We're all about being good neighbors, and in this year of challenges, we're still thank-full for our community, our neighbors. This year's holiday season will be different, for sure, but we'll still have plenty to be grateful for, plenty to share and celebrate.
Please save the date for our 5th Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner! We won't be gathering indoors at Wentworth as we have in past holidays, but we can still have dinner together - we'll just have to stretch a bit to pass the cranberry sauce, see our smiles through our masks! Please join us! All are welcome!
Who will BEE the smartest team in town? We'll just have to wait and see! We care about you and the well-being of our community, and have canceled the 13th Annual Trivia Bee , which was scheduled for later this month at Camp Ketcha.
Although we won't be gathering in person this year, we will BEE returning to the Hive at Camp Ketcha in 2021 . Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for fun and fabulousness for Scarborough's funniest fundraiser.
Save The Date: Thursday, October 28th 2021
Players in teams of three will test their trivia knowledge and compete for bragging rights! Biddeford Savings will host the Game Hive where you can try your luck for prizes, SoPo Catering will offer delicious catered treats, and the swinging sounds of our hometown "Crooners" will set the mood. Emcee Blake Hayes , our Referee Dwayne , and our panel of esteemed judges "the Nurses" will take center stage as usual!
Proceeds from this marquis event help us keep our neighbors warm, feed hungry families, and enable us to lend a hand to a neighbor going through a rough patch. Please stay tuned for news on how you can support our mission of neighbors helping neighbors. In the meantime, be well, stay safe, and please let us know if you or a neighbor need help .
Community Helps Students Get Back to Class With Confidence
Thanks to caring neighbors, 185 kids went back to school ready to succeed with sturdy new backpacks brimming with school supplies, plus extras for the classroom. Once again we were impressed by our community's generosity and the care put into making the packs 'just right' for the kids. It all added up to a great start to the beginning of this very unusual school year. One parent told us, the packs "had everything they needed, and more" and a dad said, "As a single parent, I couldn't have done all this for my kids myself, thank you." >> More Thank You Notes
We are thankful to all who volunteered their time, brought in a pack, gave supplies, sponsored a child's backpack, or hosted a collection drive and helped us with the drive-through drop-off. We especially wish to thank Ann and the team at Scarborough School Nutrition and the school bus drivers for their help in getting many of the packs to families, and to Scarborough Public Safety for the use of their community room and help hosting the drive-through collection. Our appreciation also goes out to our co-leaders, Kelly Murphy and Jodi Shea, and to volunteers Ralph, Bert, Linda, Deb, Peggy, Hilde, and Sharyn.
So many neighbors helped us make this community effort such a resounding success again this year.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020, provides additional funding for various programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965. SMAA, serving as a pass-through agent for these new federal relief funds, launched a competitive grant application process. Project GRACE is honored to be among those to receive funding.
Have you heard? The Scarborough Food Pantry and South Portland Food Cupboard are open and have made changes to their hours. The Scarborough Food Pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (1:30-4:00 p.m.) and the South Portland Food Cupboard is open Thursday mornings (8:30-11:00 a.m.) and also now Tuesday mornings (10:30-Noon). Both pantries are operating safely with curbside service. FMI and links: https://tockify.com/scarboroughcc/detail/1275/1600315200000
Trivia Bee Postponed to 2021
While it was a difficult decision to make, we have canceled our 13th Annual Trivia Bee fundraiser which was scheduled for October 22nd this year because we care about your safety and the well-being of our community during the pandemic.
Although we won’t be gathering in person this year, we will BEE returning to Camp Ketcha next year! Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 28, 2021 and plan to join us in the hive for Scarborough's funniest fundraiser.
Meanwhile, we will be announcing soon how you can support our goal of raising funds for our mission. With your help, we can lessen the impact of coronavirus on our neighbors.
Thank you for your support during this challenging time for our organization and our community as a whole.
The return to school will be different than usual, but one thing's for certain: kids will need school supplies at home as well as at school. We are gearing up to give families a helping hand. We'll need the usual items: new sturdy backpacks, pencils and paper, erasers, markers, glue and tape (check out our revised list of what's needed). This school year we also hope to offer personal hygiene items like hand sanitizer, hand soap, and masks.
