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New nonprofit needs support helping Mainers endure financial hardships

"In This Together," a nonprofit started in 2019, has already given out $8,000 in grants to families in need.

MAINE, USA — Every day in Maine, people face financial hardships. Many of them wondering how they will survive without some kind of help. 

A nonprofit, which was started in August 2019, is hoping the community will come together to help people navigate their darkest days.

"We are surviving largely in part because of the generosity of our surrounding community and the leg up this grant has gifted us during our most desperate times," Dana Lesniak, one of the founders of a new nonprofit in Maine, read from a letter the group received from a grateful recipient. 

"The people who applied for grants pour their hearts out in their applications. Just reading the applications our founder group can be in tears just wishing we could give more money or had a different way to support them," Lesniak said.

In This Together was launched in 2019 by Lesniak and three other women Jessica Casey, Sarah Emerson, and Sarah Jordan, who first met while fundraising for other nonprofits.

"We want to raise money that we can give out to individuals who are facing any kind of financial hardship. Whether it's a car accident that takes them out of work, a house fire, taking care of elderly relatives, [or] maybe a domestic violence situation," Lesniak said.

In just a few short months, In This Together was able to raise and give out $8,000 in grants. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Lesniak said, "Our goal for 2020 was to give out $20,000 in grants. We are about halfway there."

The women are not giving up. Their current campaign is called Maine Roots, where they are identifying people with a strong connection to Maine who are willing to support the nonprofit. They will also be doing an annual appeal to hoping to raise another $12,000 or more to give out to Mainers facing hardship.

"We have been able to give out grants to people across the state so far and we're a brand new nonprofit so I'm excited to see where this can do," Lesniak said.

In just a short time, it's clear they're already making a lasting impact.'

Credit: NCM

As the end of the letter reads from that grateful recipient, "I am able to work towards getting us back on our own solid ground. And we have hope of healing and a future again."

Proving anything is possible when we're In This Together.

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