagine this event where 100 8th grade girls spend an action-packed day of mock hearings, lunch with legislative leaders, and debates in the House chamber.
 
In May, MWLEF welcomed over 100 middle school youth to a range of live and pre-recorded televideo sessions with legislators, leaders, lobbyists, committee chairs, and the Clerk of the House. Maine's first female governor, the Speaker of the House, Senator Collins, and Congresswoman Pingree welcomed the youth. Participants shared that the events made them feel "that I am worthy and able to make a change in the world. These women are so inspirational and incredible, I hope to be like them someday." Find out more at mainewomen.org/mwl/edfund/programs/girls-day/ 
Adapting to the New Reality - Inspiring Fall Events
Here are some great events coming up this fall. Celebrate with, learn from, and support these member group events!
Log in at 5:30pm for the Red Carpet Pre-Show and the Gala starts at 6:00 PM
Each year, we come TOGETHER as a community to celebrate the progress we’ve made, while raising up how much we still have to do for each and every LGBTQ+ Mainer to be able to live their authentic life, free from discrimination, prejudice, bias and violence. While we aren’t able to gather in person, we’re excited to bring this year’s Gala to you live at home.
Special guests include Governor Janet Mills, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Congressman Jared Golden and US Senator Tammy Baldwin! Special performance by Viva & the Reinforcements.
Register today and join EqualityMaine on October 3rd for what is sure to be a fun, engaging, and inspiring evening - Together @ Home!

Now through October 18th - Get Outside for a Better Maine

Each summer, MaineShare supporters like you take up a challenge to get outside and help MaineShare continue its year-round work - advocating for, promoting, and supporting 40+ nonprofit member organizations working every day for Maine's people, animals and environment! This event has always been mostly virtual, but the joy of getting outside during these incredibly stressful times, makes this year sweeter.
We’re about halfway to our modest goal. Please consider joining our Interim Director for an insider’s tour of the South Portland Spring Point Shoreway on 10/11 or contribute other ways.


The event will be virtual and free to all. Register Today!

November 3rd - Election Day
Here’s what two of our member groups are doing.
Working to Ensure that Mainers with Disabilities Count in 2020 

Disability Rights Maine (DRM) is partnering with the US Census and allies on the ground in Maine, promoting Census engagement as part of our outreach work to underserved populations across the state. Additionally, DRM is working with allies to conduct voter engagement efforts targeted to educate and mobilize historically underrepresented people with disabilities in advance of the 2020 election.
People with disabilities are deemed among the “hard-to-count" in the 2020 Census. It is crucial that everyone, including people with disabilities, be fully counted as this once-a-decade demographic tally drives more than 800 billion dollars a year in federal funding for health care, affordable housing, education, and many other human needs.
Together, these efforts aim to promote the presence and power of peoples with disabilities in all aspects of civic life in Maine. 

Maine Equal Justice (MEJ), a legal aid and economic justice organization, is encouraging Maine people to support candidates who stand up for economic and racial justice in Maine.

MEJ works with volunteers who are members of our Equal Justice Partners Circle (EJPC) to register first time voters, provide information on how to request an absentee ballot, and to make a plan to vote! 

Allina Diaz, an EJPC member pictured right, explains why she is working to get-out-the-vote: 

I’ve been working with Maine Equal Justice for a few years and I've seen what is possible when everyday people come together to make a difference. I've testified at the State House in Augusta and joined hundreds of advocates and activists calling on legislators to support Maine people struggling to make ends meet.
 
I've seen great ideas - ideas that came from us - become law. I've also seen how much it matters who is working for us at every level of government. There's so much we can do together if we elect leaders who listen and are accountable to us. That's why this week we must all get registered and make a plan to vote, because together we can show elected officials that they need to listen and act on our concerns.
 
Visit MEJ’s Vote 2020 site for tons of resources and to see Allina’s video message.
November 12th - Sierra Club Maine’s Virtual Annual Celebration

This year's theme is “dinner and a movie.” All participants will be provided with a link to view “Tomorrow,” an inspiring documentary about what individuals around the world are doing to help fight current environmental problems. 

