Sharing Impact with MaineShare

Sharing Impact with MaineShare

The ongoing impact made by each and every one of our member groups continues to astound me. We have members on the frontline of advocacy to better support Maine families. Others have immediately stepped in to help those impacted by PFAS chemicals found on Maine farms. And others work tirelessly to help Mainers secure appropriate and affordable health insurance for themselves and their families. I invite you to read more about our member work in our November newsletter– please click here!  *Please also note that there is a correction to the phone number listed for Disability Rights Maine in the newsletter– it should be 207-626-2774!*

 

 

Member Spotlight: Maine Access Immigrant Network

Member Spotlight: Maine Access Immigrant Network

As a result of my Public Health education, I have been aware of Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN) for some time now.  They are a key resource and supporter of the new Mainer community, offering culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services to better the health and lives of our community members.  They have become well known and respected for their efforts to provide client-centered access to healthcare and information.  They also do a wonderful job educating healthcare providers, policy makers, and the community about the needs of our multicultural neighbors and how we can best support them.  Their ongoing and expanding services are guided by their 4 program pillars: direct case support services; health education and outreach; public health research; and advocacy.

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, MAIN became a key resource for the community to access health education, COVID testing, and vaccines. Throughout the pandemic they have administered over 1,500 COVID-19 vaccines for community members from all walks of life, speaking 14 different languages.  They continue vaccines in their weekly clinics which also include infant COVID vaccines, flu vaccines, blood pressure testing, and HIV home test kits.  They have also created a valuable community resource, COVID testing and vaccine information translated in multiple languages– those translated cards are shared here.

As part of their efforts to educate future health care providers to provide patient-centered, culturally competent care, MAIN has been involved in a health leadership program led by BIPOC professionals at University of New England.  They also participated in an overnight health career camp for dedicated high schoolers, teaching them about various paths to future health care careers.  MAIN was also honored to host Director of the Maine CDC, Dr. Nirav Shah, in August, to speak about public health issues faced by the new Mainer community, including COVID-19, housing inequality, and other obstacles to care and quality of life.  We are honored to support Maine Access Immigrant Network as a MaineShare member group, and invite you to learn more about their amazing work here!

Images: Overnight health career camp at University of New England; Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the CDC, and the Maine Access Immigrant Network Team

Growing Better Communities

Growing Better Communities

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Portland Greendrinks event last month! We had nearly 300 attendees for the event, and loved engaging with folks about what MaineShare is, how we support our member groups, and the amazing work our groups do to better our community. We look forward to more in-person events, with our member groups, workplace partners, and engaging with the greater community! And speaking of our member groups, we have begun a series to take a more in-depth look at each. The Member Spotlight Series will be found on the ‘News and Events’ page of our website, and the first spotlight is on The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine.  Our Workplace Giving Season is off to a strong start, with the return of many dedicated workplaces, as well as exciting new partners! Read on for MaineShare and member updates here!

Member Spotlight: The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine

Member Spotlight: The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine

Recently, I had the great pleasure of visiting the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC), housed at The Michael Klahr Center on the University of Maine Augusta campus. I was able to meet HHRC staff in person, discuss recent events and current priorities, and tour the inspiring exhibits at the Center. This is a visit I highly recommend.

The Michael Klahr Center is named for Michael Klahr, a hidden child of the Holocaust, and tells the moving story of Michael and his family, and his journey from hiding on a rabbit farm during Nazi occupation to settling down and starting his own family here in Maine. The Center features mementos from Michael’s life, artifacts from the Holocaust, permanent and traveling exhibits highlighting historical prejudice and injustice, but also love and hope. The current exhibit, “Reflections on Genocide,” displays written and visual media reflections from University of Southern Maine and Casco Bay High School students. These works of art are powerful, thought provoking, and speak to the importance of telling the true stories of our history, as that is the only way to not repeat past mistakes and be better citizens of the world.

The founding mission and ongoing work of the HHRC is its educational programming. They have doubled their offerings to 12 programs, all free of charge and available to schools and educators statewide. Their programs include anti-bias offerings to teachers and staffs, helping students to recognize and challenge prejudice and hate, using history as an example of the impact of ignoring bigotry, and building brave and welcoming communities. The HHRC has also developed a robust anti-bias toolkit that is available to schools online, as well as summer teacher workshops and programming for community organizations and Senior College. They serve as a critical resource to schools or communities who are grappling with an incident of hate, and are often called in to provide education and tools for healing that meet the moment.

MaineShare is proud to represent and elevate the work of all of our Member Groups, and we look forward to our continued work with the HHRC. Education is a vital part of uplifting us all and ensuring that injustice is brought to light and challenged. We are grateful for the work of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in our communities, and its aspirational work toward inclusion and dignity for all. To learn more about the HHRC, visit their website!

Images: Educator Alexandra Magnaud teaches a class on Jewish Resistance in the amphitheater at HHRC. Art- Definitions of Light, by Fiona Nichols, Casco Bay High School Class of 2025. Acrylic and paper on canvas, 2022.

Welcoming Autumn with MaineShare

Welcoming Autumn with MaineShare

As the seasons transition, I feel the electric energy all around. Our member groups are increasing their community engagement, with several involved in policy work this important election season. Our workplace partners are re-engaging with MaineShare as they begin their Workplace Giving campaigns. And the community energy was palpable earlier this week at our Portland Greendrinks event, where we were able to share what MaineShare does with a whole new audience.  Read on for more happening at MaineShare, Maine Initiatives, and with our member groups!

August 2022 News: Gathering to Celebrate

August 2022 News: Gathering to Celebrate

Although the season of leisure is fading into memory, opportunities to gather and celebrate are going strong. Many of our members are holding events over the next couple of months to share in success, achievement and joy. These celebrations are so well-deserved, and we encourage readers to read more about these events here.