In 2005, a group of citizens in the Ogunquit area went to their families and friends and asked them to “adopt”/sponsor children from the Adoptive & Foster Families of Maine program. AFFM is a small non-profit association that provides support services, training and referral service to all the foster, adoptive and kinship families in the state.
All of the gifts donated go to children in kinship placements. Kinship families are particularly deserving of these gifts because the families tend to be ones for whom there is little financial reimbursement. Most are grandparents that have fixed or minimal incomes.
We have now included children associated with the Frannie Peabody Center. Holiday gifts are a luxury for many in this population. In order to provide gifts for the children, the care providers would need to use money that would otherwise be used to heat their homes or pay for food, utilities, medicines or other essentials.
In the first year of the event the community supported 80 children in the kinship program. In 2006 the community supported 203 children. In 2007 the committee far exceeded its goal and with the support of the community was able to brighten the holidays of 299 children in the Kinship program of AFFM.
In addition to providing the gifts the committee enlisted a driver and truck to help deliver the gifts to 7 strategic pick up sites throughout the state. The group also provided gift certificates for groceries to several families.
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Rick Barber | Rachel Davenport
Brian Linden | Jimmy Lucibello
Normand Paquin | Frances Reed
Suzanne Thompson | Mike Zamojski
PHOTOGRAPHS: Jordan Freeman all rights Reserved