PHILANTHROPY 101 AT BOWDOIN

Bowdoin College students are participating in the 2010 Common Good Grant Program, awarding $19,500 to 10 organization is the greater Brunswick community. The program provides students the opportunity to learn about philanthropy while becoming familiar with the work and challenges of nonprofit organizations. This year’s recipients include Brunswick Elementary School to launch their pedometer program, Brunswick Junior High School Music Boosters to support the music and performance arts, Georgetown Central School to purchase a furnace to heat an existing greenhouse, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland to purchase high-efficiency boiler for a home in Freeport, Independence Association to support participation in Special Olympics, Midcoast Maine Community Action for free tax return assistance project for low-income individuals and families, The Morris Farm Trust to fund a garden project for educational purposes at Wiscasset Primary School, Oasis Health Network, Inc. to purchase an EKG testing machine for the clinic, People Plus to implement Project Win-Win supporting area elders, and Volunteers of America Northern New England Inc. in support of a camp retreat for at-risk youth to connect with law enforcement.

PEOPLESCHOICE CONTRIBUTION

PeoplesChoice Credit Union announced a $7,606 contribution to 11 York County food pantries during the 2009 Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. Funds were raised through the Annual Polar Bear Scramble Golf Tournament, bake sales, dress-down Fridays and other events throughout the year.

FURLOUGH HELPS FOOD BANK

A group of Maine State Employee Association chapter presidents spent a mandatory shutdown day visiting Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn instead. The visit was highlighted by the presentation of $1,800 worth of donations recently collected as part of the MSEA Statewide Food Drive. Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution approved nearly $90,000 in donations to more than 100 local nonprofit organizations in the first three months of 2010. Recipients included the Biddeford Free Clinic and the new Community Dental Clinic, Biddeford-Saco Rotary Club, Westbrook Music Boosters, Ronald McDonald House, Saco Community Meals Program, the Salvation Army, Saccarappa School, Maine Cancer Foundation through Mary’s Walk, Mission Possible, Skillin Elementary School, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project G.R.A.C.E and other nonprofits in the bank’s service area.

HANNAFORD HELPS, AGAIN

Hannaford Supermarkets recently announced the ninth annual Hannaford Helps Schools Program has raised nearly $645,000 in 2009 for more than 2,700 schools in five states. In store collections totalled $452,474 and Hannaford donated an additional $1,000 to the top-earning school aligned with each store. Since 2001, the program has raised $6.2 million for schools.

GIFT FROM SPRING HARBOR NURSES

Nurses at Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook recently presented $1,000 to leadership of the Center for Grieving Children in Portland. The gift is part of an annual tradition by the hospital’s nursing staff to show support for the community in honor of National Nurses Week May 4 through 12.

WELLS ROTARY CLUB DONATES

Wells Rotary Club recently donated $500 to the Wells Junior High School Odyssey of the Mind team. The club has been the lead on local fundraising projects such as Wells Activity Center, Wells Harbor Park Pavilion, Wells High School Consession Stand and the Wells Parks and Recreation Pavilion.

FULLER CENTER HELPS FAMILY

The Southern Maine Fuller Center, headed by Patricia Frechette, takes on the repair and rehabilitation of homes for owners who have nowhere else to turn. The program’s first recipient is a single mother with two school-age children. The family will soon be moving back into its home, which the group has refurbished from the ground up. Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution and Bangor Savings Bank have been the organization’s biggest contributors, each donating $1,000. ROTARY HOSTS SENIOR LUNCHEON

The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary hosted its annual Senior Luncheon in April at Events on Broadway in South Portland. Attending the luncheon included 110 senior men and women residents of South Portland Housing. The group enjoyed a buffet, fellowship and a few surprises. The luncheon has been a yearly event of Rotary, formerly held at Christmas time, but last year was changed to spring when the weather is more conducive to being out and about. Rotarians were on hand to service those who needed rides and help with food. Staff from South Portland Housing were on hand to help and they also had made the “surprises.”

