Dear Friend,


This spring sure is moving fast! I cannot believe that we are already transitioning to May, with dreams of warmth, planting seeds outdoors, and dipping our toes into fresh and salt water coming closer to reality. The joys and wonder of the earth have been abundant for me this month, starting with the unforgettable total eclipse, moving into discovering the shoots of perennials poking out of the ground and up toward the sun. I just can't get enough of the greens and yellows of spring this year!


Abundance is also something I feel in community gatherings and events. This month, I was invited to speak on a panel at the Maine Bankers Association 2024 Bank Expo about community give-back opportunities in the banking sector. This was a great opportunity to speak to a new audience about MaineShare and connect with this field about benefits of corporate social responsibility.  And early in May, MaineShare will have a table at the Inclusion Maine conference which brings together a diverse mix of folks in the state committed to a welcoming and inclusive workforce. Connecting with others about MaineShare and the work of our partner organizations is always so exciting! To hear more updates about this work, and how you can support it, please read on!



With appreciation,




Amanda Scarpone (she/her/hers), Director of the MaineShare Program

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Exciting Updates and Events!

Celebration of Transformation- 2024 Annual Meeting

You are invited to a Celebration of Transformation, SMWC’s 2024 Annual Meeting, on Saturday, May 4th - just a few days after International Workers’ Day! The Annual Meeting is SMWC's biggest event of the year, when we honor our past work while looking to the future. This meeting will include:


  • New member orientation
  • Leadership elections
  • Deep updates on our Care Worker campaign
  • Political education on International Workers' Day
  • Drumming and an art build


To register, sign up here - language interpretation, childcare, rides, and lunch are all provided!

Maine Alliance for Arts Education holds Performance Conference

Maine Alliance for Arts Education held a “performance conference” on April 9th in Orono.  The conference showcased the work of over 130 high school students from seven non-arts classrooms at Bangor High School, Brewer High School, and Hampden Academy.  The students performed in original theater and dance pieces created through artist residencies with professional dance and theater teaching artists.  The original performance pieces were created through a physical exploration of relevant social topics and classroom curriculum, truly integrating the arts into non-arts classrooms.


The program, entitled Building Community through the Arts, was created and initiated by Maine Alliance for Arts Education in the year 2000 in response to the tragedy at Columbine High School. The program’s collaborative process remains as timely as ever and endeavors to help break down social barriers among students, raise aspirations, and positively impact the classroom learning environment.  For more information about Maine Alliance for Arts Education and Building Community through the Arts, contact Jeri Pitcher, Education Program Director, at jeri.pitcher11@gmail.com.


Image: Brewer High School performs their original theater piece entitled, "Guilty or Not?" about physical, emotional, and psychological boundaries.

Basic Money Management class: sessions start in May!


ProsperityME is starting sessions of Basic Money Management in May. These sessions will be held in English on Zoom on Monday evenings, 5:30 – 7:30, May 13 – June 17. 

 

In this five-session Basic Money Management course we cover goalsetting, budgeting, banking and managing your credit. Participants can register online using this link. We will send a zoom link before the class to all registered participants. We are proud to share that our course is approved to help prospective homebuyers who qualify for the FirstGen program with MaineHousing. 

New Venture is Hiring!

Join our team! New Ventures Maine is hiring a microenterprise development program manager. This is an opportunity to manage a team that creates an empowering environment for Maine people to

define and achieve their small business goals.

Destin, a member of the New Ventures Maine microenterprise team, put her job satisfaction into

words recently, saying, “I can honestly say that I love my job and I love the people I work with

and the people I get to help.”


The microenterprise team manager will organize and manage program delivery; support, train,

and supervise microenterprise development staff; and provide small business and asset development training, technical assistance, and support to the target population, including under-resourced individuals. The manager will also develop and maintain organizational partnerships that contribute to small business development. The position is based in Portland. Job salary is low- to mid-50s and the position offers a flexible work schedule with office hours, some travel, and some evening and work-from-home hours.


For more information and to apply online visit the UMA hiring portal:

https://bit.ly/NVMEMicroDevelopmentProgramMgr

Lots of spring events!

Spring has sprung here in Maine and Maine Audubon has programs to help you enjoy and understand seasonal changes happening all around us! Whether you’d like to get outside and enjoy a bird walk or two, transform into your favorite pollinator and join us for a parade, or enjoy learning about the natural world from the comfort of home, Maine Audubon has the program for you this May.

