Mission Commitment During the COVID-19 Challenge – A Note from the President

Mission President John Zavodny

BAR HARBOR, ME — Through ice storms, fire, world wars, recession, and countless Nor’easters, the Maine Seacoast Mission has supported Maine’s isolated communities on the outer islands and in Downeast coastal communities since 1905. Never is Mission support more needed than in times like these.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for the people supported by the Maine Seacoast Mission. While isolation may slow the spread of the virus in our communities it also limits access to food, to services, and to community. From groceries to health care to human connection, everything is more dear and more difficult to come by in remote communities. During times of crisis, satisfying basic human needs gets harder still.

Compounding the challenge, the very community events, meals, and activities that help sustain our kids, families, and elders – like the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty, EdGE afterschool programs, and Food Pantry – become a source of concern and must be considered with great care and offered, as possible, with real creativity.

With creativity and commitment, the Maine Seacoast Mission will do everything we can during this crisis to continue to provide access to healthy food, community building, programs for kids, housing rehabilitation, health care access, island support, spiritual support, and access to other help. Programs for children might be online or on paper, food might be distributed differently, and community building might be accomplished through phone visits, but the Mission will continue to serve. 

The Mission Commitment During COVID-19. And always.

* During this time of extreme challenge, to the best of our abilities the Maine Seacoast Mission will:

* Continue to be guided by our mission of service to Maine’s isolated communities on the outer islands and in Downeast coastal communities.

* Prioritize the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, community members, and families.

* First address basic needs, then continue to strengthen individuals and build community through services, programs, and individual support.

* Conduct our work in a spirit of hope, creativity, and compassion to ground, reassure, and inspire each other and our communities.

* Support our staff through the Mission’s compensation and benefits system, foster creative ways to continue work, and facilitate employee self-care.

* Coordinate with other agencies and follow the guidance of medical and emergency management authorities and encourage others to do the same.

For 115 years, the Mission has worked to build community in some of Maine’s most isolated communities. Now those communities are being tested. 

In this time of need during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine Seacoast Mission will continue to strengthen Maine’s isolated communities on the outer islands and in Downeast coastal communities to the best of our abilities, in a spirit of hope, and in whatever way possible.

Please take care of yourself, your families, and your community in this challenging time. If you can, also consider a gift to the Maine Seacoast Mission so we can continue our work with Maine’s most vulnerable communities.