Friday, September 15, 2023

It Takes a Village 207 makes difference in lives of homeless veterans and local families in need

Beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers once said that we live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.

“It’s easy to say it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem, then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes,” Rogers said.

For many homeless veterans here in Maine, their heroes are a mother and daughter team, Journey and Becky, who founded the nonprofit organization It Takes a Village 207 in 2020. Joining forces with the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, It Takes a Village 207 continues to be a beacon of light for local families in need and a resource for those who put their lives on the line for all of us while wearing the uniform of the United States military but have since fallen on hard times back home.

As a member of the board of directors for the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, Journey saw first-hand the difficulties that homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and domestic violence can cause and how isolated it left those who suffered as a result of these difficult and trying situations in Maine. She thought joining forces with the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance could address those in desperate need of help and for those who felt isolated and alone with nowhere to turn to for assistance.

It Takes a Village 207 strives to make a difference by helping one struggling Mainer at a time. They provide resources for families struggling with financial hardship, work to reduce homelessness, food insecurity, substance abuse, domestic violence and the day-to-day challenges life throws at those in need.

They offer clothing, warm winter jackets and a range of other essentials for those who are struggling to survive and help raise money for local families in Maine who need home appliances, heating assistance, home repairs or school supplies.

The actual goal of It Takes a Village 207 is to be the village that helps struggling families get on their feet, while making them feel loved, respected, and understood.

The It Takes a Village organization is manned strictly by volunteers and is funded entirely by donations. All contributions are 100 percent tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Volunteer opportunities are available and plentiful. Duries include a variety of tasks such as event staffing, home drop-offs of items, donation pick-ups, receiving, organizing, and stocking items, contacting businesses in person, on the phone or by email to secure various sponsorships and donations. The volunteers are the backbone of everything that It Takes a Village and the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance does.

Fundraisers are conducted throughout the year with the next one to be held being a Veterans Day Spaghetti Dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Standish Municipal Hall. The cost is $14 for adults, and $8 for children over age 3. At that same event, It Takes a Village organizers are hoping to receive donations which can be used by homeless veterans including backpacks; men’s and women’s socks; sleeping bags; bug spray; tarps; hand warmers; and new shoes or boots for both men and women.

Cash donations can be mailed throughout the year to It Takes a Village, 907 Ossipee Trail West, Steep Falls, Maine 04085 or to the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance at P.O. Box 1895, Portland, Maine 04101. The public can also assist It Takes a Village 207 in helping make Christmas merry this year by participating in raffles and silent auctions at events. Please message them on Facebook to learn what toys and donation items are being requested for the program’s annual gift giving for the holidays for families in need or see the lists on their website. You will also find an Amazon wish list if you would like to purchase gifts to be sent directly to the organizations.

Thanks to the generosity of participating business advertisers in this week’s The Windham Eagle, a total of $1,000 was raised for the It Takes a Village 207 Christmas Fund. Please see Pages 14 to 22 to see the close to 100 businesses that supported this cause. As always, we encourage you to support these businesses as a way of saying thank you for their contributions to the community.

The It Takes a Village program is currently collecting names of families that will need help this holiday season. Organizers say identifying these families sooner this year will make it easier to obtain help and assistance for them.

To recommend assistance for a homeless veteran or family in need, call It Takes a Village 207 at 207-322-7065 or email

For more information or to make a donation about It Takes a Village 207, go to For more information about the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, visit They accept cash or check donations via mail or you can contribute through PayPal and Venmo.

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