Tag Archives: nonprofit

Tom’s of Maine launches ’50 States for Good’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Tom’s of Maine launches ’50 States for Good’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Tom’s of Maine’s 50 States for Good website: http://www.tomsofmaine.com/community-involvement/living-well/project-sponsorships

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Maine Friends for Haiti holding ‘raffle’ to benefit Haiti

Maine Friends of Haiti, a group working to get aid to Haiti, is holding a raffle of sorts to spur more giving to the island nation.

Mary Doyle of the group asked that I post a link to the YouTube video that tells of the Maine people and groups that have traveled to help the earthquake-ravaged nation or have given in other ways, from coin drives, school plays, benefit concerts to art sales, solar panels and used sails donated for shelters.

The video also tells of the Maine-Haiti Statewide $1,000 Map Challenge Raffle. If I understand the raffle correctly, the name of each of Maine’s towns and cities is listed on a map and for the name of the community to be highlighted, just one person has to indicate that they have done something , anything for Haiti relief. That person then gets a ticket for the raffle. The ticket’s are not for sale; you get them by doing something for Haiti.

“You have to do something for Haiti to earn it,” according to the Maine Friends of Haiti website. “It’s a raffle that recognizes the caring nature of Mainers. It’s a raffle that challenges every town and city in Maine to get involved.”

Also – and I’ve e-mailed Ms. Doyle about this and I’ll update the information if I am completely off the mark – the winner of the raffle gets to pick which agency helping Haiti gets the $1,000. The winner doesn’t get a prize, per se, simply the pleasure of picking a nonprofit to get the $1,000.

Anyway, below is the link to the video and Maine Friends of Haiti website address.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4zi_c-zI4o

www.mainefriendsofhaiti.org

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Just another day as an unemployed journalist — another step forward

I hate this. I absolutely hate this!

Today makes 14 months since I was laid off from my job at The Record in Stockton, Calif. That is one year and two months; or 56 weeks; or 417 days; or 10,008 hours, give or take; 600,480 minutes.

Give or take. But who’s counting. Phew! …

I’ve written about this before, so I won’t belabor this too much. To make a long story – at 14-month long story – short, I had been a journalist at mid-sized newspapers in Northern California for 22 years. I had been working at The Record since 2006 when I was laid off March 5, 2009.

Underestimating the severity of the downward dive in the economy, I assumed that I would be back to work within three months or so if I made finding a job my job. But three months came and went. And then six months. And nine months. And one year. Now, 14 months.

I have been looking for work every since – at newspapers, wire services, online news services, governments, green industries, nonprofits. I recently applied for a job at a greeting card company, which I’m sure my newspaper buddies will find as ironic as I find ironic. I mean, a long-time curmudgeonly crime and chaos reporter turned curmudgeonly copy editor turned curmudgeonly columnist turned curmudgeonly assistant news editor turned curmudgeonly opinion page editor – you get the point – is not your typical greeting card employee.

Over-qualified or undertrained, that’s been part of my problem. Oh, and trying to find a job in a really shitty economy doesn’t help.

I have applied for hundreds of jobs from sea to shining sea. Seriously, sea to shining sea, and a few places in between. My job search has centered on the West – California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Washington state – and my native New England – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Frankly, I’ve noticed that the greater the distance the job opening, the lower the chances that I’ll even get an email telling thanks, but no thanks, but I keep trying. Everything has to be about making a step forward every single day.

But – again, frankly – momentum has been a problem. The holidays took a bit of the wind out of my momentum sail – too many three-day weekends that stretched into four-day segments when job websites didn’t post new openings. And – again, frankly – there usually wasn’t many job openings to be posted, even without three-day weekends that stretched into four days.

But things are changing. Or so they say. The economy is picking up. Or so they say. And businesses and nonprofits and governments and everyone is hiring or at least planning on hiring. Or so they say.

I have noticed more and more job openings being posted on job websites and more friends and acquaintances are passing along more job openings.

And I am again gaining momentum and applying for more jobs. I even feel confident enough to be relatively selective in my job pursuit – the greeting card application notwithstanding. (Very frankly, that job would be pretty cool, despite the irony of a crusty, dusty newspaperman participating in something as soft and fluffy as the greeting card biz.)

I’m fed up with being unemployed.

I’m hungry to get back to work.

I’m ready, willing and able to get back to work.

I’m just hunting for a break.

I’m sure that I will be working again. I just want it to be now. Now would be good.

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Yawkey Foundations give millions to those who need it most

The Yawkey Foundations made nearly $29 million in grants last year. Below is just a bit from the intro to the organizations’ 2009 grant report, a link to the website and a link to the report.

The Yawkey Foundations trace their origins back over seven decades to the philanthropic commitments of Tom and Jean Yawkey. With great concern for the forgotten and underserved, the Yawkeys took careful steps to ensure that their legacy would live on through the work of the Yawkey Foundations. The Yawkeys were perhaps best known for their longtime ownership of the Boston Red Sox. More quietly, but with just as much passion and commitment, Tom and Jean Yawkey were also engaged in an unwavering dedication to those most in need.

