So here’s the deal. We had been meeting for several months to brainstorm ways to connect community members to the children in our community in the most dire situations. We had heard the Brunswick school district steadily reporting an increase in homeless students -in just a few years we’ve seen that number go from 6 to 40. What an utterly heartbreaking statistic. We met to talk about what we could do. We first want to say that it’s always a good idea to support the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program and Tedford Housing. Both organizations do a tremendous amount of work in this area to help people get their most basic needs met. But we thought – what about the specific problems that these kids in our schools are struggling with from finding winter coats, clothes and shoes to school supplies and transportation? There are so many daily challenges for a child without a permanent place to live. Challenges that we know our staff in the district see and hear every day.
We knew that there were a lot of people in our community who want to help, who do help and who if asked for a specific need would step up in a heartbeat. So what was missing? Simply specific information and coordination. So we set out to develop a way for people to know what was needed and where to take it. And so TEAN was born. Just a simple connection.
But, we just were not prepared for the awesome response.
On October 19th we launched this initiative and today 9 days later we have:
- Over 300 Allies who signed up to join the cause;
- 365 FB friends (find us at facebook//groups/1304452932933920/);
- Been covered by the local media;
And we have collected donations from over 26 individuals. We have since provided warm jackets, boots, clothes, kitchen supplies, furniture, lamps, blankets to two homeless families with children in our schools. We’ve heard from the staff at the Hawthorne building that still every day people are coming by to drop off the items we’ve requested. And this coming Monday morning a BJHS student in need will get a brand new pair of shoes.
All this because of you – our TEAN Allies. It is a source of joy to live in a place where so many people want to make our community stronger and healthier.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!