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May 2020 eNews


Dear Friend,

Have you been spending more time outside? We are feeling grateful for all the beauty that Maine’s spring season offers us – even in these hard times.

While we wish we were seeing all your lovely faces at our annual Changemakers Celebration next month, we are excited to find new ways to connect and be in community as we head into the summer months. You’ll be hearing more from us soon, but in the meantime continue reading to see what we’ve been up to the past month!

In solidarity,

The Maine Initiatives Team


Phil on Maine Public Radio

On May 8th, Maine Initiatives Executive Director, Phil Walsh spoke on Maine Calling’s segment “Ways to Help: Examples of Mainers Helping One Another To Get Through the Pandemic” to highlight the ways in which individuals and organizations are stepping up to help community members in need. Phil spoke about the powerful work of our grantees, the majority of which are led by and serving people of color in Maine.


He says, “If something goes wrong in our society – like this crisis – it goes more wrong for the people who have been pushed to the margins.” He references our COVID-19 Community Care Fund, as well as Mano en Mano’s Estamos Aquí Fund and Presente Maine’s People’s Emergency Fund as places to donate to directly support Maine’s black and brown communities.

In addition to encouraging those that are able to give to support grassroots leaders in this moment, Phil shares some hopeful words for all: “We can all do something. Everybody can do something. Not all of us can donate money, and not all of us can bake food and deliver it. But all of us can reach out to somebody we know and say ‘I’m thinking of you, I miss you, I love you’ and that’s enough sometimes.”

You can listen to the full episode here.

Together in Crisis


It is incredible but true that in the midst of a global pandemic, we have been able to raise $524,420 and give that money away in grants to 57 grassroots organizations led by and serving the folks who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Read about these inspiring grantees here and here. 

But the real beauty of this story is that these grants are possible because of people like you: individual Mainers who have the will and values and capacity to step up and support fellow Mainers in times of need and crisis.

You make our work possible. We thank you. And our grantees thank you. Here are just a few of the many words of appreciation we have received. They are sent to us, but they are meant for you.

“Thank you, Maine Initiatives donors, board and staff. In this incredibly challenging and uncertain moment, it means so much to receive this unrestricted grant support! Thanks to you the MIO team can direct our full efforts to meeting the current needs of young people impacted by incarceration in Maine.”

– Maine Inside Out

“This is wonderful news! We can’t say enough how grateful we are for the support you are giving to Indigo during this crisis and in all ways.”

– Indigo Arts Alliance

“This is so fabulous! Thanks for the great news and for the support.”

– Maine-Wabanaki REACH

“Thank you for delivering this wonderful news. I can tell you it’s definitely appreciated. As you know the work continues … more Zooms than I can count, but it’s paying off, we’re having an impact!”

– Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition

COVID-19 Issue Spotlights Re-Cap

In case you missed our COVID-19 Issue Spotlights this month, you can catch them on our blog! These spotlights are designed to highlight the critical organizing and advocacy work of our grassroots grantees that are responding to this crisis. In May, we covered the following topics:Image

Each issue has a “what you can do section” so check them out and see how you can support these causes!