U.S. CELLULAR CALLS ON TEACHERS

U.S. Cellular is continuing its commitment to schools with the return of its “Calling All Teachers” campaign. As part of the company’s countdown to something better in 2010, U.S. Cellular is giving $1 million to help teachers erase classroom needs. The company and its local associates are encouraging Maine teachers to register on DonorsChoose.org in May and throughout the summer. When they return to the classroom in the fall, they can then post their classroom projects for potential funding. The pinch of budget cuts has compelled many teachers to supplement shortfalls by purchasing basic supplies like crayons, textbooks and calculators with personal resources. A 2010 national survey said kindergarten through eighth grade teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money every year to help teach our kids. The study also said 70 percent of teachers believe their schools are financially unable to provide necessary teaching tools.

AWARD BY PEOPLE’S UNITED BANK

The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, of which Maine Bank & Trust is a division, has awarded $3,500 to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. The funds will support their “Dancing with Books” educational programming. Present at the check awarding were Cathy Prichard, Director of Development; Suzanne Olson, Executive Director; Reba Short, Theatre Artistic Director; and Samuel A. Ladd III, CEO & Division President, Maine Bank & Trust, a division of People’s United Bank.

HUMANE SOCIETY GETS $5,000

The Coastal Humane Society of Brunswick received a $5,000 grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in connection with their participation in Subaru of America Inc.’s “Share the Love Event” with Evergreen Subaru of Auburn. The grant recognizes the humane society’s efforts on behalf of the homeless pet community.

A BOOST FOR GENDER EQUITY

The Maine Women’s Fund partnered with the Maine Girls’ Collaborative, an extension of the National Girls’ Collaborative Project, which serves to create gender equity in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), to award $5,000 in social change grants to five girls programs promoting lasting social change in Maine. These programs include Hardy Girls Healthy Women, Girls Unlimited, Coastal Studies School for Girls, a project for a group to attend Expand Your Horizon event at University of Maine Orono and Women Unlimited and the Challenge Learning Center of Maine. Wayside Soup Kitchen has received $50,000 — its largest corporate gift ever — from Hannaford Supermarkets to help the organization expand access to healthy food for Portland children and families in need. The funds are part of the proceeds from an annual charity auction, where Hannaford employees, vendors and suppliers raise money for local charities. Wayside has launched its new community meals program at two Portland locations, the Parkside Neighborhood Center on Grant Street and Hope.Gate.Way on High Street. The program will expand throughout the spring and summer.

BATH SAVINGS CONTRIBUTES

Bath Savings Institution is offering new customers a unique way to give back. Every time a customer opens a new eChecking NOW Account, the bank contributes $25 to a local non-profit. Since April 2009 Bath Savings has contributed more than $20,000 to area nonprofits in Portland, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, Brunswick, Bath, Boothbay Harbor and Damariscotta. New eChecking customers can choose from a list of some 50 participating nonprofits in their community.

SEABREEZE SERVICES HELPS CHARITY

Seabreeze Property Services has provided support to four charity auctions this spring that support families and children. They were a Gold Sponsor of the Deering High Golf Classic for the Jimmy Fund, a Bronze sponsor of the Champions for Kids Auction sponsored by the Salvation Army and donated $500 worth of landscape services to the auction. In addition they contributed $500 Gift Certificates to the Cheverus Scholarship Fund Auction and Purses with a Purpose Charity Auction for the Ronald Mc Donald House. Seabreeze Property Services, Inc. offers a year around comprehensive package of property services at many locations throughout Southern Maine.

THE POWER OF POETRY

South Portland’s Memorial Middle School students are receiving a first-hand poetry lesson as part of an innovative new program. The Power of Poetry is intended to ignite and inspire their voices, Nancy Hutto, intervention strategist at the school, said. Funding for the program is being provided by a $600 grant from Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution. Poet Paul Janeczko held a workshop to motivate the students who through the program will write, produce and publish their poetry through a podcast. The recordings will then be shared through the school’s website.