United Methodist Economic Ministry Launches Stronger Together Capital Campaign

December 16, 2020

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm...” Isaiah 25:4
United Methodist Economic Ministry Launches Stronger Together Capital Campaign
The United Methodist Economic Ministry is excited to announce the launch of our Stronger Together capital campaign in partnership with the United Methodist Foundation of New England. The purpose of this campaign is to complete long-needed capital improvements that will allow us to continue to serve our communities for years to come.  With a successful campaign, UMEM will install a new roof over the Salem Thrift Shop, convert the Salem bunkhouse for four season living, and build designated storage/sorting buildings at our Salem and Howland locations.
During this difficult time for our region, country and world, we have been reminded time and again of the vital role UMEM has on the communities we serve.  In addition to the impact of the pandemic, on April 15th, the Western Maine region was rocked by the massive explosion at the Verso Paper Mill in Jay, ME. This mill purchased more than 20% of the wood harvested in Maine and provided hundreds of jobs in the local area. With the mill idle for extensive repairs this year, the economic impact has been devastating.  As a result, the Salem food pantry has experienced a 170% increase in food-assistance requests as well as a surge in demand for many of the items that we provide through the thrift store and other ministries.  By God’s grace, and timely gifts, we have met these challenges and are positioned to continue to respond as needed. 
Amanda Viles, a client of UMEM and now a member of our staff, shares about the impact of UMEM. 
“The first time I had to ask for help it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do because I felt like I had failed as a Mom. My children were toddlers. I was unemployed at the time and their father did not help. I remember receiving a phone call from the ministry, they had received word that my family may need help for Christmas. I had mixed feelings but was so touched that they had reached out to help us.
They invited me to the Christmas Shop to get a Christmas food basket and then allowed me to choose some gifts for my children. I was in shock. I asked myself, ‘Who are these people who donate all these amazing items, toys, hats, mittens, food?’ I couldn’t have been more thankful for knowing that there was help for people who couldn’t afford these things. 
I am forever grateful for all the folks that make these programs possible because I know that if UMEM means this much to just one person—me—it must be making a difference for many others. I can’t imagine a world where UMEM did not exist.”
The projects to be completed during our Stronger Together capital campaign will provide the essential facilities through which UMEM’s mission is accomplished. Your gift today will allow UMEM to provide our communities with shelter from the storms of life for many tomorrows to come.  To learn more about the Stronger Together campaign visit https://www.umeconomicministry.com/