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2019 Community Report

90 Years of Impact

Because of YOU, United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) is celebrating 90 years of mobilizing the caring power of our community!

And, as we celebrate our 90th anniversary, we are reflective of our past, present, and future.

In 1929, Portland-area leaders brought together local agencies to share in one large appeal to help people in need, creating the organization we know today. While UWGP’s work has changed throughout the years, we continue to unite and align people, organizations, and resources around our community’s most pressing needs to make measurable, long-lasting change.

We are Greater Portland.

From our volunteer board and committees to ongoing and one-time volunteers, UWGP is where the community comes together to create a brighter future for all.

The stakes are high for the future of Greater Portland. Join us and recommit to building a better tomorrow by ensuring children, individuals, and families have the resources, tools, and opportunity to thrive today and for 90 years to come. We cannot do it without you.

Thrive2027: Goals for 2027

Goal 1: Give Our Kids a Strong Start

Goal 2: Empower Our Neighbors to Thrive – Not Just Survive

Goal 3: Help Us all Live Longer, Better

Success Through Targeted Strategies

Bridging the Gap to Employment and Empowering Our Neighbors to Thrive– Not Just Survive

Greater Portland Workforce Initiative (GPWI), funded in large part by United Way of Greater Portland, works with stakeholders from government, non-profit, and business to develop a seamless and accessible “pipeline” to employment.

In response to stakeholder feedback and local employment trends, GPWI developed The Bridge to CNA/Healthcare Professions. The Bridge provides individuals with barriers to employment with essential training and wraparound support necessary to enter into a clinical healthcare career pathway. Debra Calhoun, a First Atlantic HealthCare Nurse Educator, shared the overwhelmingly positive community response. “Bridge students that become our employees are compassionate people with a great work ethic. Their love of assisting those in need comes through in their positive attitudes every day. The Bridge program plays a fundamental role in creating work readiness.”

ACEs Treatments Making a Difference and Helping Us Live Longer, Better

Through Project BRACEs’ trauma-informed training efforts, MaineHealth and Maine Medical Partners (MMP) are supporting early childhood providers in understanding the impact of childhood trauma on development and long-term health and well-being. BRACEs works to equip community providers with the tools for screening, providing developmental guidance, connecting to early intervention and trauma treatment, and promoting resiliency with caregivers.

MMP pediatric and family medicine sites screened 16,810 patients for trauma over the last year. Of those, 1,497 patients screened positive for a potentially traumatic event (9% positive rate). When a significant event is identified, children are then screened to determine post-traumatic stress symptoms to help determine next steps for treatment. Of those with symptoms, 69% were connected to a Behavioral Health Clinician.

Dr. DiGiovanni, a MaineHealth Pediatric doctor shared, “I’ve seen the new ACEs/Trauma tools help two young adolescents express previous traumas for the first time in their lives. These disclosures led to meaningful conversations with their medical provider and connection to our Behavioral Health provider trained in trauma treatments.”

Rockets + Rovers (Cover Images)

A collaboration between Side x Side and LearningWorks, funded by United Way of Greater Portland’s Brick & Beam Society, has resulted in an afterschool STEAM program integrating art with the study of aerospace engineering that has served over 350 local Greater Portland students.  Second through fifth graders in LearningWorks Afterschool at Rowe and Riverton Elementary Schools have been working with Side x Side teaching artist, Sarah Boyden, to create scientific illustrations of rockets and rovers using ink and watercolor. The interdisciplinary framework offers experiential learning intended to increase motivation and the probability of STEM success. Students utilized the art forms to both problem solve and strengthen their understanding of engineering concepts while discovering interests and expertise within themselves that they may not have known existed. STEAM revitalizes teaching, learning and leadership through student engagement, community involvement and equitable academic opportunities.

Students featured on covers: Kameron, Kendall, & Malak

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