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United Way: supported organizations

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The United Way of Aroostook provides financial support to organizations throughout the County. On Thursday September 16th, WAGM in partnership with the United Way of Aroostook will be hosting a telethon to raise money for the United Way. The money will be distributed to the several organizations they support, money the organizations say is vital to their mission of helping people in the County.

“United Way is the community, it really is the community, without the community there is no United Way, without the United Way there’s many of us organizations that aren’t here to do the work we do,” said Dixie Shaw, executive director for Catholic Charities Maine.

Dixie Shaw is the executive Director for Catholic Charities Maine, one of several organizations throughout Aroostook County that benefit directly from funds distributed through the United Way of Aroostook.

“I don’t know what we’d do without United Way funding because there’s very little funding available that helps with personnel costs and staffing. And this is hard work and you can’t get volunteers to help with everything, you do need to have hired staff. So, we’re constantly challenged with how we’re going to pay for staff hours. And so many of the monies that are available through grants, etcetera, even contracts, don’t allow to pay staff. So, the funding we’ve received over the years through the United Way has been able to understand that need and help us with that need,” she said.

“Some of the money is used in general, like in our operations I would say. I’m very appreciative of the funds United Way gives us, we have been partnering with them for several years,” said Lisa McLaughlin, general manager for homeless services of Aroostook.

“Through their regular proceeds. They provide support to both our nutrition program and our RSVP senior core program. In our nutrition services, of course with covid, we’ve had many impacts, like the closure of our dining centers and we’ve seen huge increases in the numbers of people taking on that home delivery meals option. Prior to covid, we were running around 4500 meals a month that we would serve. Since then, even recently, even now, we’re over 9000 meals a month. So, the support from the United Way has in part made that possible,” said Joy Barresi Saucier, executive director for the Aroostook Agency on Aging.

“The difference made to the individuals that we serve, so many of our programs here at the Aroostook County action program can not provide for everything that our customers need and there’s often those gaps in between the services that we’re able to provide through those programs and what our customers need and that’s where United Way really comes in,” said Jason Parent, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of ACAP.

“This year has been a big struggle for a lot of the agencies that we work, we were able to raise COVID-19 dollars in our COVID-19 response fund and receive numerous grants and donations through that, and we were able to out over 140 thousand back into the community to help create new programs,” said Sarah Ennis, executive director for the United Way of Aroostook.

And Ennis says the money raised from the telethon will help continue that vital work of filling the gaps for organizations and people throughout the County.

To donate you can visit our website at wagmtv.com and click on the telethon icon or on September 16th you can call 762-2674 to make a donation over the phone.

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