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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 4, 2018
Church awards funds to neighbors

Unitarians award nonprofits

Tracey Hair, executive director of H.O.M.E., left, with Gil Tenney and Leslie Fairbank of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine. Hair’s group helps low income and homeless families.

Photo courtesy of Margaret Beckman

This town’s Community Early Childhood Learning Place and Blue Hill’s Community Compass, an antipoverty group, have received awards from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine. So have three other nonprofits: H.O.M.E in Orland and the Families First Communities Center and the Open Door Recovery Center in Ellsworth.

In all, the Opportunity Fund Awards totaled $100,000. Representatives from all five organizations were at the UUCC on December 17 for a ceremonial presentation of the checks.

“The five recipients of Opportunity Funds have heard the call to be good neighbors,” the Rev. Margaret Beckman said in her homily. She added that because of their example, “faith has moved this congregation into action.”

The Community Early Childhood Learning Place is a state-licensed care center for children 4-months to 5-years. Its curriculum is based on play. The center also has an after-school program. Nancy Sayre represented the center at the ceremony. She chairs its board.

Community Compass works with local organizations, volunteers and “neighborhood navigators” to empower those living in poverty and raise awareness of available resources, a press release said. Bob Holmberg represented the group at the ceremony

H.O.M.E., Homeworkers Organized for More Employment, helps low-income and homeless families. Families First fights homelessness and Open Door helps addicts and people suffering from mental health disorders.