Tag Archives: donations

Thousands of toy cars yield thousands of kid smiles | Bangor Daily News

Most people’s basements are packed full. Old family photographs, records, furniture, you name it. But Tom Christensen’s basement is full of cars. Often as many as 5,000 at a time.

The handmade wooden cars Christensen assembles in his basement workshop are donated to children in hospitals and homeless shelters, or those with parents in the military or in prison.

“It’s all about making some kids happy,” Christensen says. “There are a lot of kids in tough situations that they didn’t cause. It gives them a time to step out of their problem for a while. Some kids just need to know somebody cares about them.”

The project began in 2007 when the University of Maine professor of electrical engineering technology saw an article in Workbench magazine. It was about the ToyMakers, a Florida organization that provides free wooden toys to children in need.

Christensen founded the ToyMakers of Bangor, and at first, he spent up to an hour and a half creating each car as a custom-painted work of art.

Click here for the rest of the story by Kathleen MacFarline in the Bangor Daily News.


Folk festival planners pleased by size, spirit of crowd | Bangor Daily News

Folk festival planners pleased by size, spirit of crowd | Bangor Daily News.

Despite big donations, folk festival still $226,000 short of goal | Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — The American Folk Festival committee is $50,000 closer to — but still almost $226,000 short of — its 2010 fundraising goal of $960,000 three days before it starts.

“We’ve received a number of donations at various monetary levels, but we received one $40,000 contribution and another $10,000 gift within the last week from two donors who wish to remain anonymous,” said Heather McCarthy, the American Folk Festival’s executive director. “To date, the festival has raised $734,291.”

Still, McCarthy and other festival officials are aggressively seeking to close the funding gap as quickly as possible for the three-day extravaganza, which begins Friday centered on the Bangor Waterfront.

“We’re a little more comfortable with the money we’ve raised, but it doesn’t change the tone of our message to festival-goers because we still feel the sustainability of the event, long-term, depends on educating them on what they’re getting for little to relatively no cost.

“We have to educate people [about] the value the festival provides not just for attendees, but also the surrounding community.”

Click for the rest of the story by Andrew Neff in the Bangor Daily News.

Donations to the Folk Festival can be made by calling Mary Brann at (207) 974-3217 or by mailing them to American Folk Festival, 40 Harlow St., Bangor ME 04401.

‘Maine Friends of Haiti’ is woman’s way of pitching in | Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Web site to link Maine resources

for Haiti aid uses woman’s media skills

Mary Doyle doesn’t have medical expertise or a lot of disposable income for charitable donations, but she wanted to do her part for the people of Haiti and the Mainers who are helping there.

She does have a knack for bringing people together and developing Web sites, so she tapped those skills to create the Maine Friends of Haiti Web site.

The site lists the large number of Maine groups working to help the people affected by the Caribbean nation’s devastating earthquake, which hit Jan. 12, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving 1.5 million more homeless.

“I tried to think of something that could be helpful,” Doyle said. “There was no Web site or group that was tying all the different efforts together.”

Click on the link for the rest of this story by David Hench in the Portland Press Herald.

 And here’s a link to the Maine Friends of Haiti website: http://www.mainefriendsofhaiti.org/mainefriendsofhaiti.org/Home.html

Painted heads raise money to fight cancer | Bangor Daily News

Painted heads raise money to fight cancer – Bangor Daily News.

Students collecting 1 million vitamins for Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Students collecting 1 million vitamins for Haiti | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Local missionaries heading to Haiti to help children

PERU, Maine – Marilee Colpitts and Jamie Dennett had planned a missionary trip to Haiti long before the devastating earthquake on that island nation in January.

Their trip now will include their original goals, as well as helping some of the many children who have fled the capital of Port-au-Prince for Terrier Rouge, a city in the northwestern section of the country.

“We want to bring money for food and other things for the people who are fleeing Port-au-Prince,” said Dennett, who is making her fourth trip to Haiti. “Here, in this country, people go to the state. There, they go to the pastors.”