After viewing the film, participants will come together on November 12th from 6-7:30 pm for an engaging panel discussion around the themes of the movie—energy, agriculture, education, democracy, and economy. Panelists & Special Guests include:

Other News From Our Members
Augusta Office Space Available at the Arboretum

Come be building mates with MaineShare! 

The Viles Arboretum is one of the best kept secrets in Augusta. It is quiet and only a few minutes from Downtown/State House - surrounded by a 224-acre nature preserve with hiking/skiing trails, picnic tables and much more! 

The available office space is MaineShare’s previous space and it is a good size - bigger than we needed. Easy access for clients/visitors. Great natural light.
  • 153 Hospital Street, Augusta ME 04330
  • 30ft x 15ft (450sqft) square feet.
  • All Utilities Included + nominal fee for high speed internet access. 
  • Use of the common area for lunch. 
  • Check out the facilities! Discounted rental rates on any of their conference rooms, with your first 5 bookings free. 
  • Ample parking. 
  • Lowest prices in central Augusta. 
  • If interested, please call 207-636-7989 or email info@vilesarboretum.org
Consumer Advocates Provide Critical Guidance for Foster Parents
Consumers for Affordable Health Care (CAHC) serves as Maine’s Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program. They advocate for affordable access to health care, such as MaineCare, a critical program to Maine’s foster and adoptive families. Carl and Beth Welch are foster parents (pictured below) who have adopted children in Maine. They depend on MaineCare to cover the health care services their children need and it has made being foster and adoptive parents possible.  
Their toll-free HelpLine’s counselors help anyone who is uninsured, is worried about losing their health insurance, or needs help accessing health care or prescription drugs. Helen Roy, also pictured in the photo, has helped thousands of Mainers gain access to affordable health care.
Volunteer Water Reporters
The meaningful observations by Friends of Casco Bay’s volunteer Water Reporters are making a difference for the health of Casco Bay, especially during COVID-19.

Casco Bay encompasses 200 square miles of water, has more than 578 miles of shoreland from Cape Elizabeth to Phippsburg, and includes hundreds of islands. To help keep an eye on our coastal waters, Friends of Casco Bay depends upon a network of more than 200 volunteer Water Reporters. These volunteers work on their own, practicing social-distancing, but are not socially-distant from the waters that inspire them. Their observational data helps identify and eliminate sources of pollution to the Bay. Visit https://www.cascobay.org/more-eyes-on-casco-bay/ to read more about this effort.
The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence Featured on Maine Calling

The issue of domestic violence was featured on Maine Calling’s July 16th episode. Listen to The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violences Executive Director, Francine Garland Stark and Board Chair, Daryl Fort discuss how the pandemic is affecting survivors of domestic abuse.
2020 Farming to Wholesale Program Grants

Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) has awarded grants to five farms, totaling $238,103, to grow their businesses and reach new markets. The farms participated in MFT’s Farming for Wholesale program and worked with business advisors to research and define business plans focused on scaling up for wholesale markets.
  
The 2020 crop of grantees include Buckle Farm in Unity, Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro, Crescent Run Farm in Jefferson, Hall Brook Farm in Thorndike, and Morning Dew Farm in Damariscotta. This is the fourth year MFT has offered implementation grants for farms that have participated in the Farming for Wholesale program.
60+ Years of Protecting the Nature of Maine

If you enjoy Maine's beautiful outdoors, you can help safeguard it for generations to come. MaineShare’s member group, Natural Resources Council of Maine, has been protecting the nature of Maine for more than 60 years. Learn more at nrcm.org.
 & Help us support the work of these Innovators & Adaptors. Thank you!
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.

Best regards,
Brenda Peluso, Interim Director
On behalf of the The Board of MaineShare
MaineShare | 207-622-0105| giving@maineshare.org | www.maineshare.org