Initiatives

United Way of Eastern Maine leads strategic initiatives that bring partners together to tackle some of the most stubborn and complex social issues affecting individuals and communities in Eastern Maine. These are issues that have multiple causes and can’t be solved with a quick-fix solution. UWEM works to solve the issue at its core. With our donors, volunteers, and like minded organizations, United Way coordinates efforts around clear goals. The result is lasting change that improves lives and community conditions today and future generations.

The Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition

The Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition also known as EMCA$H, is a coalition of more than 20 organizations providing free tax preparation and financial literacy services to low to mid-income families and in our service area.  Each year, the Eastern Maine CA$H Coalition provides free tax preparation services from February through April at over 30 locations throughout our five county service area.  To find a tax preparation site near you call 2-1-1, or visit www.cashmaine.org.

2-1-1 Maine

United Way of Eastern Maine is proud to partner with and support 2-1-1 Maine, a statewide free health, economic, and human services information and referral service. 2-1-1 Maine operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is staffed by trained call specialists. The database can also be visited online at www.211maine.org. 2-1-1 Maine provides a connection to those who need help and those who give help. To learn more, click here.

FamilyWize

United Way is the official partner of FamilyWize® Community Service Partnership.  FamilyWize has helped reduce the cost of prescription medicine for children, families, and individuals by $1 billion and has set a new goal of helping 25 million people by 2020. UWEM distributes pharmacy discount cards at no charge to organizations and individuals.  UWEM has been participating in this program since 2012; use of the card and savings passed on to individuals as a result has increased greatly since that time. Learn more and get your FREE card at https://familywize.org/

Food Security

UWEM administers local FEMA Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) funds to social service agencies in Penobscot County. EFSP funds provide food, shelter, and general assistance to those in need.

Over the last 15+ years, UWEM has co-managed the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Food Drive in the Bangor area in cooperation with the local NALC postal workers union. NALC is the largest food drive in the United States. UWEM supports publicity efforts, volunteer recruitment, and organization leading up to the event, and manages the administrative functions and volunteer management on the day of the event. Over the past eight years this program has generated 700,000 pounds of food, translating into nearly 600,000 meals valued over 1.2 million dollars. This one-day food drive has utilized close to 600 volunteers contributing nearly 2,000 hours of service valued at $45,000.

Through our Pantry Project, we distribute shelving to participating business partners from January through April. The food collected each month is distributed through Good Shepherd Food Bank to area food cupboards. Over the past five years the program has raised 41,000 pounds of food from 98 sites throughout Eastern Maine.  This translates to approximately 33,000 meals at a value of $71,000.

Since 2012, UWEM has partnered with the Maine Community Foundation, health and human service organizations, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, businesses, schools, and towns to collect food and donations during the month of March to benefit the food cupboards of Hancock County. Since the program’s inception, 30,000 pounds of food have been collected, translating into 25,000 meals (approximately $63,000 value).  $37,500 in matching grants have been generated (UWEM and Maine Community Fund) and $1,600 in community donations have been raised. Over the life of the effort, 355 businesses have participated (an average of 118 per year). 160 volunteers have been engaged in the effort providing 755 hours of service, a cash value of $13,000.

Volunteerism

Eastern Maine Volunteer Coordinators Peer 2 Peer Network

The Volunteer Center coordinates this Peer to Peer network that brings together volunteer managers from throughout our service area for volunteer management training, presentations, round table discussions, and sharing of best practices.

Service Enterprise Initiative

While organizations continue to face an environment of doing more with less, the most successful nonprofits excel in volunteer engagement practices that lead to greater organizational capacity and community impact.

We are pleased to be partnering with Points of Light and the Maine Commission for Community Service to offer the Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI). The SEI goes beyond standard volunteer management training by empowering nonprofits to more effectively address community needs and scale their operations by transforming the way they engage community members.

To learn more about SEI or to reserve your space in the next training, contact Janelle at 941-2800 ext. 212 or janellew@unitedwayem.org.