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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Charity Navigator's Cross-Country Tour: Maine

Each week, as part of our Cross-Country Tour series, Charity Navigator features a few of the highly-rated charities working in one of the states. Thus far, our tour has had us weaving back and forth across the country, spending some time in the Pacific, a few weeks in the West, and lots of time in the Midwest. This week we’re finally heading back to the East Coast! This week we’re “stopping” in Maine and learning a bit more about the organizations at work there.

Located at the top of the United States’ eastern coast, Maine is the easternmost state. It’s known for its unique landscapes--from dense forest to a rocky coastline dotted with small sea towns. There are nearly fifty highly-rated organizations serving the state of Maine with programs ranging from environmental protection to health and education to animal care. Keep reading to learn more about a few of the state’s exceptional charities.

Friends of Acadia (Bar Harbor, ME)
Preserves, protects, and promotes stewardship of Acadia National Park

Founded in 1986, Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, is one of Earth's most magnificent places. Its spectacular scenery and abundant recreational opportunities draw more than two million visitors each year, making it one of America's top ten most popular national parks. At 45,000 acres, it is also one of the smallest and most vulnerable. This is why Friends of Acadia exists. As an independent organization, we add a margin of excellence to park and island protection beyond what the government can do by: making crucial conservation grants to the park and communities; recruiting and leading a corps of dedicated volunteers; defending the area against threats and advocating for Acadia before Congress and the Maine legislature.

Pine Tree Society (Bath, ME)
Discovering abilities together

Pine Tree Society helps people in Maine with disabilities lead richer, more socially connected lives. Too often, people with disabilities feel left out, even isolated. With the help of Pine Tree Society, they're not alone! We share a spirit of innovation and desire to discover new ways to break down barriers that many find insurmountable. It started as a bold new idea in 1936 and that commitment continues every day. Whether it's a young girl with Cerebral Palsy discovering her first best friend at Pine Tree Camp, an adult finding his voice with customized assistive technology or an adult with a developmental disability participating in a new and exciting activities at Community Services, Pine Tree Society changes lives.

Mitchell Institute (Portland, ME)
Supporting Maine students pursuing higher education

The core mission of the Mitchell Institute is to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue and achieve a college education. Each year, a Mitchell Scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior from every public high school in Maine who will be attending a two-or four-year postsecondary degree program. Selection is based on academic promise, financial need and a history of community service. The Mitchell Scholarship Program has awarded more than $12 million in financial assistance to more than 2,400 Maine students since 1995. Mitchell Institute support programs create ongoing Scholar involvement in leadership and professional development, as well as community service and mentoring activities.

Natural Resources Council of Maine (Augusta, ME)
Protecting the nature of Maine

Founded in 1959, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to protecting, restoring and conserving Maine's environment, now and for future generations. We work to improve fish passage and protect the health of Maine's rivers, promote clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, protect wildlife habitat and conserve Maine lands, and reduce waste and toxic pollution. To advance our mission, NRCM harnesses the power of science, the law, and the voices of more than 20,000 members and supporters statewide and beyond. We envision a Maine where citizens from all parts of the state and all walks of life are confident that their grandchildren will inherit a place where the water is pure, the air is clean, the forests are vibrant, and native plants and animals are thriving.

Animal Welfare Society (Kennebunk, ME)
Providing humane shelter and care to homeless animals and services and resources to pets and people who love them

The Animal Welfare Society (AWS) is a private humane society formed in the early 1960's. In 1967, AWS became incorporated and has now expanded to a shelter of more than 13,000 square feet, caring for more than 3,300 animals annually. Our service area for adoptions and other services extends throughout Southern Maine. We provide municipal shelter services to 21 communities representing a population of nearly 200,000 persons. AWS, a non-profit organization, exists to provide humane shelter and care to animals temporarily in need of housing, to assist in disaster response and to further the cause of responsible animal adoption and ownership through education and public awareness. The society actively promotes kindness, the elimination of cruelty and neglect to all animals, and the lifelong commitment of people to their pets.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool and Discover feature to find even more highly-rated charities serving the people, pets, and places of the great state of Maine.

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