Around the Brunswick area, community members are beginning to gear up for the upcoming holidays. Shops put items on sale, donors are engaging their charities and nonprofits are busier than ever. During this holiday season, Tedford Housing staff also become busier than normal in order to accommodate the influx in community engagement, but more importantly, the increase in need as the months grow colder.

In order to combat the rising need during the colder months, Tedford Housing has decided to recognize National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 15-22 to raise awareness in the community for Tedford Housing and our mission. Individuals and families, now more than ever, need community support due to the pandemic and winter quickly approaching. The goal of this awareness week is to awaken the community to the growing need among our neighbors.

Throughout National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week, Tedford Housing is hosting multiple pandemic-friendly events. On Nov. 16, Community Awareness Day, look for “We Support Tedford Housing” signs around the community. These signs have been staked by some of Tedford’s business supporters who are committed to our mission. Two Days of Action, on Nov. 20 and 21, will engage a few loyal volunteers in the community to rake leaves at the emergency family shelter and sort donations before the holidays.

Tedford Housing is partnering with Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program for two of the week’s events, including Advocacy Day and the Q&A Session with Executive Directors Rota Knott and Karen Parker. Advocacy Day, on Nov. 18, is a chance to make your voice heard. Anyone in the community can request and send these pre-paid postcards. The back of the postcard says, “Did you know it is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week?”, in order to stimulate conversation and awareness to whomever the card is sent. If you would like to request postcards, please email The Q&A video will be available on social media on November 19th to answer all of the questions asked over the past few weeks.

Despite the warm weather that was here this week, Thanksgiving is still right around the corner. Tedford Housing is partnering with the Brunswick Rotary Club and Pathway Vineyard Church, in Brunswick and Lewiston, to gift holiday cheer among Tedford’s individual and family clients. Both the Brunswick Rotary Club and Pathway Vineyard Church have been long-term supporters of Tedford’s holiday gifting program, and have made a real impact on our clients and guests the past several years. Rotary members donate gift cards to each of Tedford’s individuals so they can purchase food for Thanksgiving, while parishioners create Thanksgiving Bags for Tedford’s families to cook their own meal.

Last month, Beci Turner, a Tedford supporter, sponsored a holiday gifting drive for Tedford’s families through Usborne Books. All of the money raised will purchase books that will be gifted to children of all ages this Christmas. The books will be distributed during the Christmas Store held in early December that is hosted by Pathway Vineyard Church in Brunswick. The Christmas Store hosts not only Tedford’s family households, but other families in the community. Tedford Housing’s families who benefit from this Christmas Store include those living at the emergency family shelter, in supportive housing, and those receiving outreach services. Pathway has always made a great impact on families throughout the community by allowing each member of the family to “shop” at the store and select items to gift other family members. Watching families who are experiencing homelessness hand-select unique gifts for their children and loved ones is a magical experience. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and The Emergency Action Network have graciously donated gifts to the Christmas Store this year. To help Tedford’s families this Christmas, please visit our website or social media for more information on holiday gifting.

As the months get colder, many of us tend to think of the holidays, but for some members of the community this time of year brings anxious questions of, “What if I don’t have enough clothing to keep me warm tonight?” or “Where is the warmest place to sleep outside in this town?” Help us change that conversation by raising awareness in our community. Community engagement and partnerships strengthen Tedford Housing’s mission to empower people to move from homelessness to home. Tedford appreciates those who are already involved in the conversation, and we look forward to those who will join us next.

For any questions about Tedford Housing’s community engagement, please contact me at or call (207)729-1161 ext.101.

Blaine Flanders is the community and donor relations coordinator at Tedford Housing. Giving Voice is a weekly collaboration among four local non-profit service agencies to share information and stories about their work in the community. 

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