With his last will and testament, Tom Yawkey established the Yawkey Foundation in 1976. Jean Yawkey established the second Foundation in 1982. With thoughtful planning, the Yawkeys ensured that their legacy and commitment to those in need would live on after their lifetimes. The Foundations’ Trustees look forward to continuing the Yawkeys’ efforts to have a positive impact on the lives of children, families and the underserved.

For more information about Tom and Jean Yawkey and The Yawkey Foundations, please visit the Foundations website at http://www.yawkeyfoundation.org/.

Click on this link to read or download the entire report.

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.

I’ve been a very, very bad blogger

It is clear to me that I have been a very, very bad blogger the past couple of weeks.

In many ways I have completely failed. But in a few others I think I have excelled.

Well, “excelled” may be a bit much, so let us agree that I have not done as well at some things as I have others. And I vow to strive to do better at the things I failed to do well, while continuing to do the things that I might have done better than, well, the things I did not do so well. Well …

What I have not done well lately is write fresh, new content for this blog about Maine and Mainers from a perspective of someone “from away.”  It has not been because of so-called writer’s block or want of trying. It simply has been a matter of time and not seeming to have any to write new content.

Frankly, I am still getting over the holiday haze, but now am looking forward to what great and special things will happen in 2010. Top among those things is finding employment. I am hungry to get back to work.

If you have read this blog before – I am a “blogger,” but what are people who read blogs? – you will know that I have been out of work since March 2009. I was laid off after 22 years working in the newspaper industry. And you would have to be from the dark side of the moon not to know that the newspaper industry has been hit very hard the past couple of years – continued high costs of paper and other materials, continued high profit margins for stockholders, lower revenue due to lower advertising sales due to the housing crisis and the auto industry crisis and the national economy crisis.

Leaders in the newspaper industry failed to heed the warnings that came to them a decade or two ago that a new age in information dissemination was coming – the Age of the Internet – and they made little effort to adjust. And what little effort they made came much too late for tens of thousands of very talented people in journalism and for many newspapers which have now long ago shut down their presses. I blame newspaper owners and publishers the most, although everyone in the industry has a share of the blame.

Because of all that I have been looking not only for a newspaper job, but for employment in the nonprofit or government sectors. There is a chance that what they used to say is still true, that writing skills are appreciated in very nearly any field. I am not 100 percent convince that is true given the traditionally low salaries in newspapers and other media, the decreasing salaries in newspapers, other media and for freelancers, and the low wages for “writers” in industries in which writers are not traditionally thought to work. And the disintegration of language because of what passes as “allowed” writing in emails, texting, blogs and other electronic media belittles and besmirches what professional writers do. That is the way of the universe.

And I also have given thought to returning to college to earn a master’s degree in another field, perhaps pubic administration. I believe I would go with an emphasis in nonprofit management over government agency management, because for some time I have wanted to do something for the greater good and working for a nonprofit has the feel of doing something more directly good for people.

What I think I have done fairly well for the past couple of months is to: 1) aggregate news about Maine from various sources, usually from Maine newspaper websites; and 2) post stories and other information about the plight of the people in Haiti following the earthquake last month.

Of the former, I usually have posted a headline of a story of interest and maybe some comment along with a link back to the newspaper’s website. I sometimes use the share feature on newspaper websites and sometimes the effort requires a little more work than that, but I always link back to the newspaper so the newspaper is getting the Web visit and the full credit. I gain nothing from the exercise other than keeping idle hands busy.

Of the latter, the effort to help spread information on what happened, what is happening, and what people can do to help Haitians seems a very tiny effort comparatively speaking. I wish I could do more. It is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and we have an obligation – not as Americans, not as members of one of the richest nations in the world, but as fellow human beings – to do what we can to help. Mainers have represented themselves well in the effort to help Haitians and it makes this Mainer “from away” proud to post those stories of Mainers’ efforts.

When I started this blog only a few short months ago, the intention was to write about and comment upon Maine and Mainers from the perspective of a person now “from away.” I had planned to comment each day.

Things have been hectic lately and sometimes it is a bit overwhelming to try to live up to my own intensions.

But I will strive to be more diligent about updating my blog.

Come back to Letters From Away every so often, won’t you.

Lack of information slows efforts to aid quake refugees

CAP HAITIEN, Haiti — The numbers are slippery; information is hard to get a handle on.

According to Justinian Hospital’s medical director, the hospital saw 130 patients through the weekend who were earthquake victims. At the end of Tuesday, he didn’t have solid numbers for Monday or Tuesday.

There were reports that a gymnasium in the city was set up as a shelter for victims. There may be 300 people there. Or 1,500. Or nobody. And it’s unclear who’s in charge – if anyone is.

Amid the confusion, Nate Nickerson is trying to coordinate efforts to get aid – particularly U.S. medical personnel. Nickerson is executive director of Portland-based Konbit Sante, a nonprofit that has been working with partners to improve northern Haiti’s health care system at Justinian Hospital and at a clinic at Fort St. Michel, Cap Haitien’s poorest neighborhood.

Here’s a link to the rest of “Lack of information slows efforts to aid quake refugees” by the Portland Press Herald’s Matt Wickenheiser.