May 27, 2024
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Irving Oil gift to Fuel the Care program

It can be a long and potentially expensive trip between home and hospital, especially when the loved one needing care is a child. But for thousands of families, the journey has been made easier with the help of Irving’s Fuel the Care program.

Irving Oil announced on Dec. 3 its 2009 Fuel the Care donation of $50,000 to participating hospitals of EMHS Healthcare Charities’ Children’s Miracle Network.

Fuel the Care gift cards are issued by Irving and distributed by EMHS participating hospitals to eligible families during what can be a stressful financial time. The gift cards can then be redeemed at BlueCanoe, Mainway and Big Stop locations for gasoline and food.

“Any family going through a serious illness experiences an anxious, uncertain time. When it is a child, it is especially difficult. Through the Fuel the Care program, we hope to reduce this stress as much as we can,” said Lars Trodson, Irving’s U.S. manager for public relations. “When families are together, everybody feels better.”

Nurse Deborah Carey Johnson, president and CEO of EMMC, said, “When families are unable to travel, medical appointments and treatments are sometimes postponed or even canceled. When healthcare is provided in a timely and appropriate manner, larger and more costly health issues can more often be averted. We are truly grateful to Irving for their continued support of Fuel the Care.”

Nancy Dysart, director of the Children’s Miracle Network for EMHS hospitals, spoke of one northern Maine family who traveled 14,000 miles in an 18-month period so their son could receive dialysis treatment three times a week. The father had lost most of his income, and Fuel the Care gift certificates were a necessity to get his son to dialysis.

“Regular access to kidney dialysis, chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients or clinical visits for children with life-threatening illnesses like cystic fibrosis is a life-saving necessity,” Dysart said.

Since 2004, Irving’s Fuel the Care has provided more than $265,000 in assistance for more than 8,700 families in Maine.

Lifetime achievement in disability work

ORONO – Elizabeth DePoy, professor of social work and coordinator of interdisciplinary disability studies at the University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, was honored with the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Disability Section of the American Public Health Association.

The award is presented to a person who has made a major contribution to the improvement of health and quality of life for people with disabilities in one or more areas of research, teaching or advocacy.

James Rimmer, chairman of the American Public Health Association’s Disability Section, presented the award during the association’s annual meeting and exposition in San Diego. Founded in 1872, the American Public Health Association is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse organizations of public health professionals in the world.

DePoy has authored or co-authored eight books, contributed chapters to many edited collections and published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles. Her recent publications include co-authored books on evaluation, disability and research.

Dorothy E. Nary, Disability Section Awards committee chairwoman, said that DePoy’s work, combined with her passion for literature in a wide variety of fields, was “unique, original and, more importantly, significant in improving community responses to enhance the lives and health of all individuals including those with disabilities.”

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine in 2008 awarded $103,800 to 12 Maine nonprofit organizations. Since its founding in 1989, the organization has awarded more than $1.5 million in charitable grants to programs that positively impact families and children across Maine.

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine, a non-profit organization, is to help children live happier, healthier and more productive lives. Local recipients are:

. Old Town-Orono YMCA.

. Penobscot Community Health Center, Bangor.

. Ronald McDonald House, Bangor.

. Easter Seals Maine, Statewide Outreach.

. Jobs for Maine Graduates, statewide outreach.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine recently launched a new Web site at www.rmhcmaine.org, where information about the grant application process and qualifications to apply may be found. Those who wish to make a donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine will find contact information on the site as well. Information also is available by calling 990-2763.

Volunteer woodworkers

BATH – The Kids’ Project, a program of Pine Tree Society, is seeking skilled woodworkers to construct adaptive equipment for children with disabilities. According to Jeremy Lucas, director of The Kids’ Project, projects range from simple benches to more involved chairs.

“The program offers something for everyone,” said Lucas. “Volunteers work in their own workshops at their own pace. They can do one project a year or one a week. It’s really up to the individual.”

The Kids’ Project is seeking woodworkers with moderate to high skills. All materials and designs are provided.

Adaptive equipment helps children with disabilities become more actively involved in the world around them. Each year The Kids’ Project provides hundreds of children with the adaptive equipment they need to be successful in school, therapy and at home.

“Our volunteers make a significant impact on the lives of children with disabilities,” said Lucas. For information, call Jeremy Lucas at 443-3341, ext. 104, or e-mail kidsproject@pinetreesociety.org.


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