26,445 adults and children receive cash assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
5,000 households in Cumberland County alone depend on food pantries every month.21% of food pantriesreport that theirnumbers have morethan doubled.
82% of food pantries have had to make some type of cutback, either giving out less food or even turning people away.Given these dire circumstances, what can one do?
Working for Portlands Preble Street Resource Center, "creating solutions for homelessness, hunger, and poverty" can help.
Making special deliveries can be enlightening.
Putting food in abag can put asmile on your faceand on the face ofsomeone else.
Wearing a stylish apron with matching gloves can be good clean fun!
Working with generous local businesses and others can be rewarding!
Many hands do make light work, a few tears, and full pantries.
Reflections• “They were desperate for something I take for granted and feel entitled to have.”• “It really opened my eyes not only to appreciate the people in my life but also to take advantage of these opportunities. Who am I to throw away all I have when these people are thankful for an extra piece of bread?”• “The most valuable lesson for me was I realized how much I have. Its one thing to say I have a lot, but it was another thing to see so many people with literally nothing.”• “There were so many people, and it broke my heart to see how little they had. They depend on this one place for everything.”
Off the coast there once was a farm in Fairﬁeld, Maine. During the late 1800s it became Good Will-Hinckley, a place with a mission "to provide a home and helping hand for young people and families."
Recently thingshave changed. This"home to youthfacing complexacademic, social,behavioral, andemotionalchallenges" recentlybecame MeANS . . .
the MaineAcademy ofNatural Sciences(MeANS), theﬁrst charterschool in thestates history.
Dr. Glenn Cummings,Director of Good Will-Hinckley, now leads GWH and MeAN
Dedicated faculty and staff now work with and learn from one another to make their experiences that much more rewarding and sustainable, four days a week, all year long.
At the L. C. Bates museum, Deborah Staber,curator, still shares the unique qualities of the "coolest" place on campus.
Students now go to school and present theirlearning through performances and projects.
Gilford, Hall, Bancroft, and Pike Cottages still house boardingstudents in the small, family settings George Walter Hinckleyenvisioned as "a home and helping hand for young people."
This beautiful, historic homestead continues to open its doors to the people of Maine.
It continues to carry on traditions like The Festival of Trees because . . .
Reflections• “At the beginning, I did not have any expectations for what the day would be like. I was solely curious about each and every one of the kids’ stories.”• “To my surprise, they were just kids and easy to keep up conversations.”• “These kids are genuinely nice people, and they deserve a second chance so they can have a shot at a bright future.”• “Getting to know the students was extremely interesting because I learned about what school was like at Good-Will Hinckley for them. The student life is a lot different here than at New Hampton School.”• “Even though we were outsiders and complete strangers, I felt the girls were really inclusive of us,. What caught me by surprise was they didnt expect us to help clean up after dinner.”
So ask yourself, "Do you like helping others?"
"Do you like viewing things from a different perspective?"
"Do you like to create colorful crafts so kids can use their imagination and learn?"
"Do you know how to make liquid gold?" "Do you know how tomake natural sweetness?"
"Did you know aproduct can turn into a project . . . . . . and a project can turn into a passion?"
"Did you know there are many ways to view success?"(Some are justsweeter than others!)
"Do you like the idea of getting your hands dirty and your back sweaty to plant a seed that could make the world greener?"
"Do you like to visit places of educational, historical, political, and social signiﬁcance?"
"Would you like to stay at a place known locally as the Blue Roof Inn?"
"Would you like to relax and to have fun with friends?"
"Would you like to take a hike and to explore old stone walls?"
Kids Helping Kids 2013 If so, join us for some smiling after a week of hard workand lessons learned. Join us next year for Project Week 2014!
Lasting Reflections• “We did a lot of bonding with the group."• “Overall on this trip I learned to be accepting and less judgmental. I learned it is important to help . . . I also learned the kids here at the school are just like us, and embracing them and accepting them is all they need.”
Lasting Reflections “It made me feel good that people trust me enough and can rely on me to carry them somewhere. It taught me sometimes we can count on our friends if we need help.”
Lasting Reflections • “It was an amazing learning experience, and it really made me appreciate everything I have. The whole time we were at dinner, I couldnt stop thinking about how I shamelessly ordered steak tips while someone in Portland is struggling to afford a piece of bread. After this week I will always keep in mind when I think I have it bad, someone else out there has it much worse.”
Lasting Reflections “Prior to this I had a preconceived opinion about Maine. I thought everyone was rich and there was no way there would be poor people needing food the way they did. As soon as we arrived I quickly realized I was wrong.”
Lasting Reflections “We met as a group and discussed the contrast in the way students learn and present at Good-Will Hinckley compared to New Hampton. After our dinner we had a ﬁnal meeting and discussed the differences in our dinners the ﬁrst and second night. We also opened discussion about what we believe the school needs to do to improve and how we could help.”
Lasting Reflections• This brought me much joy because we were helping students express themselves and come out of their shells. During all of this, we realized the Good Will-Hinckley students were similar, in many ways, to us. I really enjoyed hearing all of the talent and music that was shared, and I really hope to participate in the festivities again.”