Improve Youth Mental Health this Giving Tuesday!

The first snowfall of the year brings excitement and joy to children across New England, when school has been cancelled and the world seems to slow down as neighbors shovel out from under the fresh snow.

Bundled up in snow pants, boots, and winter gear, kids stay outside for hours building forts, making snowmen, and sledding down the hill, until their fingers and toes are numb. Heading back inside, they thaw out with a piping cup of hot chocolate that mom just made.

As the winter continues and the sun is shining brightly over fields packed with layers of glistening snow, they might pile into the car and head to Pineland Farms to enjoy a family day of cross country skiing, heading to the café afterward for a hearty lunch.

Perhaps, on a brisk Friday night, they head over Goddard’s Pond in Bath and dig through the piles of second-hand skates to find some that fit. They meet up with their friends to play ice hockey under the lights, with their favorite music playing in the background, then head into the warming hut for a snack and a drink.

With each experience, they are making memories that they will remember for a lifetime. They are building stronger bonds and connections with each other, their friends, and their community.

Without even knowing it, they are improving their physical health by staying active, and improving their mental health by getting outside for some fresh air and exercise while doing something they love.

Yet, for many children & teens in the Midcoast area – these seemingly “simple” winter experiences are quite out of reach.

Lacking basic winter gear (and sometimes even a winter jacket), lacking the ability to explore new experiences or lacking funds to even purchase a sled, there are children right here in our community who do not get to have these fun experiences.

You can help us change that. Our goal for this upcoming winter is simple – get kids outside doing the things we did growing up in Maine.

We are seeking donations of winter gear including various adult sizes of winter boots for our middle and high school students, as well as snow pants and sleds.

Giving a financial gift today will allow us to take kids sledding and empower them to plan and host a Cardboard Sled Derby, inviting the entire community to join in.

We will take them to the ice skating rink on the other side of town by renting a bus to get us there (we still need a van, btw!).

We will host an excursion to Pineland Farms to go cross-country skiing and have lunch at the café and create positive, lasting childhood experiences, that will increase resiliency and improve mental health!

Our goals are to ensure there are no barriers for any child to participate in the winter activities that many of us may take for granted; to ensure that all children and teens have a chance to just be a kid, with safe, caring adult mentors, plenty of food, and fun things to do.

You can help. Please consider a giving a gift today. All donations received will be matched by an anonymous donor, doubling your impact.

Donate today!