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.
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 - visit 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 before August 17th. If you'd rather not shop, please consider making a gift today to Project GRACE to sponsor a child's backpack. Thank you!
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
Project GRACE director, Steffi Cox, recently spoke before the Town Council to offer Project GRACE's very strong encouragement to the Council to include the Scarborough Public Library's $13 million bond question for its expansion project on the November 2022 ballot.
Project GRACE has for the past twenty years been working collaboratively with numerous partners to serve our town, including the Scarborough Public Library. We are very familiar with their programs, resources, and the library space itself. Library staff are uncomplaining and valiant in their use of a space they have long since outgrown; groups like us find it increasingly difficult to reserve a space at the library for our public meetings and events; and the balance between spaces for active (busy and noisy) and passive (quiet) activities is a challenge even for our creative librarians to achieve.
Project GRACE is one of many keen to see the library's expansion plans come to life and who see this as a good investment for the town. Some of the reasons why we support the expansion include:
These are few of our reasons for supporting the library's expansion plans. The library has been serving as our de facto community center, it's a welcoming place, and it's located where it's easy for most people to come together to learn, find connections, and be active and engaged in our community. Councilors, we sincerely hope you will, as we do, offer your unequivocal and enthusiastic support for placing the library's bond on the November 2022 ballot. Let the voters decide.
It's never too late to apply for "Free & Reduced" school meals ... and even though all Maine kids will get free meals this coming school year, it's good to fill out an application to see if you qualify. Brenda at Scarborough School Nutrition can answer any questions (email@example.com or 730-4700).
Project GRACE executive director, Steffi Cox, was recently presented with a "Hometown Hero" award from Scarborough's Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial. Accepting the award from Kelli & Scott McDonald, Steffi said "It's an honor to be recognized for building community, and to be able to take this opportunity to thank the many volunteers and supporters who make up Project GRACE, who are the heart of all we do." The award comes with a donation that will be used to provide humanitarian relief here at home.
The gift from Modern Woodmen paid for several gallons of water that accompanied protein-rich snacks donated by Project GRACE to the Scarborough Police Department community outreach officers so that people living in our community who not have any shelter can stay hydrated and have an energy boost as temperatures climb.
Slip and slide. It's a hoot on a hot summer's day. It’s also what happens to a child’s social and academic skills when school doors close for the summer. Ask any teacher, they’ll tell you kids lose as much as two months of reading and math skills in the weeks between the last and first days of school. Research shows most kids lose a bit over the summer, but low-income kids lose the most because they lack engaging summer activities. Many of those same kids also miss out on healthy meals.
With a camp scholarship, all families can afford for their kids to have a safe, happy, healthy summer.Each summer, local children from low-income families can go to area day camps through stipends made possible by charitable gifts to Project GRACE. We in turn give that money to local camp programs to help offset fees and extend scholarship programs. At its last meeting, Project GRACE's board of directors unanimously and enthusiastically voted in favor of a $3,500 grant to Scarborough Community Services for children's summer camps.
"We make this annual investment because at camp children are in an environment that fosters belonging, acceptance, independence and relationships. This experience not only develops social skills, self-esteem and emotional intelligence, it builds future leaders. And kids get healthy meals and snacks to help keep them on track." says board president, Alberta Follansbee.
On the first day of Spring, we are feeling cautiously hopeful that we have enough in our reserves, thanks to the generosity of our friends and neighbors who turned out to support our 10th annual fuel rally in February ... but we're watchful of the prices, too ... the more they climb, the harder it is for our neighbors to afford the fuel needed to get through a cold Maine spring...and harder for us to stretch our resources, too. For the moment, we're in good shape, ready to answer the calls from our Scarborough neighbors.
It's oh so sweet when friends help each other! The Scarborough Food Pantry had too much peanut butter this week, plus extra soup and mac'n'cheese. We took dozens of boxes, jars and cans to school nutrition's 'backpacks' program feeding families every week. Plus, thanks to a gift from our friends at Saco Biddeford Savings, we added 80+ squeezable grape & strawberry jelly & jams. Sweet!