She and Colpitts, who is making her second trip, are among 14 people, mostly from Maine, who are representing His Hands for Haiti, a nonprofit Christian group based in New Vineyard that finds sponsors for some of the thousands of children who do not have enough food or cannot go to school.

Click on the link to the rest of today’s story by Eileen M. Adams of the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Maine shipmaster says aye to Sea Hunter mission | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine shipmaster says aye to Sea Hunter mission | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Maine Haiti Dispatches | Portland Press Herald

 Local Haiti Dispatches | Portland Press Herald.

Konbit Sante doctor sees Haitians’ generosity amid despair | Portland Press Herald

Konbit Sante doctor sees Haitians’ generosity amid despair | Portland Press Herald.

Haiti or bust, Sea Hunter’s crew keeps eyes on goal

MIAMI — It’s one of those images that stick with you forever.

Ten years ago, on the first of his many seagoing voyages to Haiti, Brian Ryder looked out at the approaching port city of Les Cayes.

Off in the distance at the end of a rickety dock stood a small boy, maybe 4 years old, staring intently back at Ryder.

“He was all stove up – had bloody knees and legs and he was sparsely clothed,” recalled Ryder, a 48-year-old father of five from West Bath.

Asking around, Ryder later learned that the Haitian boy had no mother, no father, no family at all. Like a stray animal, he relied on the people who worked around the dock for his meager survival.

“It was a life-changing experience,” recalled Ryder, who now serves as chief engineer aboard the treasure-salvage ship Sea Hunter.

Late Friday night, as Ryder lay in his bunk aboard Sea Hunter wondering if the ship will ever complete its on-again, off-again relief mission to Haiti, the little boy once again forced his way through the thicket of Ryder’s worries.

“How would my kids feel if their whole family was gone and they’re in this strange place with nobody really to hold them and say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be OK. Don’t cry. Don’t be scared’?” Ryder said. “Man, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.”

It’s easy, in the storm of controversy now swirling around the Sea Hunter and its owner, Greg Brooks, to lose sight of what this anything-but-conventional vessel and its crew are ultimately trying to accomplish.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.

Stymied ship unsnarls sticky knot in red tape

MIAMI — The Maine-based relief ship Sea Hunter took two steps forward and one step back Friday in its owner’s quest to deliver supplies to an orphanage in Haiti.

By late afternoon, the ship’s owner, Greg Brooks of Gorham, confirmed that a licensed shipmaster from Orlando, with ties to Maine Maritime Academy, had volunteered to come aboard early next week and ride Sea Hunter to Haiti and then back to its winter berth in Boston.

The decision by Richard Devins, who holds an “unlimited master” license, could satisfy the Coast Guard’s demand that Sea Hunter no longer sail without licensed personnel aboard.

“It’s amazing that this man donated his license and his time to come down and help us,” said Brooks. “All he asked was that when we get back to Boston, we buy him a plane ticket home.”

Taking another step toward their goal, the crew and local dockworkers finished clearing the ship’s cluttered main deck and taking aboard 10 containers of relief supplies donated by a Florida-based charity shortly after 4:30 p.m.

That beat the dock owner’s deadline for loading the containers. Under a more flexible deadline, the move to another berth nearby finally got under way at 9 p.m.

“Everybody pulled together, that’s for sure,” said Rick Woodbury, 49, of Scarborough, a friend of Brooks’ who volunteered for the mission. “It was a good day, no doubt about it.”

Enthusiasm about the forward progress was tempered, however, by news that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Miami had ordered Brooks to provide, by this afternoon, a complete inventory of all goods taken aboard in Portland and Boston.

In addition, customs officials told Brooks he must pay a duty based on the total value of the tons of clothing, food and equipment brought to the ship in late January by people and businesses all over Maine.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.


Maine businesses unite to find best ways they can aid Haiti

Coalition will provide money,

materials or expertise once

greatest needs identified

Some well-known Maine businesses have formed a coalition to identify needs in Haiti and determine how they can be met with resources from Maine as that country attempts to rebuild from last month’s earthquake.

