Thanks to a gift from our friends at Bessey Commons and a grant to spark a few of our volunteer projects, we could give lunch boxes and a freezpak, sturdy water bottles, quick-dry beach towels, sunscreen and bug spray for campers at Ketcha Outdoors. South Portland Food Cupboard and Scarborough Food Pantry chipped in with lots of snacks; a grocery gift card for fresh fruit, veggies, and fixings for lunches was also included.
Kids are heading back to school soon. Together with our friends at the food pantry, we'll be hosting a food drive on Thursday, August 10th to collect healthy school snacks like granola bars and fruit cups, jello and pudding cups that don't need to be refrigerated. Gift cards to grocery stores and snack baggies are always welcome, too!
The Scarborough Farmers' Market is a great place to pick up some delicious local produce, fresh eggs, baked treats, handcrafts, and more. Happening every Sunday 9a-1p at the lot in front of town hall, look for the nonprofit tent showcasing all the good going on in our town, too! https://www.facebook.com/scarboroughfarmersmarket/ In its second season, Scarborough's nonprofit tent is a join collaboration of the Scarborough Public Library, Project GRACE, and the Scarborough Farmers' Market.
The return to school will still have us adapting to changes, 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 pens, erasers, markers, glue and tape - check our SignUpGenius for what's most needed. (printable list by grade level).
Donation boxes will be popping up soon around town (stay tuned for a list!) or bring your donations to the Scarborough Public Library on August 14th. If you'd rather not shop, please consider making a gift today to Project GRACE to sponsor a child's backpack. Thank you!
MEND Health & Wellness of Maine and NRB (Nonesuch River Brewing) have nominated Project GRACE, Holy Cross School, and Scarborough Land Trust as beneficiaries of the Autumn & Ales 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon to be held in Scarborough on Saturday, September 16th. To run, donate, or sponsor, follow this link. This race is perfect for runners of all levels, whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting out. The course starts at the Libby Mitchell American Legion Post #76 and takes runners along the Eastern Trail and through the gorgeous Scarborough Marsh. Project GRACE is grateful to be among this year's chosen beneficiaries.
Anita Chandler (right) president of Altrusa International Foundation of Portland presented the annual "Volunteer of the Year" award to Sharyn Shearer at their club dinner recently. Attending were Project GRACE board president, Alberta Follansbee, and executive director, Steffi Cox.
About 80 area nonprofits were invited to submit nominations, and we're thrilled Altrusa choose Sharyn to receive their esteemed award.
"Sharyn is an exceptional representative of the hundreds of volunteers who are at the very center of our mission to help our neighbors through difficult times, inspire our community to come together for common cause, and do so with dignity, compassion, and grace," said executive director, Steffi Cox.
Project GRACE receives dozens and dozens of thank you notes from recipients of our services; and though addressed to Project GRACE, they are intended for the volunteers like Sharyn. In addition to volunteering for Project GRACE, Sharyn has helped with activities at her church, St. Maximilian-Kolbe, been very active with the South Portland Food Cupboard, and over the years has quietly and steadily made our community a much more caring place.
"Throughout her more than twenty years with Project GRACE, Sharyn has been a steady source of wisdom, helping us keep true to our founders’ vision of a neighbor helping neighbor group that lifts up, rather than enables, that is welcoming and friendly, and gives with generosity," said board president, Alberta Follansbee.
We are grateful to the Altrusa International Foundation for giving us the opportunity to shine a light on the good work being done by Sharyn and our many volunteers. Please join us in congratulating, Sharyn!
Who will BEE the smartest team in town? We'll find out soon! We will BEE returning to the Hive at Ketcha Outdoors (Camp Ketcha) onThursday, October 26th 2023! Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for fun and fabulousness for Scarborough's funniest fundraiser. Team registration and sponsorship information coming soon!
Scholarships, Jobs, Apprenticeships, & Careers
Teens and recent high school grads are invited to stop by the Scarborough Public Library on Wednesday, May 17th (4:30-7pm) to find out about job and careen resources, meet up with employers, learn about scholarships and financial aid for continuing education. All teen attendees 15-19 years of age are eligible to enter a drawing to win a $250 scholarship and gift cards and door prizes, too.
