BAR HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - 'Tis the season for giving. The Maine Seacoast Mission is an organization that's been providing joy to kids and their families on Christmas mornings for over a century.
It all started in 1905. Thomas Thompson, Maine Seacoast Mission said, "Two brothers, Angus and Alexander McDonald, sailed to the inhabited islands around here. They went to lighthouse keepers, to stations, to islands where fisherman and their families lived, and they realized how desperate conditions were."
In those desperate times came the gift of giving. A mission started more than 100 years ago now carries on through the island and coastal communities.
Thompson said, “We collect new, unused games, books, toys for children, and new and unused clothing for both children and senior citizens."
The Maine Seacoast Mission dedicates their time to helping those who need it the most. That’s particularly true during the holiday season.
“We have people wrapping presents for the Christmas program that we distribute gifts to children and to senior citizens on the unabridged islands and in Downeast Maine,” said Thompson.
With each present, history carries on. He added, "The first year that they wrapped presents, they wrapped them in white butcher paper with red string, and that quickly became a tradition and continues to this day."
And what a wonderful feeling to be able to give back. Thompson said, "I get to have that feeling all year long because I'm working with the people who are helping bring in funds to support the mission. Christmas is always a great time of giving and enjoying the feeling of helping."
To raise funds for the Christmas Program, they'll host an Open House and Holiday Wreath Silent Auction Friday.
"It's one of the times that we really get to engage with the people who support us, and that's always wonderful."
The silent auction begins at 5:30 Friday evening at the Colket Center in Bar Harbor. There will also be music, tours of the house, more than a dozen wreaths to bid on, and food.
For the Christmas Program, the Mission is looking for a variety of items from baby dolls, ice fishing gear, to toiletries for all ages.
To donate, you can click on this link: https://www.sagepayments.net/sagenonprofit/shopping_cart/forms/donate.asp?M_id=057750170082
Donations can also be sent to the Maine Seacoast Mission Program,
6 Weald Bethel Lane PO Box 428 Cherryfield ME 046622.
For more information, visit seacoastmission.org