WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF), a charity funded by cruise line members of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), recently donated $8,000 to each of three nonprofit organizations in Bar Harbor: the Bar Harbor Food Pantry, Jesup Memorial Library and Abbe Museum.
CICF focuses its efforts on improving the quality of life in the destinations served by the cruise industry through programs that enhance educational opportunities for youth, including those designed to improve literacy, teach basic life skills and promote good citizenship.
“The cruise industry recognizes that we have a responsibility to collaborate with the Bar Harbor community to ensure it is preserved and strengthened,” said Cindy D’Aoust, vice chairwoman and executive director of CICF. “Our donation serves as the start of our commitment to ensuring sustainable growth in Bar Harbor, so it is a place that is not only good for our customers, but its residents.”
“The cruise industry has done an excellent job this year partnering with the community,” said Martha Searchfield, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “We have just ended another successful season, and this is just another way our community benefits from our incredibly fortunate Tourism economy including our visitors who arrive by cruise ships.”
The Bar Harbor Food Pantry serves more a thousand individuals, about 400 households, throughout Hancock County. “The $8,000 grant from the cruise ship industry has come at such a vital time for the pantry. We have seen an increase in consistent monthly use from our clients and that’s created a great deal of financial pressure on us,” said Executive Director Jennifer Jones. A pantry client shares, “I found that it is not just a resource for food for those in need – from any circumstance in life – but also a place of encouragement and acceptance.”
The Jesup Memorial Library, a private nonprofit organization, serves as a community resource and gathering place. “The Jesup aims to be a place where everyone may gather on an equal basis, with equal access to all that the library offers,” said Director Ruth Eveland. The library plans to use the $8,000 donation to update technology equipment in order to keep providing free and reliable access to personal technology. That help goes a long way for people in need, Eveland said, especially those applying for unemployment assistance.
The Abbe Museum is heading into its 90th year as a trusted educational resource and a source of economic opportunity for Wabanaki artists. “The Museum is honored to receive the donation from CICF, which will go toward our mission of encouraging learning about Wabankai culture,” said Director of Advancement Stefanie Joy Muscat. “The donation will specifically support our Indian Market, which held its inaugural year in May and supports Wabanaki artists by offering them a place to showcase and sell their art to buyers from across North America.”