One Community Many Voices
One Community Many Voices (OCMV) is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit located in Rockland, Maine. We provide proactive solutions through our People to People Fund to prevent a temporary barrier turning into a financial, self-confidence, or well-being crisis when no other resources are available. In return, recipients pay it forward through self-selected volunteerism. Barriers include; youth aspirations, senior independent living, well-being, transportation to keep families mobile and employed, and employment/skill development.
The concept of One Community Many Voices derives from several “what if” conversations amongst community leaders
What if … people just helped each other a little more? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place?
What if we could create a way for acts of kindness, generosity and cooperation to be easy to accomplish and contagious?
What if, instead of getting bogged down in protocol and bureaucracy, we streamlined – and developed a proactive-preventive system to help neighbors instead of relying on a crisis-reactive system?
What if we could draw on our neighbors’ talents, resources and connections to help fellow neighbors?
And … what if we involved previous recipients in the process of paying it forward – allowing them to help someone else?
WHO & WHY WE SERVE
OCMV was established in 2016, after listening to social service providers that identified gaps and needs for helping people in Midcoast Maine. Often times, these providers are forced to turn people away until they become homeless, jobless, or confronted with a serious health crisis due to their funding restrictions. OCMV provides an outlet for these providers to turn to, to help people before they reach a crisis point.
OCMV provides a vital service for an underserved/forgotten demographic. The demographic we mostly serve is hardworking individuals or families living paycheck to paycheck. As more individuals/families live paycheck to paycheck, it becomes financially and emotionally challenging to be proactive and resolve a temporary barrier before it becomes a crisis.
Our organization provides more than gap funding to prevent a temporary barrier turning into a financial, self-confidence, or well-being crisis. We provide an alternative for people to use their skills, abilities, and knowledge to personally overcome a barrier blocking their potential verses giving a “handout,” by empowering them through their self-selective volunteering
Examples of How We Help
OCMV provides solutions through its People to People Fund for necessities that federal and state funding does not permit social service agencies to allocate funding to such as:
- Covering co-payment fee for hearing aids;
- Partially covering car repairs to keep families mobile and employed;
- Purchasing new school clothes for kids living at a homeless shelter;
- Buying a laptop so a single mom – could earn her GED online while working in order to have a better employment opportunity;
- Assist an 85 year old woman with laundromat needs because she was afraid to venture out due to COVID-19.
WHY PAY IT FORWARD – The self-selected volunteerism component allows people the ability to give back to their community by using their skills and knowledge.
“OCMV helped me buy tires so I could continue to work and attend night classes. By allowing me to pay it forward – I didn’t feel ashamed or needy but rather relieved. I needed help with buying tires, and they needed me to help someone else in the community. It was a win-win that left me feeling like a community giver not taker. – 2018 Recipient
TO RAISE FUNDING WHILE CHALLENGES PEOPLE – Part of our mission is to offer fun, healthy, family-friendly events that challenge people to try new things. Events include:
- The Frost Heave Fondo bike ride that will take you over a variety of roads – smooth pavement, rough tarmac, rutted dirt with muddy and/or icy spots, etc.– so whatever bike you choose could be the wrong bike at certain times. Held in the spring.
- Ragged Mountain Scuttle is an obstacle course race on the Kuller trail at the Camden (Maine) Snow Bowl. Runners/Walkers will enjoy the ragged terrain and a beautiful view at the top. Held in late September.
- The Megunticook Race Festivalbuilds on the history of the original Tinman and Maine Sport Triathlon, one of the longest-standing races in the U.S. Held on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
LONG TERM GROWTH & SUSTAINABILITY
Connection to Made in Maine Shop: In order to expand OCMV statewide and to make the charity financially sustainable, we set out to launch a partner company. With the idea that after taxes all profits from this partner company would be donated to OCMV.
OCMV’s founder is Reade Brower, owner of Masthead Maine, several state-wide digital sites, travel and real estate magazines, Maine Senior Magazine, Maine Women’s Magazine and a direct mail advertising company called “MailMaine.” It was determined that an ecommerce platform for Maine products would best fit the skills as well as OCMV’s dedication to helping keep Maine strong. Made in Maine Shop was created to help Maine businesses collectively market and sell their products year round across the country. With the help from Mr. Brower’s channels and other nationwide outlets– Made in Maine Shop is able to be promoted via social media and advertised in print and digitally. In return, Made in Maine Shop receives a % of every sale.
We are excited to launch Made in Maine Shop in 2020 and even more excited to see where it goes in 2021.