Hello, neighbors! Are you planning to upgrade your cell phone? Would you have a spare we could give to a senior? We're looking for a couple of basic 4G/5G compatible models in good working order that can be used with pay-as-you-go plans like Tracphone. If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
We send periodic e-newsletters featuring useful resources, links to services, and community highlights. Below are few recent issues. Like what you see? >>Sign up here.
Scholarships, Fuel Assistance, More Meals for Kids, Help With Energy Bills, & More
Fuel Assistance, Free Covid Tests, Emergency Preparedness, & More
Thanksgiving Dinner, Online Calendar, Giving Trees, & More
When temperatures plunge and prices are on the rise as they are now, more than a few of our neighbors need extra help to keep their homes warm. This is the 10th year that Eddie challenged Scarborough to raise money for fuel assistance at the Rally to Keep Our Neighbors Warm. By noon last Saturday, together we had raised more than $26,000 dollars for fuel assistance! At today’s prices, that covers about sixty ‘helps’ of 100 gallons of oil, k1, propane, or firewood. Thanks to the Rally, that’s nearly 8,000 gallons of fuel to keep furnaces going. This amazing community Rally is only possible because of the teamwork and enthusiastic support from the Town of Scarborough, Scarborough Police and Fire, Community Services and Public Works, SEDCO and the Chamber of Commerce, Town Council, Scarborough Public Library and the groups that turn out to lend a hand. To everyone who rallied with us and gave to the fuel fund, the Town and Project GRACE extend their warmest and most heartfelt thanks. Thanks to a very caring and generous community, we can keep our promise that we won’t leave our neighbors in the cold.
Mainers are really good at resilience. We come together as a community when there's a challenge, and we're quick to pitch in to clear away the snow, share a warm meal, and check in with our senior neighbors living on their own. We've got this.
Is your family ready for emergencies? Find out at the Scarborough Fire Department's free program on Februrary 10th. Learn about self-sufficiency during an emergency; assembling an emergency preparedness kit; creating a communication plan; strategies to protect household members, valuables, and important documents; and community resources. >>Register with Scarborough Adult Ed
We hope you're warm and cozy today. 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: https://www.efficiencymaine.com/.../weatherization.../
For nearly 20 years, Project GRACE has coordinated a holiday giving program. This year, members of the Scarborough community donated more than a thousand presents (and warm socks, hats, mittens, and more) to the organization. Volunteers collected the gifts from a dozen giving trees around town including ones at the Big20 Bowling Center, Inn by the Sea, St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, Scarborough Public Library, and many families brought special presents directly to us. More volunteers sorted the gifts, wrapped and tagged them, so that the Scarborough Police Department could take them door-to-door right before Christmas to more than 200 children. It was an amazing effort of joy, good will, and cheer at the holidays, and for everyone who helped, we are grateful.We only wish you could have seen the smiles on the faces of the kids!
Thank you! So many Scarborough neighbors brought food to the pantry at our "fixings' food drive and throughout this week, too. An amazing abundance of food, friendship, and good cheer. Maine Properties, Scarborough Garden Club, West Scarborough United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts, Kids First Dental, TBD Connections, Maine Medical Partners, Scarborough VIPs, and so many other groups and families all gave so generously. Thank you, one and all!
Thanksgiving is all about sharing our bounty with family, friends, and neighbors. We enjoy trying new recipes for stuffing, sparring lightly over whether it is pumpkin or apple pie that’s the perfect slice of heaven, and deciding who will bring the favorite must-have sides to complement the turkey, the star of the show. Sharing with others is a meaningful and celebrated custom that draws us closer together during the holidays, and was the core value which led to the formation of long-standing local food drives, generous holiday donations, and six years ago, the Scarborough Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
Among Scarborough’s longstanding holiday traditions are the annual food drives and special gifts to the Scarborough Food Pantry. For the past 10 years or so, Scarborough Kiwanis Club has been donating about 100 turkeys to the Scarborough Food Pantry and School Nutrition’s “Backpack” supplemental food program at Wentworth School. Kiwanis leader, Ava Adams, says the Scarborough Kiwanis Club “always looks forward to providing turkeys to families in our community for Thanksgiving. We hope everyone has a joyful holiday.”