We are hosting a drive-thru drop off on August 30th (2pm - 3pm) at the Scarborough Town Hall / Public Safety parking lot (275 US Route One). Volunteers will be standing by to receive donations curbside! Or make a gift today to Project GRACE to sponsor a child's backpack. Thank you!
Anyone else feeling a little sheepish (ha-ha) about the extra TP stashed away? Bring your spares to our curbside Food & Essentials Drive for the Scarborough Food Pantry on Wednesday, July 15th from 4-6 p.m.! We're collecting non-perishable nutritious food for our neighbors, as well as household essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, dishwashing soap, household disinfectant sprays, and hand sanitizer! Grocery, Walgreens, and ACE gift cards are helpful, too.
This is a curbside drop-off event, and we ask that you please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask, so volunteers can assist you.
The pantry is at the 1st Congregational Church, 167 Black Point Road. More info will be posted here by Friday.
It's difficult to overstate the importance of giving children healthy meals and snacks, and especially so for kids whose families struggle to stretch tight budgets for groceries and other essentials. When kids come to school hungry, it's harder for them to fully participate in school activities and their future is threatened in profound ways.
The recent news from the schools highlighted the many, including Project GRACE, who have stepped up during the disruption to lend a helping hand or make a financial gift. Schools are closed, but our hearts are open, and our kids are getting nutritious meals and groceries for the family, thanks to the tireless work of the nutrition staff and school bus drivers and volunteers who made the pivot to make the 'backpacks' program work when schools were closed due to the pandemic. >>MORE
For many years, Project GRACE has partnered with Scarborough School Nutrition to get more groceries and more healthy meals to at-risk kids. We are pleased to present a grant in the amount of $2,934.25 to the Scarborough School Nutrition program to cover the snacks and milks, school lunches, and second helpings for students whose families were not eligible for the 'free and reduced' subsidy, but still could not afford to pay nutrition fees this academic year before schools were closed. This annual grant is made possible by charitable gifts made to Project GRACE, and compliments other investments in the 'school backpacks program' as well as grocery gift cards and supports provided to families through the social workers and guidance counselors, school nurses, and administrators.
"We're picking up the lunch tab for our neighbors who want to provide healthy meals for their kids, but can't because of set backs like loss of work, illness, or other circumstances that make it difficult to make ends meet," says Project GRACE's Board President, Bert Follansbee. "There is an abundance of good food available, and no child should have to go hungry. Fortunately, our partnership with the schools and the generous support of our donors makes it possible for us to work together to respond with discretion and compassion."
We are particularly grateful for the compassionate and respectful way in which the school staff address hunger among our students. No child goes hungry; no child or parent is shamed. It's our pleasure and privilege to work with such dedicated and caring people, who make it so easy for us to extend the reach of our neighbors-helping-neighbors services into the community.
If you are having difficulty feeding your kids, please reach out to the school nutrition team who is ready to assist. Email email@example.com or call (207) 730-4700. "Our goal is to make sure all students have the necessary food to stay healthy," said Nutrition Director Peter Esposito.
Friends of Project GRACE, including the Loyal Order of the Moose and Town and Country Federal Credit Union, have donated funds to help us distribute simple health kits with 2 masks, 2 pairs of gloves, and a 2oz bottle of hand sanitizer. Thank you! The donation is also being used to offer masks at two 'help yourself' locations: one at the Scarborough Public Library and one at the Post Office. Be well, everyone! (If you'd like to help us keep the Post Office station supplied with masks, please get in touch!)
Project GRACE is committed to being inclusive in our community work, to bringing an end to inequity and oppression in all its forms. Racism and inequality will not go away simply because we wish it would. We have to do the hard work together to create the conditions for justice to thrive. We must open our hearts to one another and strive for unity, choose love, and be the change.
Thank you, Scarborough Rotary and Anthony's Italian Kitchen! With your help we can show our appreciation for Town employees who have had their working hours reduced to 50% to generate municipal budget savings. Gift certificates for a dinner kit for four (homemade meatballs and sauce, pasta, garlic bread, and salad) are available to employees and their families thanks to Rotary and Anthony's and friends of Project GRACE.
Big shout out of thanks to the chefs at the Stonewall Kitchen Cooking School. They've been preparing thousands of tasty meals for their neighbors -- 9,500 in April alone. We're grateful that 120 of their nourishing and delicious meals are shared each week with seniors in Scarborough. Each menu is always a delightful surprise, beautifully prepared, and lifting our spirits -- thank you!!