Attention Employers! We're developing a 'job board' for teens to click a qr code with a link to your website or other job board lists to see available opportunities. If you have an opening or internship, please complete our employer registration form here. We'd love for our local talent to find a fit with your company!
SPONSORS & AttendeeS
Maine Department of Labor Career Center, Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), Penobscot Job Corps, Scarborough Grounds, Scarborough Community Services, Ketcha Outdoors, Ron Forest & Sons Fence Co., Black Point Inn, Scarborough Public Safety, Goodwill Northern New England, US Army / National Guard, Journey-Magazine, and more!
A new heating assistance fund called Keeping Cumberland County Warm is available to income eligible Scarborough residents. This one-time grant program is federally funded and allocates $50,000 for each municipality in Cumberland County. Project GRACE is supporting the grant program administration in Scarborough by facilitating the application process. The application period is open from now through April 10. Find all of the program details and a downloadable application here. Paper applications are available at Town Hall or Scarborough Public Library. Project GRACE is also available to initiate an application over the phone; call (207) 883-5111 or visit our volunteers in person at scheduled dates at the Scarborough Public Library.
We hope you're warm and cozy today. There's a lot you can do to make your home warmer, to save you money and fuel. To snug a drafty window or door, draft stoppers are easy to make, but if DIY is not your thing, a rolled up towel works just as well. Or put a layer of shrink film, plastic shower curtain, sheet, etc. between the window and drapes. (If your budget is too tight for supplies, give us a call at 883-5111.) You can pick up a copy of Efficiency Maine's new tip booklet at the Scarborough Library (they're over by the bulletin boards). For long-term fixes, Efficiency Maine can help weatherize your home. FMI here: www.efficiencymaine.org
Have you tried any of these easy and inexpensive fixes? Got any other ideas for us? We'd love to hear'em!
Come one, come all to the 11th Annual Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm!
Saturday, February 11th Project GRACE, the Town of Scarborough, Public Safety and the Fire Department, Scarborough Library and Friends of the Library, Scarborough Kiwanis, Rotary, and Lions, along with the Historical Society and Audubon Nature Center will be at Town Hall and the Public Safety Building. Join us! Visit with your neighbors and help us raise $20,000 for fuel assistance. Stop in 10-Noon at the Town Hall or make a donation curbside.
There will be a bake sale, book sale, informational tables and live music! Bottle drive and a warm sock drive, too! Preorder delicious chili and chowder made by Bread & Butter Catering Co and pick it up at the Rally.
Keeping warm. That's the challenge of a Maine winter. For some of our neighbors, the choices can be stark: eat or heat. Fill a prescription or fill the oil tank. Even lowering the thermostat to near 60 and putting on extra layers isn't enough to make ends meet for some. That's why the Town of Scarborough and Project GRACE will host their 11th annual “Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm” at the Public Safety Building (by Town Hall) on Saturday, February 11th (10-Noon) to help our neighbors heat their homes.
The inspiration behind the Rally is local philanthropist, Eddie Woodin, who has challenged Project GRACE to raise $20,000 from the community to win a challenge gift from him. And in just two hours! It’s a big goal, but with support from the community, it’s attainable! At today’s prices, $2,500 is about seven or eight ‘helps’ of 100 gallons of oil, k1, propane, or firewood. $10,000 would allow Project GRACE to send out about 2,500 gallons of fuel to keep the furnace going for seniors and families who are having trouble making ends meet. The Rally brings in about 60% of the funds needed each season, and when there is extra to spare, the fund also allows Project GRACE to help Scarborough residents with the cost of small home repairs to stop costly drafts or cover a furnace cleaning or tune up to improve efficiency and lower energy consumption.
The Rally is a community event, that can only happen because of the teamwork and enthusiastic support from the Town of Scarborough, Scarborough Police and Fire, SEDCO and the Chamber of Commerce, Scarborough Lions, Scarborough Public Library and so many others. We hope you'll join your neighbors in Rallying together. Whether you can share a little or a lot, each gift helps us keep our promise that we won’t leave our Scarborough neighbors in the cold.
Would you like to host a Giving Tree or start a holiday collection for us this season? More Info. Already eager to set up your tree? Let us know!
UPDATE: THANK YOU! $11,000 was raised on #GivingTuesday to help our neighbors with food and fuel! Thank you very much, everyone!
