The Store Next Door Receives Donation from Mechanics Savings
Christopher J. Hanks, Credit Officer at Mechanics Savings Bank (center), presents a check for $1,000 to Meg Dumais, Academic Liaison (left), and Mary Seaman, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison (right) , from The Store Next Door Project at Lewiston High School.
January 25, 2018 - LEWISTON, ME - Going to school every day can be tough for teens. It’s exponentially more difficult for students who don’t have stable living arrangements to go home to after the school day ends. That’s where Lewiston Public School’s The Store Next Door Project comes in. Three dedicated women work tirelessly to address basic needs, such as food, hygiene products, clothing, and school supplies to homeless and at-risk students.
Mary Seaman, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison, Meg Dumais, Academic Liaison, and Jamie Caouette, Health Affiliates ME Case Manager, form a team of support for students at risk for homelessness. In addition to filling basic needs, they provide tutoring, transportation and shelter arrangements, job support, and assistance with college applications and financial aid packets.
“The majority of students we work with are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian,” says Seaman. “These are young folks who are left to figure out how to survive on their own each day, often in highly risky, unsafe, and unpredictable ways. Our team often serves as the primary adult relationship, providing support and working to foster relationship-building opportunities.”
“A lack of food creates a barrier to learning for at-risk students,” says Dumais. “School work isn’t the primary focus for a student who has no idea where their next meal is coming from. The generous contribution from Mechanics Savings Bank will allow us to keep our pantry shelves stocked and do our best to prevent students from going hungry.”More often than not, it’s one singular event that causes homelessness. The loss of a job; an unexpected medical bill; a large car repair. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, these unexpected events may mean having to choose between buying food or paying rent, resulting in the loss of housing.
“The number of students in the school system who are homeless or at risk for homelessness is overwhelming,” says Christopher Hanks, Credit Officer at Mechanics Savings Bank. “It’s important that the community understands how prevalent homelessness is and what is being done to combat the issue. Our hope is that this contribution not only helps provide essentials for students but also raises awareness of the need for community support for The Store Next Door Project.”
About Mechanics Savings Bank
Mechanics Savings Bank was founded in 1875, as a mutual savings bank and has branches located in Auburn, Brunswick, Lewiston and Windham. The bank remains committed to giving back to the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteerism. Mechanics supports education, social welfare, arts, and community events that positively impact and benefit the residents of Androscoggin and Cumberland Counties. Mechanics Savings Bank is an equal housing lender and Member FDIC.