One of my favorite local community enterprises is Maine Needs, a grassroots collective of volunteers based in Portland who help families in need with material items like clothing, toiletries, and household items.
The Maine Needs creed, ‘solidarity, not charity,’ underscores the people-first philosophy of this nonprofit and the emphasis on helping others not just through the exchange of things but the embrace of community. While all of the material and monetary donations are vital, the most important outreach from Maine Needs may be the mutual respect, the reminder that personal dignity should not be lost in moments of need.
Maine Needs relies solely on volunteers and values the involvement of anyone with any level of interest in serving the community. The organization also works hard to elevate the work of peer groups who operate throughout Maine in settings like homeless and domestic violence shelters, schools, and sober living homes. Right now, there’s a collection initiative for winter clothing and gently used toys. Click here to learn more about the Maine Needs mission and how to donate.