Dear Concerned Neighbor,
My name is Donna Dwyer and I am the CEO of My Place Teen Center, a nonprofit, in Maine.
When COVID-19 hit our area, we adapted very quickly to meet the surging and urgent demand for food. And care! In early March, we pivoted from our usual mission of year-round teen programming and established a daily mobile food pantry for ANYONE/ANY AGE in Westbrook.
Here’s our daily reality: Six staff are preparing 1,200+ family-size dinners + 220 snack kits per week. We are offering them curb-side from 1 pm – 4 pm to ANYONE/ ANY AGE, and then deliver to local neighborhoods for drop off. This drop-off takes four hours. The current procurement, production, and delivery of food is an unfunded enterprise – all funds must be raised concurrently. The free meals consist of a protein, fresh vegetables, a starch, and fresh fruit – we are committed to serving high quality, fresh ingredients – nothing processed or low-grade.
There is a two-fold, urgent need for these home deliveries:
1. The food aspect. We are pairing enough in our to-gos to feed the family as well as providing hygiene products. We’ve become a mobile food pantry for the community – five days per week.
2. We are making wellness visits. This is a very dangerous time for some of our kids and our parents as they have no buffer from each other. When school is open, and we are open, they have a safety net for 12-13 hours per day. Now they have no buffer. Some of our kids already come from depleted homes, during a normal economy, but now they have nowhere to go during this scarce economy! During these visits, we let our kids, and their parents, know WE CARE ABOUT YOU! So a face-to-face (albeit 6-foot distancing outside the house) “how are you doing” is critical. We are also making 50 phone calls per week.
Here are two articles about how quarantines are affecting families during this time.
- Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Will Rise During Quarantines. So Will Neglect of At-Risk People.
- Child Sexual Abuse Reports Are On The Rise Amid Lockdown Orders.
Finally, as we dive into being a mobile food pantry, we are also thinking about the kids’ future. And the vitality and health of My Place Teen Center. So securing funds to not only meet emergency needs now as well as to ensure the Red Doors reopen once it is safe, is tantamount to our outreach to you.
Financial support is urgently needed; a 15-passenger van is urgently needed; please consider an unrestricted gift to help us stay on the road now and the ability to reopen our Red Doors in the future.
As the Portland Press Herald put it, “Teen Center steps up, but needs help.” Read more.
Meeting emergency needs. Remaining on the frontlines. Protecting kids in the community.
Please take good care,
Yes! I would like to help in this time of need!
Click below to make a tax deductible donation to the MPTC Fund:
Thank you for your support!