The United Methodist Economic Ministry, located in northwestern Maine, has launched a yearlong celebration during 2019 — its 50th anniversary year. Now through December 2019, UMEM will “Celebrate Connections & Compassion Coins” and host ongoing “Every 50 Days” events about its outreach and services, as well as fundraising for its mission. As part of 50th anniversary accomplishments, UMEM has rebranded with a new logo and mobile-friendly website, according to a news release from the ministry.

Headquartered in Salem, with additional operations in Solon and Howland, UMEM serves rural families in need. UMEM runs food cupboards and thrift shops. It also provides winter fuel assistance, emergency services, back packs for kids and youth, and socks, underwear and coats for winter. From June through October, teams of volunteers do rural housing repairs. Coordinated outreach with other social service agencies in the service area is always a UMEM goal.

The Salem operation hosts a winter and spring Prom Shop, community garden and a Christmas Shop. Families receive private appointments for the Christmas Shop families and shopping coupons for gifts for their families. Community organizations, churches and individuals send new toys, games, clothing, books and personal care items to support this joyful program. Visit UMEM’s new website for additional information and updates on 50th Anniversary Celebration events. Donations are always welcome and can be made on the website; remember UMEM on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27.

Visitors are welcome at all its sites, as well as work teams or mission groups. For a comprehensive tour of the Salem operation, call UMEM at 678-2611 or email [email protected].

UMEM opened in 1969 under the leadership of the Rev. Charles Reid who served churches in the Kingfield area. Reid also started the Sugarloaf Area Ministry, located at Sugarloaf Mountain.

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