The leadership of MaineLine Haiti includes Preti Flaherty, Unum, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Reed & Reed, CD&M Communications and Mainebiz. Other companies that have signed on are Baker Newman & Noyes, Organic Fair Trade Coffee and Woodard & Curran.

The coalition will work with Darcy Pierce, senior partner at Envoy, a Maine-based firm that attempts to connect the corporate world with work in developing nations. Members of the leadership committee will meet Thursday to talk with Pierce.

The plan is to have Pierce go to Haiti, work with non-governmental organizations there to identify the greatest needs in the rebuilding, and determine needs that MaineLine could address.

Pierce has been an early responder and provided on-site assessment after disasters, including the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the earthquake last year in Indonesia.

Pierce said he has seen what happens in the wake of a disaster.

“Everybody floods it with money, everybody floods it with food and water, which is important – but there’s going to need to be services and solutions that are out of the box,” he said. “There’s not a great system set up to connect corporate America into that. That’s where this coalition idea came from.”

Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Matt Wickenheiser of the Portland Press Herald.

Learn more about MaineLine Haiti at http://www.maineline.org/.

Benefit dinner tops off efforts at Colby College to help Haiti

Colby students hope to raise

$25,000 for the Stand for

Haiti Campaign of Partners in Health

WATERVILLE, Maine — For Jessica Frick and Yanica Faustin, it’s personal.

The Colby College seniors were among those in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, when last month’s devastating earthquake struck, leading to a death toll as high as 200,000 and leaving hundreds of thousands injured and in need of shelter, food and water.

Now that they are back for their final semester at Colby, Frick and Faustin are among a group of students – led by Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement – who have organized a series of initiatives for the college and greater Waterville community aimed at raising money for Haiti relief. Their efforts will culminate with a benefit dinner later this month.

At that event, Frick and Faustin will speak about their experience of surviving the earthquake and witnessing the devastation while they were in Port-au-Prince, visiting members of Faustin’s Haitian family.

All told, the Colby students hope to raise $25,000, which would be donated to the Stand for Haiti Campaign of Partners in Health. About $7,000 has been raised so far.

“I want people to know,” Frick said. “They need food and water and shelter.”

Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Scott Monroe of the Waterville Morning Sentinel. (Note: I used the link to the Morning Sentinel’s sister paper, the Portland Press Herald, because it included a photo, which the Morning Sentinel did not. – KM)

WHAT: Colby for Haiti Benefit
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 26
Reception, auction: 5:30 p.m.
Dinner: 6:30 p.m.
FOR TICKETS: dfgarin@colby.edu


Maine Catholics raise $424,000 for Haiti

Maine Catholics raise $424,000 for Haiti

15 Maine schools join effort to raise funds for Haiti

By Roxanne Moore Saucier

Bangor Daily News, January 29, 2010

BANGOR, Maine — Fifteen schools around the state have signed up to partner with the Galen L. Cole Disaster Relief Program to raise funds to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

The schools were among the 29 that last week were invited to join in the project because they have been most active in bringing students to Cole Land Transportation Museum to visit the museum and interview veterans through the Ambassadors of Patriotism program.

Galen Cole, founder of the museum and the Cole Family Foundation, said Thursday he was thrilled to have the schools agree to raise money for Haitian relief. The Cole Disaster Relief Program will match what each school raises, up to $2,500 per school.

Cole, who was wounded and saw five of his fellow servicemen killed while in the U.S. Army in Europe, expressed compassion for what the Haitians have suffered, especially the children.

“What those kids are going through down there,” he said Thursday, “is far more severe than what I went through in World War II. If I’d lost my entire family and been 6 years old — think of it.”

Click on this link for the rest of this story.

Breakwater kids launch Haiti relief site

Breakwater kids launch Haiti relief site

Colby students raising money for Haiti

Colby students raising money for Haiti

MaineBusiness.com | Financial Sense: Haiti Donations Immediately Deductible

 MaineBusiness.com | Financial Sense: Haiti Donations Immediately Deductible.

JL Coombs collects shoes for Haiti

JL Coombs collects shoes for Haiti