Franklin Countys First News

UMF students bringing Thanksgiving to homeless shelter

University of Maine at Farmington students with shelter coordinator Alyson Livernois (at right): Brittany Wakefield, at left, Sean Brock and Michaela Carney.

FARMINGTON - A group of University of Maine at Farmington students will be bringing Thanksgiving to the Western Maine Homeless Outreach this week, delivering groceries and three turkeys to the shelter Monday morning.

The UMF Mitchell Scholars Club organized the fundraiser as a community-centered project, raising funds at a table in the Olsen Student Center, and from faculty members, alum and Mitchell scholars. UMF President Kate Foster also donated, Mitchell Scholar Club Secretary Brittany Wakefield, a senior from Rumford said.

"We decided we wanted to bring Thanksgiving to our community," Wakefield said. After discussing the matter with shelter organizers, it was decided that the students would provide the groceries and let the Outreach staff and residents do the cooking, to foster a sense of community.

Founded by Senator George Mitchell in 1995, the Mitchell Scholarship Program awards scholarships each year to graduating students from Maine’s public high schools as they pursue higher education. Mitchell Scholars are selected for their academic promise, history of community service and financial need. There are 33 Mitchell Scholars at UMF.

The Scholars participate in events each semester. The UMF Mitchell Scholars Club's co-chair, Michaela Carney, a junior of Richmond, said that the group wanted to undertake more community-oriented projects in the future, beginning with the Thanksgiving meal.

They had lined up a source of funding for the meal that fell through at the last minute; they had just a week and a half to raise the money.

The students set a goal of $100. Working a table at the student center and through their Facebook page, the Scholars doubled that. Someone even gave them a turkey, bringing their total up to three. The students also bought vegetables, trimmings and appetizers.

"We wanted to give them the whole meal," Brittany said.

What money was left over was also donated to the shelter.

The Western Maine Homeless Outreach provides emergency shelter for homeless families in the western Maine region, offering a variety of workshops and programs designed to get people into longer-term housing and more stable situations. The WMHO has 16 beds, but is expecting as many as 25 for dinner on Thanksgiving.

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2 Responses »

  1. Great Job show that the good in the world shows That's the Way Maine should be!
    proud of you. <3

  2. Good works from Senator Mitchell and the UMF Scholars Club!

    The way that Life should be!