CAMDEN — United Mid-Coast Charities distributed $325,150 to area nonprofits in its annual ceremony held Oct. 9 at the First Congregational Church in Camden.
The largest recipients included Broadreach Family & Community Services ($30,000), Penobscot Bay YMCA ($30,000), Waldo County YMCA ($25,000), and Knox County Homeless Coalition: Hospitality House ($15,000). Other recipients included Area Interfaith Outreach, Belfast Area Children's Services, Knox County Health Clinic, New Hope for Women and Belfast Soup Kitchen.
Founded in 1942, UMCC collects funds for grants supporting more than 50 agencies serving children and families in Knox and Waldo counties. Contributions are divided amongst the agencies with the greatest need. The funds get divided approximately this way: 47 percent to children's services; 24 percent to community service, 17 percent to medical service, 12 percent to educational service.
2014 UNITED MID-COAST CHARITIES ALLOCATIONS
American Red Cross, Mid-coast Chapter, $1,000
The Apprenticeshop, $1,500
Area Interfaith Outreach, $15,000
Belfast Area Children's Services, $8,000
Belfast Public Health Nursing Association, $5,000
Belfast Soup Kitchen, $7,500
ig Brothers/Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, $6,000
Broadreach Family & Community Services, $30,000
Camden Area Food Pantry, $3,000
Expanding Opportunities: Camp Forest, $1,300
Coastal Opportunities, $1,500
Coastal Trans, Inc., $7,000
Come Spring Food Pantry, $500
Cornerspring Montessori School, $1,000
Five Towns Communities That Care, $5,000
Maine Youth Alliance Game Loft, $2,500
Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County $5,000
Herring Gut Learning Center, $3,000
Hospice Volunteers Waldo County, $4,000
Knox County Homeless Coalition: Hospitality House, $15,000
Kno-Wal-Lin Home Care & Hospice, $8,500
Knox County Health Clinic, $10,000
Literacy Volunteers of Midcoast Maine, $6,000
Maine Family Planning, $4,000
Meals On Wheels, $5,000
Megunticook Rowing, $1,000
MidCoast Habitat for Humanity, $5,000
MONEY Athletic Foundation, $1,500
New Hope for Women, $15,000
Partners for Enrichment, $3,600
Penobscot Bay YMCA, $30,000
Peopleplace Cooperative Preschool, $2,000
Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast, $9,000
Rockland District Nursing Association, Inc., $5,000
The Soap Closet, $2,000
Saint Bernard's Soup Kitchen, $3,500
Station Maine, $1,000
Tanglewood 4-H Camp, $10,000
Teen and Young Parent Program of Knox County, Inc., $4,000
Trekkers, Inc., $7,000
University of Maine Hutchinson Center, $10,000
University College at Rockland, $3,750
Vinalhaven Fuel Fund, $3,000
Waldo Community Action Partners, $5,000
Waldo County Home Health Care/Hospice, $7,000
Waldo County YMCA, $25,000
Waterfall Arts, $2,000
Wayfinder School Passages Program, $10,000
Youth Arts, $2,500
Belfast Industries, $5,166
UMCC participates in payroll deduction programs at Fisher Engineering, in Rockland; the University of Maine; Down East Enterprise; Waldo County General Hospital and Pen Bay Healthcare; Camden National Bank; Waldo County YMCA, and more.
All the money for UMMC is raised in Knox and Waldo counties, and last year, was distributed to the 52 local organizations.
The process begins with organizations submitting applications to UMCC, which are screened. Then, each of the 45 directors interviews the organization or agency, and analyzes financial statements.
Most of the time, the directors return to board meetings and approve the request for UMCC funding.
After that, it is the UMCC Allocation Committee that will decide how much money will get distributed to which organization. At the annual meeting in August, the entire Board of Directors votes on the final allocations.
In 2012, UMCC raised and distributed approximately $350,000. That year, UMCC gave varying amounts to different agencies, such as, Broadreach Area Child Care Services $35,000; Area Interfaith Outreach, $13,000; Camden District Nursing and Rockland District Nursing, each $5,000; the Community School, $10,000; Kn-Wal-Lin, $8,500; Literacy Volunteers, $6,000; New Hope for Women, $13,000; Tanglewood 4-H, $10,000; Penobscot Bay YMCA, $32,000, and Waldo County YMCA, $25,000; Restorative Justice, $5,900; and a number of others, including $58,266 in individual contributions to organizations with sum less than $5,000.
UMCC's mission has not changed dramatically from its initial intent in 1942 to collectively raise the standard of living, provide help for those in need, and provide the chance of education, particularly for young mothers. That year, the fledgling organization, then known as United Camden Charities, raised $5,569 and distributed it to Camden District Nursing Association, Camden Community Hospital, the Boy Scouts, Camden Red Cross Workroom, the YMCA and the Barrett's Cove, on Megunticook Lake.
Economic strains then were not that different from today, a time when the Midcoast was just beginning to feel its way past the Great Depression, and World War II was calling young men to serve. In 1942, the population of Knox County was 27,191; Waldo County, 21,159. Today, the population of Knox is 39,708 and Waldo, 38,745. And though the education level and standard of living has since climbed, chronic poverty, drug and alcohol use, abuse and suicide remain a constant.
The founders also set three tenets that first year: All funds contributed were to be distributed; the organization was to remain all-volunteer, with no paid employees; and an endowment pay all the expenses would be established. The next year, those individuals — J. Hugh Montgomery, Edward Cornelis, Charles Seaverns, Francis Gilbert, Bertha Clason, Emma Alden, Clayton McCobb, C.W. Babb, Jr., Helen Hubbard Dodge, Percy Keller, Gilbert Laite, Milford Payson, Zlatko Balokovic — created a $1,000 endowment to pay for organizational expenses.
Seventy years later, the foundation holds, albeit a few name changes. In 1949, the United Camden Charities became the United Camden-Rockport Charities, and then in 1995, it was changed again to United Mid-Coast Charities. That year, the mission also evolved to specify support for charities that provide social services and care to the “most deserving, including medical, physical, social, psychiatric or community educational services.
Its endowment, however, has grown to a robust $1.5 million, thanks to a $500,000 bequest by Delpha Wellborn, who lived on Megunticook Lake. She would donate every year to UMCC, approximately $1,000 to $1,500. Before she died, she mentioned to her niece that her reason to leave a large sum to UMCC was predicated in large part because of those handwritten notes, the correspondence.
Today that $1.5 million endowment is able to generate $40,000 to $50,000 in dividends, which go toward paying the annual organizational operating costs of UMCC. That endowment portfolio sits with Vigilante Capital, in Portland.
UMCC’s 42-member Board of Directors this year includes:
Stephen V. Crane, President
Dr. Carol B. Robbins, 1st Vice President
John P. Williams, 2nd Vice President
Carole L. Martin, Secretary
Eric G. Belléy, Treasurer
Morton D. Alling, III
Mark A. Biscone
Lucile O. Hanscom
Elinor W. Klivans
David V. Laite
Heidi S. Matteo
David C. Tassoni
Lee Woodward, Jr.
Victoria C. Dibner
Todd W. Mackey
Carole L. Martin
Dr. Carol B. Robbins
Dr. T. Richard Snyder
J. B. Turner
Wendy G. Weiler
Eric G. Belléy
Mary Alice Bird
Nancy M. Boyington
Stephen V. Crane
Robert A. Fernald
Allison Lee Maguire
Martha P. Martens
Jennifer Lloyd Mirabile
Allen D. Mitchell
Peter A. Palermo
James C. Patterson
John P. Williams