Bath-based initiative reduces goal for school supplies

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BATH — The Midcoast Community Alliance has cut its fundraising goal by 25 percent after realizing that providing every Regional School Unit 1 student with school supplies this summer is too formidable a task.

The organization’s initial goal of $40,000 – geared toward equipping all students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with supplies, regardless of need – was “pretty aggressive,” and unlikely to be accomplished in the initiative’s first year, organizer Jamie Dorr explained.

“We then lowered it to $30,000, which we are still hoping to reach,” she added. “Providing supplies for nearly 2,000 students is a big undertaking and will take a few years to get established, but we are making great strides so far.”

MCA had raised nearly $23,000 as of July 16 for “Back to School: Set for Success.” Once funds and supplies are all collected from donation boxes at area businesses, volunteers on Sunday, Aug. 19 will make them available at a day-long event at Bath Middle School.

Each student will receive a backpack, which they will fill with school supplies. Pre-K to eighth-grade students are asked to attend between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and high school students from 1-3 p.m.

Visit mcamaine.org/set-for-success for more information, and to learn how, what and where to contribute.

Since MCA estimates that about 60 percent of RSU 1 families will attend Aug. 19, it adjusted its budget accordingly, Dorr said.

“We are focusing on the core items like notebooks, binders, writing utensils, etc.,” she said, “and not extras like earbuds, water bottles, or locker padlocks.”

Backpacks, 1-inch binders, and boxes of pencils and black pens are MCA’s most-needed items, Dorr noted.

With financial support from organizations such as Midcoast Hospital and United Way of Midcoast Maine, MCA will sell raffle tickets at Shaw’s supermarkets in Bath and Brunswick from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Aug. 4. Shoppers will be asked to donate school supplies they may buy while in the store that morning.

MCA’s “Summer Fun” raffle offers two free nights of camping at Meadowbrook Camping Area in Phippsburg, a $50 Renys gift card, a lobster dinner for two, and a popsicle maker from Now You’re Cooking.

Along with supplies, an “Information Highway” will be available Aug. 19, providing information on community organizations that provide educational support, behavioral health services, and address addiction, health issues and food insecurity. Police Chief Mike Field, one of a growing number of MCA members, has been organizing that program, for which 19 organizations had signed up as of last week.

Donation boxes can be found at the Bath Area Family YMCA (303 Centre St.), City Hall (55 Front St.), and the Mustard Seed Bookstore (74 Front St.), and items can also be dropped off at the Bath Parks and Recreation Department (4 Sheridan Road).

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Bath-based Midcoast Community Alliance, founded in 2016 by Jamie Dorr, seeks funds and donations this month to outfit Regional School Unit 1 students.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.