United Way of Kennebec Valley Newsletter

News from your local United Way — April 2024

United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) has a new, accessible website!

We are beyond thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new, fully accessible website!

Our goal has always been to ensure inclusivity and support for everyone, and with our redesigned website, we're taking a giant leap forward. Accessibility is at the heart of what we do, and we're committed to providing a seamless, user-friendly experience for all.

Here's what you can expect from our new online home:


  • Enhanced accessibility: Whether you're using a screen reader, keyboard navigation, or any other assistive technology, our site is fully equipped to meet your needs with the UserWay Accessibility widget.
  • Clean, user-friendly design: We've revamped our layout to make information easy to find and our resources easier to access than ever before.
  • Resources at your fingertips: From services to support, everything you need is just a click away.
  • Ways to connect and engage: Learn more about our initiatives, upcoming events, and how you can get involved in making a difference.

We believe in the power of community and the importance of accessibility in creating an inclusive Kennebec Valley. Our new website is a testament to our ongoing commitment to both.

Check us out today!



Support your community all year long by giving a donation today — 100% of every dollar stays local. Click here to support your friends, family and neighbors.


New opportunities posted regularly on VolunteerME Kennebec Valley:

Save the date.

May 23: Campaign Champions Meeting | Colby Chace Forum | 8:30am | Sign up

July 29: Annual Golf Scramble, presented by Charlie's Family of Dealerships | Augusta Country Club | 10am | Register

Leave your legacy.

You've always supported the community through United Way. Why not consider naming United Way as a beneficiary?  Learn more

Endorse Impact2032.

Help our community achieve a shared vision for health, education and financial stability in Kennebec County — consider taking action and making change today by submitting your endorsement! Endorse now

Did you know that...59% of Augusta residents and 60% of Waterville residents are below the ALICE Threshold? ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — are individuals who earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford the basics where they live. ALICE households and households in poverty are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent — choices that have long-term consequences not only for their families, but for all. Learn more about ALICE data for every Kennebec County town.

24th Annual Day of Caring begins April 19

UWKV is proud to announce the commencement of its 24th Annual Day of Caring, set to begin on April 19. This year, a record-breaking lineup of 25 schools and youth programs across Kennebec Valley have committed to participating in this vital community event. UWKV’s Day of Caring unites student volunteers with local sites in need of assistance, showcasing the power of community and the spirit of volunteering.

Participating schools and organizations for the 2024 spring calendar include:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley (April 19)
  • Messalonskee High School (April 26)
  • Cony High School (May 1)
  • Maranacook Community Middle School, Maranacook Community High School (May 3)
  • Cony Middle School (May 8)
  • Maine Arts Academy (May 10)
  • Erskine Academy (May 16)
  • Winthrop Middle School, Winthrop High School (May 17)
  • Marcia Buker Elementary School, Richmond Middle School, Richmond High School (May 19)
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Augusta (May 20)
  • Gardiner Area High School (May 23)
  • Hussey Elementary School, Augusta (May 24)
  • Farrington Elementary School, Augusta (May 29)
  • Whitefield Elementary School (May 31)

To see a full list of participating schools and organizations, which includes fall dates, visit United Way's website.

From 2022 to 2024, the Day of Caring program has witnessed a 47.1% increase in school participation and a 62.3% increase in student/faculty engagement. In 2024, more than 8,500 students and faculty are slated to participate. These figures underscore the growing commitment of the Kennebec Valley community to come together for the common good.

Read more
2024 Day of Caring Sponsors:
UWKV is honored to have the support of its Founding Sponsors, Team EJP and G&E Roofing Company; Presenting Sponsor, Pine State Trading Company; Diamond Sponsor, Kennebec Savings Bank; Platinum Sponsors, Central Maine Power, Gagnon Dental, KV Federal Credit Union, Lajoie Brothers Corp., MaineGeneral, and NRF Distributors; Gold Sponsors, Maine Savings Federal Credit Union, O’Connor Auto Park, and Trademark Federal Credit Union; and Silver Sponsors, Gardiner Federal Credit Union, One River CPAs, Sprague & Curtis Real Estate, and Woodlands Senior Living.

UWKV announces 2024 campaign leadership

UWKV has appointed TJ and Kerry Smart, a Waterville couple, as campaign co-chairs for the 2024 fundraising season beginning in September. TJ Smart serves as the chief operating officer at Milestone Funeral Partners, and Kerry Smart is the program coordinator for the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College. As campaign chairs, their responsibilities include the expansion and strengthening of community partnerships across the county starting this spring.

Having been part of the Kennebec Valley community for nearly two decades, the Smarts bring a wealth of experience and dedication to their roles.

