Letter from Rusty Brace
“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could do only a little.”
Dear Friends of Midcoast Maine,
United Mid-Coast Charities celebrates its 70th birthday in August. Since 1942, UMCC has consistently and continuously served the people of midcoast Maine. We have thousands of contributors, some large funders, many small gifts from individual contributors. What is common amongst all of them through the years is their desire and passion to support social services through the 50 agencies in our federation. It’s a sense of belonging, not the size of its population, that makes a place a real community. Every contribution accomplishes that for those less fortunate. Look at your contribution as community investing.
We are responsible to our donors – all of them. There are influences at work on our society which we must consider as we allocate the precious dollars from our contributors.
The first is whether an agency is actively collaborating with other agencies in a common cause. UMCC encourages leaders to work toward the same goals and to measure success together. Take for example home care services. There are three organizations in the coastal region needing funds to perform the same services in contiguous geographical regions. Maine Health, a new regional backbone organization in funding the delivery of medical care, is leading a discussion between these three groups to find common cause. The efficiencies are obvious. UMCC wants to see measured success.
The second is how we serve ‘at risk” people in our communities. Issues such as substance abuse, suicide, violence, delinquency, high dropout rates and teen pregnancy get the attention of many social agencies. Five Town Communities That Care has a direct impact with its proven prevention programs and a record of collaboration among local organizations involved in prevention initiatives. Their success can be measured by data available in published form. Five Town CTC collaborates with at least ten other service providers. We like that and our donors do too.
A third example comes from the teens in many communities. They are the hardest group to get involved in direct service programming with positive results. Trekkers connects young people with adults through the use of travel, community service and outdoor experiential education. The opportunities for collaboration between the Pen Bay YMCA, the Waldo County YMCA, The Restorative Justice Project, The Game Loft and Youthlinks are so apparent and important that we, on behalf of our donors, shall encourage teamwork to achieve a significant social impact for these hard-to-reach teens.
This momentum for expecting greater collaboration is no doubt due to the economic recession and the shortage of government funds. To do more with less is an imperative as fund shortages from all sources show no sign of abating. The public – private formula along with the financial impact of UMCC will encourage those with a common cause to find ways to work together. If successful, the collective impact will be huge.
So when you question whether your contribution to UMCC will make any difference, please know that the agencies UMCC supports work very diligently to bring our communities closer together. Remember Edmund Burke: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” We represent all donors equally. Please give as much as you can. It will enhance our quality of place and quality of life.
Russel W. Brace,
To give a gift of appreciated stock:
Contact your broker and ask that the stock be transferred to UMCC at Charles Schwab DTC# 0164, Code 40, Account# 3910-0956. Please let us know the transfer is underway. Thank you.