Local businesses and organizations get involved, too. Project GRACE organizes an annual “Fixings” food drive for the Scarborough Food Pantry. This month State Manufactured Homes' Hillcrest Retirement Community sent a bus around their neighborhood collecting donations; Infinity Credit Union stuffed an SUV to the brim with fixings, and neighbors from all over town brought boxes, bags, and bundles of good cheer and food for their neighbors. Many paused to visit, smiling and glad to be a part of something bigger, a part of a generous and compassionate community.
Throughout the holiday season we savor the time we have with those we love, and we think about others. We give, a little or a lot, whatever we can of our time, so that others do not want, so that our community is made whole through caring. This bright spirit still inspires the hosts of the annual Scarborough Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Usually served as a buffet at Wentworth School, but now shifted to curbside pickup, the many businesses, organizations, and friends in Scarborough lend a helping hand. At the heart of it all are the neighbors who come for dinner or pick up a meal for a friend. “Scarborough is a wonderful community with great fabric from the caring, giving, loving folks who volunteer and help others,” says Eddie Woodin, who was among the first to champion the idea of a community dinner.
This year 1,000 roast turkey dinners with all the traditional fixings (and pie!) will be prepared by Chef Peter Esposito and the School Nutrition team. It is an all-hands-on-deck effort, with volunteers from the Town Community Services, Public Works, Public Safety, and the community are pitching in. “I am so proud of my town and the volunteers who contribute time and talent to this annual event,” says Town Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina. “So many of my constituents would have no Thanksgiving without their efforts. Thank you. Thank you.”
Scarborough Public Safety personnel are among the quiet heroes who don chef’s aprons and help in the kitchen, spend hours keeping cars safely moving during curbside pick-up, and go door-to-door bringing a cheery greeting and meal to neighbors. “Thanksgiving is just another way we serve the community,” say Det. Eric Greenleaf and Sgt. Steve Thibodeau. “It brings us great pleasure to assist those who benefit from a home-cooked and heartfelt holiday meal.”
Linda Halleran, Community Engagement Manager at Town & Country Federal Credit Union, reflecting on their annual gift, says, “Scarborough’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner has grown into a wonderful tradition bringing together local businesses, municipal government, non-profit groups and neighbors to serve the community. In the spirit of our ‘Local Helping Local’ initiative, Town & Country Federal Credit Union is pleased to be a sponsor of this event.”
BlueWave Solar is a new sponsor who stepped forward this year to match the leadership gifts offered by Woodin & Co. and Ameriprise of Scarborough. “One of our core values is ‘we do it together,’ and believe in showing up as a member of the communities we live in, work in, and support,” says Alan Robertson, Managing Director of Solar Development at BlueWave. “We are proud to work with Project GRACE and all the partners to ensure all members of the Scarborough community are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with a holiday meal.”
With the warmest of wishes to all our neighbors, with the greatest of gratitude for the love and caring that shines so brightly this time of year, we wish one and all a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Saco Biddeford Savings Institution, Scarborough Kiwanis Club, La-Z-Boy of Scarborough, South Portland Police Patrolman's Association, Prescott Jamieson Murphy Law Group, Inc., Mitchell Family, Carpenter Family, MedCor Professionals, Scarborough Muffler, Scarborough Hannaford, Nancy Erb Coaching, Glidden Roofing, Ron Forest Fence, Friends & Family of Edward Needham, Friends & Family of Lindsay Manseau, Higgins Beach Association, Prouts Neck Association,Town of Scarborough, and many generous friends and families.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Visit us on FaceBook