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Every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is recognized around the world, and on social media, as a day of contributing to charitable causes. To highlight the work of Maine nonprofits, Mainebiz asked representatives of nonprofits from around the state about their priorities and plans for 2023.
Michelle Anderson, president and CEO of the Junior Achievement of Maine and a Mainebiz 40 under 40 honoree: "Heading into 2023, Junior Achievement of Maine is working to grow our school district partnerships and deepen our existing ones. By expanding our reach, more K-12th grade students across Maine can benefit from mentor-delivered experiences that connect classroom learning to the real world and show students the endless possibilities for a successful future. We continue to be focused on diversifying and growing our volunteer base so all students can see themselves in the role models visiting their classrooms. Expanding our funding resources will enable us to deliver high-quality learning experiences that focus on career exploration, good money management and building an entrepreneurial mindset. You can’t be what you can’t see, and we want all Maine students to be empowered to become confident adults."
Kelly McCormack, development and marketing manager, Maine Association of Nonprofits: "2023 has great potential for MANP, and we look forward to deepening our existing partnerships and creating new connections with businesses who recognize the value of Maine’s nonprofit sector and why it is essential to ensure its success through meaningful investments."
Tobin Williamson, advocacy manager, Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition: "Looking to the next legislative session, MIRC will continue its mission of advocating for policies that will enhance the lives of Maine's immigrant communities. The most urgent need we face right now is addressing the housing availability crisis, a problem that continues to worsen throughout the state as we head into the winter season and the end of the federal ERA [Emergency Rental Assistance] program. We will also renew our efforts to see expansion of MaineCare eligibility and a push for paid family leave. Other priority issue areas for MIRC include improving transportation access, protecting civil rights and fighting discrimination, and promoting workforce/economic development. Moreover, we look forward to working with our state legislators and community partners to achieve policy victories that will make Maine a better place to live for everyone, including our immigrant communities."
Rebecca Roche, chief advancement officer at the Maine Maritime Museum and a Mainebiz 40 under 40 honoree: "In 2023, Maine Maritime Museum will continue to remove barriers to entry with free admission opportunities. Thanks to support from Bath Savings, admission every weekend in January, February and March will be free for everyone. We're thrilled that this free admission initiative also corresponds with two new exhibits opening, 'Women Behind the Lens' and 'SeaChange: Darkness & Light in the Gulf of Maine.' We'll also be revamping our membership program by adding new perks such as free cruises, which our visitors consistently rave about."
Matt Donahue, chief impact officer, Heart of Maine United Way: "As we continue to grow and evolve, 2023 will be an important and ambitious year for Heart of Maine United Way. We’ll continue to focus on raising critical funds, fostering collaboration and partnerships, and creating lasting, meaningful impact. One in three people across our six counties will feel the positive effects of our work, by helping our neighbors meet their basic needs, reducing barriers and stigma for treatment and recovery services, and ensuring children and their families have the tools and support to encourage healthy development. The coming year will also see our Bundle initiative officially launch in the Maine Highlands region, and expand further to serve more families across our communities."
Jean Sideris, executive director, Bicycle Coalition of Maine: "For 30 years, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine has been working to make Maine better and safer for people biking and walking. As we enter into 2023, we are poised to expand the reach of our bicycle and pedestrian education programming for kids and adults, make strides in improving road design that makes it safer for all users, invest in off-road and multi-use paths and bring people together to enjoy Maine by pedal. We hope you will join us!"
Gale Auclair, development director, American Lung Association of New England: "After the Trek Across Maine was forced to become a virtual-only event during the pandemic, we are rebuilding for 2023. Currently we are finalizing our sponsor list for the ride from June 16-18, 2023, and then we will be recruiting cyclists and volunteers for the 180-mile fundraising ride that is the largest fundraiser in the nation for the American Lung Association.”