“Our commitment to this community has been a significant part of our lives, especially through TJ’s work,” Kerry said.

“We were initially approached to chair the campaign for the Waterville-based United Way of Mid-Maine (UWMM) over a decade ago,” said TJ, referencing a time prior to UWMM’s closure and UWKV’s expansion to serve all of Kennebec County in 2021. “Our friend said, ‘If you can, you should,’ and that has stuck with us and was one of the many reasons we agreed to return to United Way to lead UWKV’s campaign this year.”

This year, the focus of the campaign is on Kennebec County’s ALICE population — those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed but still struggle to meet the basic cost of living despite earning above the Federal Poverty Level. In Kennebec Valley, 42% of households are below the ALICE Threshold.

“Addressing the needs of the ALICE population is critical for our campaign. It’s about highlighting the real challenges faced by these individuals and mobilizing community resources so they will not be ignored,” said Kerry.

United Way’s annual fundraising efforts engage over 130 local businesses, representing more than 4,000 donors. Last year, these efforts raised over $1.9 million, supporting 58 nonprofit and school-based programs throughout Kennebec County. With the backing of the Campaign Champions, a network of local business and community leaders, the Smarts aim to expand the donor base to address the growing community needs.

Read more

Register for UWKV's Annual Golf Scramble, presented by Charlie's Family of Dealerships

UWKV's 54th Annual Golf Scramble, presented by Charlie's Family of Dealerships, is on July 29 at the Augusta Country Club — register your foursome today! Join us for our shotgun start at 10 am, with lunch on the turn and a banquet to celebrate our winners.


All proceeds support United Way's Community Care Fund, which will help 58 nonprofit and school-based programs across Kennebec County in 2025. Last year, this event sold out, and UWKV netted more than $21,000 at this event.


For more information, or to become a sponsor, visit our website. If you would like to register a team, email a completed registration form to mtibbetts@uwkv.org by July 8.


This event is presented by Charlie's Family of Dealerships. UWKV also thanks Banquet Sponsors NRF Distributors and Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter. J.S. McCarthy Packaging + Print and Milestone Funeral Partners are the event's lunch sponsors, Cross Insurance is sponsoring the Air Cannon and the Putting Contest is sponsored by Core-Mark. Several other sponsorships remain available — claim yours now!


UWKV wants to get to know you better!

Your support powers our mission, and now we’re eager to connect even deeper. Help us tailor our updates and information just for you by taking a quick survey!

Discover how we can make our communication as meaningful as your contributions. Whether you're drawn to specific impact areas or want news tailored to your community — your insights are invaluable.

Take survey

Impact2032 Spotlight - Regional School Unit #4

In a bid to foster stronger connections between home and school, Libby-Tozier School, a prekindergarten and kindergarten school in Regional School Unit #4 (RSU #4), hosted an exciting literacy event aimed at enhancing oral language skills in young learners. The event was set up to empower parents with the knowledge and tools they needed to support their children’s development, all while enjoying a delightful pizza dinner.

The “Parent Curriculum on Oral Language Skills” is a pioneering initiative that acknowledges the pivotal role parents play in their child’s education. Led by our literacy coach, Rebecca Dalessandro, the event promised to equip parents with practical strategies for nurturing oral language skills at home. These skills are crucial for early literacy and academic success, making this event a significant opportunity for parents to get involved in their child’s learning journey.

“We believe that learning should extend beyond the classroom, and parents are essential partners in this process,” said Kathy Martin, assistant superintendent of RSU #4. “By providing parents with the tools and knowledge to support oral language development, we are helping our students build a strong foundation for future success.”

Read more

Partner Program Spotlight - Motivational Services' LINC program

The following is a success story from Motivational Services' Living in Community (LINC) program, a partner program of United Way. Your donations support this program and many others across the county.

Sandra, a woman in her early 50s, was newly released from Maine State Prison and living at a local shelter. She recalls feeling lost, lonely, and scared. She was sober for the first time in over 30 years, with no sense of self, in unfamiliar surroundings, and was referred to LINC by her co-occurring drug court case-manager.

During the first couple weeks of visiting LINC, she was very anxious, constantly seeking reassurance, following staff around, requesting support to do everyday tasks — like making phone calls, or even making a snack. She slowly gained a comfortable routine and then the pandemic hit, again, and Motivational Services had to make the difficult decision to close. Sandra was at her breaking point. She attributes what happened next to a relationship with a LINC peer recovery coach.

They began meeting via Zoom twice a week. She attended a few LINC online groups as well. Sandra started to gain momentum and strength. She found a church and learned how to use the Kennebec Explorer to get around with guidance of LINC peer support.

Read more
Special thanks to our 2024 Platinum Level Corporate Champions:
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