The Project GRACE Board is excited to announce a #GivingTuesday match for all funds raised for our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Fund from November 25-30, 2022.
KCV Trailer & Container Rentals, with Piper Shores, Woodin & Company, O'Reilly's Cure, and M&R Holdings, will give Project GRACE $5,000 to match any #GivingTuesday gifts or pledges. Every gift, in any amount, will help your neighbors right here in Scarborough. You can double the impact of your gift by helping us meet the match challenge.
All funds raised will go to our two greatest needs right now: fuel assistance and help with groceries for families and seniors having a tough time making ends meet. 100% of the money raised during this match challenge will go to our "Keeping Our Neighbors Warm" fuel assistance fund and to our "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" fund. Your generous donations will help a neighbor keep their homes warm with a 100 gallon delivery of oil, k1, or propane or help a neighbor put food on the table.
Thank you, Michelle Raber State Farm Insurance, for being the first, "like a good neighbor", to make a match gift! And to NT&T/National Telephone & Technology, too! A generous year end gift from Katahdin Trust brought us to goal!
Autumn leaves crunch underfoot as a friend and I walk along a favorite trail through the woods. As I take in the fading greens and rich reds and russets and sharp blues of the marsh on a clear bright day, I breathe in the fresh air, stress slides off of me, cares and the persistent ‘to do’ list are forgotten. I’m filled with gratitude. We live in a beautiful, special place. I’m glad our town had the foresight to protect this patch of land for everyone to enjoy. On my way home, I stop at a farm stand and catch a glimpse of the farmer. As the growing season comes to an end, she takes a solo walk through her fields to give thanks for the harvest and the bounty that feeds her family and her community. We are thankful for the bounty on our tables and the beloved friends and family gathered round to celebrate Thanksgiving.
We hope this Thanksgiving holiday is joyful and plentiful for all our neighbors. Tis the season when we are most thankful and glad of the people and abundance around us. When you pick up a tree from the Rotary stand at Oak Hill, pick up a wreath or poinsettia from the Morrison Center, or shop for treasures at one of the many charity holiday fairs, think of all that good rippling through our community. It's amazing! On behalf of all the volunteers and board of Project GRACE, we want to extend our heartfelt wishes to all our neighbors, with the greatest of gratitude for the love and caring that shines so brightly now and throughout the year.
We are curious to know what you’re grateful for. (Email email@example.com or send a card to PO Box 6846, Scarborough ME 04070). Is there a Guinness Book of World Records for longest list of moments of gratitude? I bet Scarborough could win the title with ease!
A sure sign the holidays are here are all the craft fairs featuring talented local artisans and makers! Check the Community Calendar to save the date for your favorites. Two fairs will donate proceeds to Project GRACE, which help us feed, clothe, and keep our neighbors warm!
In a recent letter to the Scarborough School Board and Town Council, Project GRACE gave a brief overview of some of the ways we are helping students and the schools.
We appreciate all our supporters who invest in our mission, including these sponsors of our back to school Campaign:
With hurricane "Fiona" having just delivered a mighty wallop to the Canadian Maritimes, and now "Ian' bearing down on Florida, we hope everyone will be okay. Here at home, it's a reminder for us to assess our own disaster preparedness. Does everyone in your family know your meet up and communication plans? If you have a go-kit already made, when was the last time you checked that its contents were complete, in good working order, not expired, and ready to use? Visit our resiliency resource page for links and tips on putting kits together for your family (and your pets).
Who will BEE the smartest team in town? We'll just have to wait and see! Although we are disappointed we won't be gathering in person again this year, and it was a difficult decision to postpone again, we will BEE returning to the Hive at Ketcha Outdoors (Camp Ketcha) in 2023! Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for fun and fabulousness on Thursday, October 26th 2023 for Scarborough's funniest fundraiser.
As part of our annual back to school drive, we're partnering with the Scarborough Food Pantry to hold a food drive on Thursday, August 11th. Any nonperishable foods are welcome, especially PB&J, granola bars, fruit cups, and grocery gift cards in any amount to help families get ready for back-to-school. Volunteers will be on hand at the pantry from 4:00-5:30 to receive donations curbside. https://scarboroughfoodpantry.weebly.com/whats-needed
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
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