WATERVILLE — Earlier this fall, KV Connect decided to postpone holding its traditional Waterville Green Drinks gatherings on the second Tuesday of each month because of COVID-19 restrictions. These events provided ways to raise money for local nonprofits while offering networking opportunities with other young professionals in the area. With needs in the community continuing to grow, KV Connect earmarked various nonprofits as beneficiaries, and committed to continued fundraising ideas to benefit those organizations.

The group set an annual goal of raising $2,020 in 2020, however, with some added creativity, including a S’mores Saturday event as part of the recent Shop Small Saturday Mid-Maine program, they were able to bring in $2,200 to benefit multiple nonprofits, according to a news release from Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce.

The most recent virtual event supported by the group was Giving Tuesday, with fundraising messaging pushed out via KV Connect’s social medial channels. The group identified Educare Central Maine as the beneficiary for December, feeling that arts education has been proven to reduce stress in economically disadvantaged children.

With the added stress of the COVID pandemic, the group felt that this was more important than ever. Nearly $700 in donations were committed to the organization.

Samantha Burdick, president of KV Connect’s Steering Committee said, “Educare Central Maine has continued to go above and beyond to serve their families since March. When we learned that they were purchasing outdoor “bubbles” so that they could continue to educate students in small groups and utilize outdoor space, we wanted to help. We are incredibility grateful for the support of our community for this fundraising initiative.”

KV Connect continues to look for ways to engage members in the community and have an impact in areas of need. Those looking to get involved with KV Connect should email Samantha Burdick, president, KV Connect Steering Committee, at [email protected].

KV Connect is a networking group for professionals in the greater Waterville area, operating under the oversight of Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to connect young people not only to each other, but to the many resources the community has to offer. It seeks to positively impact the community through economic, social, political, and community service initiatives.

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