Children center

Children’s center nears $ 5 million goal with large new donations

$ 350,000 in new donations takes $ 400,000 away from the Children’s Center goal

AUGUSTA – Children’s Center, an early childhood intervention services and family support organization for children with special needs, has received a flurry of significant new giveaways, placing the center under $ 400,000 of reaching its $ 5 million fundraising goal. This, as the public phase of the campaign kicked off in early fall, calling on members of the general public to help close the gap. The $ 5 million will expand the Children’s Center’s main location in Augusta to meet demand and eliminate a waiting list of approximately 100 children who could receive services at the center.

“The age group we serve is vital to children’s development,” said Jeff Johnson, executive director of the Children’s Center. “Knowing that we have children with special needs in this age group who could use our services if only we had space for them is heartbreaking. Fortunately, we have amazing businesses, foundations, organizations, and families in central Maine who understand the need and have given back. Now that we are in the public phase of our fundraising campaign, we hope that more and more people can dig deep and donate to this effort so that we can see this expansion come to fruition. “

The last big gifts came from Lajoie Brothers, Inc. in Augusta ($ 125,000); Pine State Trading Company ($ 100,000); The French / LaRochelle family ($ 50,000); Sara Gideon ($ 50,000); and the Bangor Savings Bank Charitable Foundation ($ 25,000). Of these donations, $ 275,000 will provide matching funds from the Harold Alfond Foundation. With these donations, the total amount raised to date is $ 4.6 million towards the goal of $ 5 million.

The public phase of the campaign was launched at the end of October in a virtual meeting. A video featuring supporters and testimonials from families describing the need was unveiled at the virtual launch and is available here: https://youtu.be/C_BWdvQ-yzs.

The Children’s Center will expand its current Augusta facility by 14,000 square feet, while renovating 5,000 square feet of existing space. The expansion will more than double the space and provide additional classrooms, dedicated service areas and administrative space. The expansion will also create additional gross engine space, a stimulation-sensitive entrance and lobby, a solar installation for improved energy efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint, and the state’s only Snoezelen room. The ground should be broken on the expansion this spring.

“Earlier in the fall, we announced the Harold Alfond Foundation’s $ 1,000,000 Matching Grant Challenge, which is a great opportunity for people to make more sense of their own donation,” said Johnson. “$ 275,000 of recent donations qualifies for these matching grants, meaning that the good of these donors will be doubled. Today, as we continue to talk about the public phase, we understand that it takes a lot of people to give a little bit to get us to our goal. As we are in the season of giving, we hope that the people of this community will find a way to dig a little deeper and help the Children’s Center to open our doors a little more to offer services and hope for more. children with special needs and their families. “

During the public phase of the fundraising campaign, community members can donate through the campaign website, www.AChampionInEveryChild.org. Donations of any size are accepted, as are corporate and organizational donations. Contact details are available on the website for any questions that may arise in the donation process.

The Children’s Center provides in-center services for children aged six weeks to six years and outpatient services, including occupational therapy, speech therapy, outpatient mental health for children and families, and support for case management for children up to 21 years old. Annually, the Center serves more than 250 children between its four sites: Augusta, Farmington, Skowhegan and Waterville. All sites have waiting lists, with Augusta’s being the largest with over 100 children needing in-center or outpatient services at any given time.

The Children’s Center’s offerings cover a wide range of services, including specialized programs for children with autism, complex medical needs and global delays; daytime behavioral treatment for children with a history of trauma, emotional regulation and mental health needs; and a recently established fully accredited private special-purpose school, allowing children in need of a specialized environment to continue learning at the children’s center during their kindergarten year.

The Children’s Center has served the Greater Augusta area since 1967 under the name Mid-State United Cerebral Palsy, Inc. After several moves, the doors to the current building opened in December 1978. The building, located on the corner of the Alden Avenue and Worcester Street in Augusta, was expanded in 2001, increasing its capacity to 60 children in day care.

More details about the campaign and the possibilities to donate can be found at www.AChampionInEveryChild.org.


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