Rotary Club of Ellsworth
2020 Gifting Experience
Program Overview
The holiday season will be extremely stressful for many more families than usual this year. Families who are unemployed or underemployed are more vulnerable when a crisis such as COVID-19 occurs. The pandemic has displaced many adults from their jobs and unemployment support is not always enough to cover basic living expenses such as housing, food, utilities, medicine, and clothing.
Rotarian’s would normally be excited to host twenty children for the 15th Annual Gifting Experience program on December 12. While it is disappointing that we won’t have the close connection with the children this year, it is heartwarming that generous donations can provide some significant cheer to families in need.
Contributions in support of the 2020 Gifting Experience totaled $3,170. Gifts were made by twelve Club Members and eight community members. The response to The Gifting Experience fundraising appeal has been greater than we may have expected and resulted in the largest amount raised in the past 15 years. Below is an outline for how funds have been disbursed.
$720 for Ellsworth Police Department
The Club has donated forty gift cards for the officers to use at their discretion when working with the public. Gift Cards were purchased by the Club at the following downtown businesses: Bud Connection, John Edwards Market, Rooster Brother, Morton’s Moo, Rock & Art Shop, Union River Book & Toy Company.
$1,125 for Special Children’s Friends / City of Ellsworth
Over the past few years, the City has been committed to raising funds to help families with children being served by Special Children’s Friends. They usually collect significant funds through returnable bottles/cans dropped at the transfer station. They have only raised about 50% of their normal amount this year. There are 80 children in need and the City has committed to assisting with 40 children.
$1,125 for Downeast Community Partners
For many years DCP has organized the Christmas Magic Toy Drive to benefit families across Hancock and Washington Counties. Toys are purchased for those birth – grade 12. DCP is in need of financial contributions. In 2019, a total of 355 children benefited and they expect at least 400 will be served this year. DCP is currently responding to serve over 500 children.
$200 for Families First Community Center
They plan to open the Ellsworth Falls Center this month to welcome those in need of a home while the work to become self-sufficient and break the cycle of homelessness. The Club’s donation is to help these families have a brighter holiday season.
Presented by Club President Laura Pellerano (2020-2021)
Gifting Experience Co-Chairs, Jack Frost and Carl Lusby