Community leader and Birch Bay resident Ed Kaelber is spearheading the creation of a fund to support seniors in need throughout Hancock County.
The “Pay it Up Fund,” which is being managed by the Maine Community Foundation, will be used to provide mini-grants each year to seniors in need across Hancock County. Healthy Acadia and Birch Bay Village will coordinate the granting process, working with other partners in the region to establish a process for outreach, review and awarding of the small grants.
“My inspiration for this Fund comes from my desire to give back to our community, and to encourage others to support seniors in the community who have unmet needs,” stated Ed Kaelber. “My focus is on encouraging seniors to contribute to the fund as a way to support our peers who are struggling. But of course, I welcome support from all community members of any age!”
Kaelber has a rich history of serving the community. As founding president of both College of the Atlantic and the Maine Community Foundation, he has worked tirelessly to benefit local communities and enhance opportunities for all.
Ed reached out to Maine Community Foundation because of their track record of success in managing such funds. He connected with Healthy Acadia and Birch Bay Village to administer the fund because of their experience in coordinating small grant processes.
To support the fund, community members can write a check payable to Maine Community Foundation, with “Pay It Up Fund” in the memo line, and send it to the community foundation at 245 Main St., Ellsworth ME 04605.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Ed and our partners at Healthy Acadia and Maine Community Foundation on this much needed initiative,” stated Debra Chalmers, Executive Director of Birch Bay Village. “Ed is a powerhouse, and we are so grateful to have his leadership in our community.”
Birch Bay Village is a retirement community on Mount Desert Island. Their mission includes assisting elders to live safely and enjoyably wherever they reside. Their Straus Center Adult Day Program in Southwest Harbor serves seniors who are living at home or with their loved ones by providing a vibrant place to spend part of their day enjoying their peers along with a wonderful array of programs and services. Birch Bay also provides in-home support through their “life-line” program where seniors are able to seek assistance by pushing a button and receiving help whenever they are in need.
“Many seniors in our region are struggling to meet their basic needs and to stay healthy,” said Elsie Flemings, Executive Director of Healthy Acadia. “This is a critical initiative, and we at Healthy Acadia are honored to be a part of it, working with extraordinary community leaders – Ed Kaelber, Birch Bay Village, and Maine Community Foundation.”
Healthy Acadia is a community health coalition serving Hancock and Washington Counties. They are dedicated to building healthier communities by connecting individuals with health supports, building partnerships, coordinating education and prevention services, and improving policies and environments.
For more information about this initiative or to get involved in Healthy Aging issues in Hancock County, contact Elsie at Healthy Acadia, 288-5331 or Debra at Birch Bay Village, 288-8014.