United Way volunteers at the end of the campaign’s caravan Damariscotta. Contributed photo via United Way of Mid Coast Maine

United Way of Mid Coast Maine launched its fall campaign Tuesday with the Kick-off Caravan of supporters and partners in decorated vehicles traveling from Topsham, through Brunswick, West Bath, Bath, Woolwich, Wiscasset and ending in Damariscotta.

“This turned out to be a really fun, if unusual, way of kicking off our campaign in a very unusual year,” said Barb McCue, who co-chairs United Way’s Campaign with her husband, Bob McCue.

Bath Savings employees outside the Bath branch on Front Street greet United Way’s caravan. Contributed photo via United Way of Mid Coast Maine

“We need to help each other, more than ever with this pandemic, and United Way is the way to do it,” Bob McCue added. “We are asking people throughout Mid Coast Maine to give generously this year, whether they have given before or not, or whether they are asked at a workplace or not.”

The campaign’s theme is “Now More Than Ever!” The goal is to raise $1.65 million to help the people of Brunswick and Harpswell, Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties.

Oasis Free Clinics Director Anita Ruff organized the caravan with United Way staff.

The Kick-off was sponsored by Mid Coast Hospital and included Bob and Barb McCue in a decorated convertible, the L.L. Bean “Bootmobile,” an antique car, vehicles from Mid Coast-Parkview Health and Lincoln Health, other business supporters including FHC and Bath Savings, cars of United Way volunteers and staff, and decorated vans from United Way partner agencies including the Bath Y Veggie Van, Spectrum Generations – Meals on Wheels, Lincoln County Dental and Oasis.

Supporters came out to cheer the caravan on at various locations along the route, including Mid Coast Hospital, BIW-Local S6, Bath Savings branches, Elmhurst, and the Bath Y, according to United Way.

Another kick-off event – a food and diaper drive – is being held Friday, Sept. 18. People can bring donations to United Way’s front door, at 34 Wing Farm Parkway in Bath; donations will be collected from vehicles. People can also donate by texting HELP4UW to 41444. The diaper drive is being held in co-operation with the eight other United Ways in Maine.

United Way Campaign Co-chairs Barb and Bob McCue lead a caravan kicking off the $1.65 million fundraising campaign. Contributed photo via United Way of Mid Coast Maine

United Way of Mid Coast Maine supports 37 local non-profit agencies that provide help for Midcoast residents, helping them improve their health and financial stability, as well as aid for children. Last year, United Way of Mid Coast Maine and its partner agencies helped over 20,000 people with housing, food access, prescription assistance, literacy, senior services, childcare, and more. It also distributed over 111,000 diapers to families in need.

United Way distributed an additional $261,000 this spring and summer to help meet the increased needs caused by the pandemic. More information on United Way’s results in improving lives can be found at www.uwmcm.org.

People can give to the United Way Campaign by texting DONATE4UW to 41444, giving online at uwmcm.org/donate, or sending a check to United Way of Mid Coast Maine, 34 Wing Farm Parkway, Bath ME 04530.

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