Welcome to Portland Old Port’s new monthly blog – Community Corner the March 2022 Edition! We will be using this space to highlight ways to connect to your fellow community members through giving back, volunteer work, mutual aid, and more!
Have a fundraiser or cause you’d like us to know about? Email [email protected]
Preble Street Food Pantry updates – access to food pantries in Portland area
Preble Street’s food pantry temporary location at the old Maria’s Restaurant space is ending on March 25, 2022. Beginning April 1, they will start a mobile food pantry model and are working to finalize the locations that will be included by collaborating with area hotels and housing groups. They are also continuing to look for a new location for a brick and mortar pantry space. Stay tuned for updates on their website, Instagram, and Facebook; as well as see their Street Outreach Collaborative Team’s morning and afternoon mobile meal delivery schedule here.
In addition, Preble Street is not the only local food pantry serving people experiencing problems with housing, hunger, and poverty. Additional organizations include St. Luke’s Cathedral, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Project FEED, Presente! Maine, Maine Meal Assistance, and more. Good Shepard Food Bank has a helpful map of pantry resources here and Wayside Food Programs community resource map is here.
Maine Needs community closet has switched to Spring donation requests!
Maine Needs collects donations of gently used, thoughtfully sorted items that are needed by community members experiencing being unhoused, low-income, domestic violence, and more. When you have clothing and household items that you no longer need, consider donating to them instead of dropping off at Goodwill! They just ask that you read through their lists to see what they currently are in need of as they have limited space, and that you organize the items so they are easily sorted onto shelves (no black trash bags please).
With the warming temperatures they have changed over to accepting Spring-weather donations, and also have a bunch of different type of kits you can put together to donate as well. Learn more via their website, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also join their Facebook group where case workers, employees of local schools, non-profits, shelters, and mutual aid organizers will post looking for specific items that Maine Needs may not have in store.
If you are in need of any items yourself, such as clothing, household goods, food, gas cards, etc. and don’t have a case worker or are connected to an organization that can make a request to Maine Needs they also have a Facebook group called “Better Together” for each county in the state. Here is a link to the “Better Together – Cumberland County” community.
Local South Sudanese Acholi Family Grieves for Lost Family Member
Last month we touched on the conflict currently taking place in South Sudan that is impacting the Acholi people in Magwi County. There is a large diaspora population of Acholi here in Portland and many are hurting as they hear the updates coming from the region. One family has learned that their niece was sadly murdered, leaving behind her six month old daughter. As they grieve they are trying to raise funds to send to the child’s Grandmother to help care for the child. Any help is appreciated and if additional ways to support our local Portland-area Acholi community members become known, we will share them in subsequent Community Corners.
Upcoming LGBTQIA+ Community Events
Fourth Annual Trans Talent Takeover and Art Auction
A collaborative event between MaineTransNet, Indigo Arts Alliance, and the Equality Community Center (ECC)! Join them for this showcase at the ECC on Saturday, March 26 between 6:30 and 7:30PM to enjoy an evening of excellent art, community, and support transgender Maine artists. For more details, click here to see the Facebook event.
Sapphic Saturday Deck Party
This is a social meet up even geared towards women, non-binary, and gender fluide members of the community, but all are welcome. The deck party will take place at Liquid Riot overlooking the wharf on Saturday April 2 from 7-10PM. 100% of ticket sales are donated to Equality Maine. For full details, click here and learn more about Sapphic Saturday on their Instagram.
Concert for Ukraine – a benefit for Partners for World Health
“A benefit for Partners for World Health to ensure that urgently needed medical equipment and supplies will be sent to Ukraine and to Ukrainian Refugees in Poland. Featuring performances by: Jason Spooner, Joe K. Walsh, Caroline Cotter, Dominic Lavoie, Angelikah Fahray, Jeff Beam, Clarisse Karasira, and more!”
This benefit at One Longfellow Square will help raise funds needed for medical equipment and supplies in Ukraine and in Poland for Ukrainian refugees. Click here for full details and how to purchase your tickets! To donate directly to Partners for World Health’s Ukraine initiatives: bit.ly/Partners-Ukraine or Text help4ukraine to (207) 656-5261
Learn about Shalom House and its mission to provide essential community services
Whether you know nothing about the Shalom House or want to learn more, this talk will go into the rich history behind their mission to provide essential community services to adults living with mental health conditions. This event is free and will be held in person and via a Zoom webinar, but registration is required for online participants.
For full details and to sign up for the Zoom, click here. You can learn more about the Shalom House and its programs, or make a donation, via their website as well.
Raising Funds to support a Mom who was in Covid Ward at Maine Med for 60+ Days
The Lerman family continues to raise funds to support their mother’s care, including the hope to hire an in-house nurse, after her extensive stay at Maine Med with two bouts of Covid-19. They’ve raised $8,629 of their $15,000 goal and their mother’s story has been featured twice on the news.
Their mother’s doctors had been preparing the family to take her off of life support due to the way her case was going a few months ago, but days before they’d scheduled to do so – she woke up! Back at home now, reunited with her cat, her family continues to care for her as she recuperates and needs some community support to help in the process.
Munjoy Hill Fire GoFundMes continue to raise funds
We have yet another GoFundMe to highlight for a family impacted by the Munjoy Hill Fires on January 29. In our first Community Corner we provided an update on all that we had been previously aware of and some additional funds have continued to be given.
This fundraiser is for Khena Ok, her twin sons in second grade, and her daughter in eighth grade. The funds are being raised to help them with the costs of a hotel stay while waiting in limbo after the fire. Out of the $5000 goal, $1180 is left to raise. Click here to access the GFM and make your donation.
Thank you! Tune back in for April! We’ll be highlighting ways to connect with local Earth Day activities and ways to connect with your community!