Come along and see what you can see!

 

  • World Migratory Bird Day at Fields Pond in Holden/Greater Bangor, May 11
  • Warbler Walks at Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, May 6-10 and 13-17, 7-9 am
  • Spring Bird Walk at Hamilton Audubon Sanctuary in West Bath, May 14, 4-6 pm
  • Wednesday Bird Walks at Scarborough Marsh, every Wednesday May 15- September 30 at 8 am
  • Accessible Beginner Birding at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, May 18, 10 am-12 pm
  • Spring Bird Walk at Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary in Georgetown, May 28, 4-6 pm
  • 8th Annual Pollinator Parade at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, May 11. Dressing up as your favorite woodland creature or pollinator is encouraged!


And finally, if you prefer a program that you can participate in from the comfort of your home, check out our virtual program Maine’s Magnificent Trees: Their Role in Ecosystems on May 22 from 5-6:30 pm. The program is free but registration is encouraged.


For more information on these and other Maine Audubon programs and events, head to maineaudubon.org/events!

Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Please join us on Sunday, May 5th at 3:00 for a Yom HaShoah commemoration in the Michael Klahr Center. This will be our first in-person gathering since the pandemic—it feels special. Together we will share readings, poetry, prayer and music. During this solemn occasion, we will be patient, pausing between each item to absorb the words, reflect, and feel the enormity of so much loss. If you have a reading you would like to share, or are interested in reading one of our pre-selected pieces, please contact Erica Nadelhaft. 


Following the service we will linger for conversation, fellowship and refreshments. We hope you will join us to participate in this reverent day for Jewish people around the world. Register here.

Upcoming Events with Maine Council of Churches

MCC invites the community to join in a discussion about the documentary film, “BUILDING HOPE,” which brings a compelling message to audiences around Maine and beyond: there is hope for ending the suffering of homelessness. This film was Maine-made by Emmy-nominated director Richard Kane who will join us for an online panel discussion, along with others portrayed in the film, at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 2. For more information and to register, please click here.


On May 10, MCC will host a benefit comedy night featuring stand-up by Chip Leighton. Chip is famous for his hilarious commentary on parenting and marriage, including funny texts and driving quotes from teenagers, and things he needs to apologize to his wife for. He’s also the author of the upcoming book, “What Time Is Noon? Hilarious Texts, Ridiculous Feedback, and Not-So-Subtle Advice from Teenagers.” To learn more and buy tickets for this excellent evening, visit here!

MFT Launches New Resources to Help Farms Adapt to Climate Change

With several seasons of drought followed by one of the wettest summers on record, farmers are already experiencing impacts from climate change. There is lot of enthusiasm from Maine farmers to grow their farm’s climate resilience – but planning and implementation take time and resources, and every farm has unique climate risks and goals. This spring, Maine Farmland Trust launched a Climate Resilience Program with a suite of new and expanded farmer resources, thanks to a $1 million, 3-year grant through the 2022 TD Ready Challenge.


With MFT’s new Climate Impact Assessment Mapping Tool, farmers can get insights on potential risks that climate change might pose to a specific farm property, helping them plan for the future of a farm they own or are considering buying. And MFT is using the mapping tool to deepen its long-term impact by integrating climate risk data and resilience planning into its efforts to protect and steward existing farmland, help new and expanding farmers access suitable farmland, and support the profitability of farm businesses.


MFT also awarded the first round of our new Climate Resilience Assistance Grants of $5,000 each to help 19 farms in MFT’s Farm Network respond to current climate-related problems in ways that increase their future resilience. Later this year, Maine farmers can apply for MFT’s Climate Adaptation Planning program, a 3-6 month program that focuses on whole-farm resilience, from practices to infrastructure to landscape, and includes a $5,000 grant opportunity. And there’s even more climate resilience programming to come! Read the full story on MFT’s blog. 



Pictured: Six River Farm in Bowdoinham, photo by Bridget Besaw

Tell Your Representative: Adopt the Relief for Farmers Hit by PFAS Act!