Many many thanks to all the talented stitchers who are making masks for their neighbors! We especially want to thank the Salvation Army Ladies' Auxiliary, Pine Point Quilters, Casco Bay Quilters, Pine Tree Quilters Guild, The Rock Church, and the many individuals who are sewing masks for family, friends, and causes here and away. Dozens of masks have already been shared with Scarborough Terrace, Public Works, Bessey Commons, Maine Veteran's Home, Scarborough Food Pantry, and Public Safety, just to name a few. Thank you!! **Let us know if you're sewing and need more fabric; the Salvation Army Ladies' Auxiliary has donated several bolts of fabric, and we will happily swap a couple yards in exchange for a couple of masks!**
Town of Scarborough, Scarborough Police Department, and Project GRACE Jointly Awarded Grant from United Way's COVID-19 Community Relief Fund
United Way of Greater Portland has awarded $259,073 in the second round of grants from the Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to 25 local nonprofits, schools, and faith-based groups on the frontlines working with individuals and families disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Project GRACE, Scarborough Police Department and Scarborough General Assistance were jointly awarded a generous and timely $15,000 grant that builds on our community's very long and successful history of working together to give a neighbor a helping hand when it is most needed. These are difficult times for everyone, and this grant will allow the three agencies to respond to urgent and immediate needs due to the COVID-19 crisis. >>MORE
We'd like to give a shout of thanks to El Rayo and Tito's (https://elrayotaqueria.com/) who donated forty complimentary meals to share with our neighbors. DELICIOSO!!
Big shout out of thanks to **Wayside Foods** who are helping us get additional food to the Scarborough Food Pantry and the School Nutrition Backpacks Program. We also wanted to thank the volunteers from the First Congregational Church, Rock Church, South Portland Food Cupboard, the Cardinal family and Smaha's Legion Square Market, and Scarborough Public Works who are getting food to where it's needed. Your gifts to Project GRACE are helping us buy food for the pantry, too. We are all so very grateful for all the community support. If you or someone you know is worried about being hungry, please let us know (www.ScarboroughHelps.org or 883-5111).
We all want to make sure all our neighbors have what they need to stay healthy and safe. Any senior Scarborough resident who would benefit from a weekly check-in phone call can use this Google form to be added to the Town of Scarborough's call list (or call 730-4150 to sign up). Town Councilors and staff will make all the calls, and the Town won't share this number with any other group.
People across the country, and here at home, are putting their talents work, sewing masks. Project GRACE volunteers are collecting and distributing homemade masks. Scarborough Terrace would like masks (the kind with pockets for filters). If you'd like to help, let us know!
>>You can drop off your masks at Scarborough Terrace, or mail them to Project GRACE at PO Box 6846, Scarborough ME 04070, or contact us.
We are grateful to Public Works who earlier this week helped us move dozens of Hannaford Helps food boxes and juice from the pantry to Wentworth for the ‘backpack’ program providing food to families.(PG added some hand soap, too.)
If you are worried about feeding your kids, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message for School Nutrition at 730-4700. Also, area food pantries including Scarborough’s are remaining open, and are following health experts' advice on taking precautions. Visitors will be asked to stay in the parking lot, and will be served curbside.
There is plenty of food available for now, thanks to everyone who donated a Hannaford box at the holidays or gave food and money. We will keep you posted on needs as they arise. >>Food for Thought & Action Update 3/18.
There have already been a lot of offers of help coming our way, and some requests for help, too. We've set up a network to manage offers and requests. We'll get through this together!
Governor Mills, Maine Legislature Approve Unemployment for Displaced Workers >> WCSH 17.March
Governor Mills has introduced, and on March 17 the Legislature passed, emergency unemployment legislation that temporarily extends eligibility to unemployment to workers that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.>>MORE @ DOL
Maine PUC Temporarily Stops Utility Disconnects >>WMTW 16.March
The Maine Public Utilities Commission has ordered all utility disconnections be halted until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.The emergency moratorium covers electric, natural gas, water and phone service. >>MORE @ PUC
IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadlines >> 18.March
All individual and other non-corporate tax filers may defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. Corporate taxpayers are allowed a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. “Americans should file their tax returns by April 15 because many will receive a refund...” said Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
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