December 2015 Table of Contents
Message from the CEO
Spotlight on Grantee: Maine Inside Out
Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State
Maine Public Radio Cake Raffle
Save the Date: 2016 Leadership Luncheon


This time of year, holiday music fills the airwaves, hallways, elevators and stores as people bustle about preparing for family gatherings and celebrations. A classic tune like "Over the River and Through the Woods" evokes the scene of a horse-drawn carriage piled with gifts and an eager family riding through a snowy forest to a warm house aglow and through the windows, a fire blazes in the fireplace, smoke rising up through the starry night sky.

But not all of Maine's people can look forward to such a festive, peaceful and bountiful gathering. And not all grandmothers are able to welcome family into inviting, peaceful homes. This fact was brought home by an article in the Bangor Daily News recently, from the Kaiser Health News.

The article highlights the prevalence of abuse in this particularly vulnerable population, and the role that lawyers, bankers and doctors can play in identifying elder abuse. I can attest as a lawyer and former trust officer, this was an area to which we were attuned, and educated on the ethical, responsible and effective means of addressing concerns when we had them. Maine has the fastest growing population of elderly in the United States, and women continue to have comparatively higher longevity rates, so this becomes an area of focus for the Maine Women's Fund, and was evident in our 2013 Needs Assessment and Asset Mapping project. We know the rural nature of residential areas contributes to the isolation that makes abuse and exploitation possible.

In 2015, the Fund made a grant to support the Elder Institute of Maine's Transitional Housing and Outreach Initiative for elder victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation, including domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. The support provides critical services to a particularly vulnerable population of older women, to escape abusive relationships and living situations and live free of violence. Another grant was made to Seniors Plus, for Money Matters for Women, providing older Maine women necessary personal financial skills for their economic security, including aid in household budgeting and avoiding exploitation. These were just two of the eleven grants made possible in 2015 by your support. Click here to learn more about all of the 2015 grants. Thank you for making it possible for us to help improve the lives and personal safety of Maine women and girls-especially for those most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

As we all celebrate the friends, family and warmth of the holidays, please consider a year-end gift in support of the Fund's work to build a Maine where women of all ages thrive, so communities prosper. Click here to give online or to learn about the many ways you can help invest in economic security for Maine women & girls visit our website. Best to you and yours for a joyous holiday season!

Sarah Ruef-Lindquist 
Spotlight on Grantee: Maine Inside Out

2015 grantee Maine Inside Out is a Portland-based arts and social justice organization that collaborates with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to create and share original theater in and outside correctional facilities. MOI uses theater as a tool for overcoming oppression, finding voice, storytelling, redefining how participants see themselves and how others see them. The Fund's grant supports their theater-based reintegration and transitional employment program for young women incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland.

"It's being around love." - Sophie M.

Sophie M, age 20, has been working with Maine Inside Out's (MIO) transitional employment program since her release from Long Creek in June 2015. She meets with MIO staff weekly, helping to organize and host monthly open mics as well as other Maine Inside Out community events. During the months since her release, Sophie has faced some incredibly challenging life circumstances. She recently shared some reflections about working with Maine Inside Out in the community.

The powerful nature of Maine Inside Out's work was demonstrated when a group of the Fund's board members, staff and donors visited the Long Creek Youth Development Center in November for a 2015 site visit. Watching the girls perform a play they wrote themselves about their own experiences, and the opportunity to hear directly about their participation in MIO was profoundly moving and demonstrated the Fund's support of work creating positive social change. The girls explained how transformative the experience has been teaching them to speak directly with confidence, and how to create change in their lives.

Women of Maine: Highlighting Triumphs from Around the State

As the conflict in Syria deepens, the plight of refugees fleeing that war-torn area continues to deteriorate. In the face of Syria's suffering Partners for World Health, a South Portland-based non-profit, is collecting and preparing thousands of pounds of medical supplies for shipment to Syria to help treat traumatic injuries, as well as baby bottles and mattresses to meet the basic medical necessities of a displaced population.  
Elizabeth McLellan in Bangladesh, June 2015 
Elizabeth McLellan, (a former Nursing Administrator and resident of Portland) founded Partners for World Health to meet the challenge of worldwide medical supply deficiencies that left the U.S. with a surplus of medical supplies and the developing world with desperately under-resourced healthcare facilities. Since 2007, McLellan has built an organization of dedicated volunteers and a worldwide transportation infrastructure that efficiently redistributes discarded medical supplies to vulnerable populations in places like Syria, Haiti and many other locations in Africa, South East Asia and Central America. Read More... 

Maine Public Radio Cake Raffle

"Because when women and girls thrive, communities prosper."

Thank you to everyone who let us know that you heard our sponsorship message on Maine Public Radio this fall! The winner of the generously donated, custom, 8-inch, three layer cake from Lisa Parker Cakes For All Seasons is Martha Huestis of Kennebunkport! 

Lead Sponsor:


The Maine Women's Fund has awarded grants totaling $98,000 to organizations working to build the economic security of Maine women and girls. This includes grants from donor-advised funds, resources established by individuals who make recommendations as to how the funds are spent. Read More...



The Maine Women's Fund thanks MaineShare for its ongoing support. MaineShare makes it easy to donate to more than 30 statewide organizations working every day to make Maine a better place to live. For more information, please visit the website.

On behalf of the staff and board of the Maine Women's Fund, thank you for reading and for all you do to support Maine women and girls.

Office locations:
74 Lunt Road, Suite 100, Falmouth, ME 04105 | 41 Mechanic Street, Suite 328, Camden, ME 04843

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