The Relief for Farmers Hit With PFAS Act (S. 5070/H.R. 9186) is bipartisan legislation that is designed to create a federally funded safety net for farmers thrown into chaos by the impacts of 'forever chemicals.' This bill would support impacted farmers through the short- and long- term economic impacts of discovering contamination including temporary income replacement for farmers thrown out of production, infrastructural investments to help farms pivot to safe production systems, medical monitoring for farmers, farm workers & family members who have been directly exposed to PFAS and options for relocation for severely impacted farms. For more information and to learn how you can advocate for this important legislation, please click here.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Conference, Resilience and Success, in June

DRM's Deaf & Hard of Hearing Conference, Resilience & Success, will take place on June 7th, 2024 at UMaine Augusta. This conference centers on empowerment in employment.  Attendees will learn from experts in the field, participate in workshops, and connect with others in the community. DRM is thrilled to welcome Dr. Amie Fornah-Sankoh as the Keynote Presenter. In 2023, Amie made history as the first Deaf Black woman to earn a STEM doctorate. This milestone reflects her journey of perseverance and achievement, reaching its culminating point in her selection as the featured speaker for her university's 2023 Graduate Hooding Ceremony. Her most fulfilling realization is that she can excel as a scientist and a community advocate.

 

The day will then transition to a panel of Deaf & Hard of Hearing people to share experiences and stories about good work experiences, bad work experiences, and the skills they’ve found to be the most useful for surviving and thriving at work.

 

After lunch, attendees will join workshops to learn about assistive technology, apprenticeship, employment rights, and working and benefits. Registration is now open for individual tickets.

 

DRM is also seeking exhibitors and sponsors. To register as either an exhibitor or a sponsor, complete the registration form or contact jendicott@drme.org.

Trust to Trail Joy Ride

The BCM's first ride of the season is the return of our Trust to Trail Joy Ride Fundraiser on Saturday, June 29th. The Trust to Trail Joy Ride is the PERFECT way to celebrate summer in Maine while supporting the Bicycle Coalition of Maine! 18 miles of supported road riding will take you through quiet Kennebunkport roads and reward you with breathtaking views of Horseshoe Cove, Granite Point, and Goose Rocks Beach. Unique elements of the ride include "shorecuterie" on the beach, a Rachel Carson Preserve trail, and an after ride party at Kennebunkport Conservation Trust with a picnic lunch, band, games, raffle, and more.


All proceeds of the ride support the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s education and advocacy efforts. Our educational programs are offered for free statewide and our local, state, and advocacy efforts work for all Mainers to provide access to safer (and better) walking and biking in Maine. Participation on this ride ensures our work can continue! Register today! And if you want to support a rider and/or join the festivities without riding, no problem! We have a meal ticket only option in registration.

Buy tickets now: Raise for the Ruckus!

You're invited to the 3rd Annual Hardy Girls Raise for the Ruckus fundraising event! Plan to join us for an inspiring evening at The Viles House in Augusta on May 21st to celebrate the brilliance of girls and nonbinary youth. All tickets include: delicious appetizers from OPA Waterville, complimentary wine and beer, and music! You'll also have the opportunity to learn about and support Hardy Girls’ powerful year-round programs for youth and youth-serving adults. For more information and to buy tickets or sponsor the event, please click here!

Spring Market!

Viles Arboretum will welcome the season on Saturday, May 11th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a spring market and plant sale featuring more than 35 artisans and craftspeople from the area. This event also features the sale of plants and trees for your spring and early summer planting, as well as music, entertainment, and food!


Learn more here: https://fb.me/e/3nOlCGqfG

Did you lose your health care coverage?

Did you lose your health care coverage? You may be eligible to enroll at the CoverME.gov Marketplace outside of Open Enrollment, or enroll with an earlier effective date, by qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period. To qualify, you must first experience or have experienced a qualifying life event. 


Common Qualifying Life Events Include (but not limited to): 

  • Losing MaineCare
  • Lost or will soon lose comprehensive health coverage 
  • Becoming a Maine resident 
  • Adding a dependent (through birth, adoption, or fostering a child) 
  • Getting married 
  • Getting divorced or legally separated


Important reminder: The day your coverage ends can affect when new coverage begins. If you wait until the last minute (like the end of the month) to shop for or enroll, you may experience a coverage gap. You have 60 days from the qualifying life event date to enroll in or update your insurance through CoverME.gov. 


Call Consumers for Affordable Health Care at 1-800-965-7476 for expert guidance and support in exploring your health insurance options.

Donate!

 Support MaineShare and our partner organizations!

This is just a small sampling of the critical work MaineShare's partner organizations do to build a better Maine. Please join us in supporting and learning from the great work of ALL of our partner organizations!

MaineShare| amanda@maineinitiatives.org | https://maineinitiatives.org/maineshare

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