May 27, 2018
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Indian Women’s Mission visits with LePage, hopes for expansion

James H. Harvey | BDN
James H. Harvey | BDN
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

INDIAN ISLAND, Maine — The Indian Women’s Mission distributes food and clothes to families in need and aims to educate disadvantaged women and children in the area, but it’s out of space.

Rose Scribner, a member of the Penobscot Nation, has run the mission out of her Indian Island home for 15 years but doesn’t have the space she needs to start classes and expand services to struggling people in the community.

“We’ve outgrown what we’re doing here,” Scribner said Tuesday. “We just want to do positive, good, meaningful and loving things for people.”

The mission received a plot of land along Route 116 in Alton, about 15 miles from Indian Island, where it hopes to place a building with office space and room for four classrooms as well as a larger facility to store food and clothing donations, according to Scribner.

Scribner visited with Gov. Paul LePage on Sept. 14 to tell him about the organization, its goals for women and children who seek help from the group, and its hopes for growth.

Scribner said LePage was attentive and supportive of what the group does and its expansion plan, and she’s confident the mission will have his support.

She presented LePage with a certificate to remind him of their visit and thank him for taking the time to meet.

The mission is waiting on a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services before it continues to plan for a new facility, according to Scribner. She said she hopes to learn if the mission received the grant soon so that construction can begin in the spring.

“We need space to continue this work and pick up more things to do,” she said.

Scribner said the expansion would create room for classes that could give the Indian Island area a much-needed economic boost. The mission plans on starting computer, General Education Development, cooking and nursing courses to help disadvantaged women find jobs.

Three women have already earned GEDs while taking courses at Scribner’s home and moved on to college courses, she said.

“I just feel we need to pull them up by the bootstraps,” Scribner said. “Get them up, encourage them.”

Scribner started the mission 15 years ago after losing a son to Lou Gehrig’s disease and her husband to a stroke. She said she started the mission as a way of volunteering her time to improving the lives of others in her community.

“Without this work, I don’t know what I’d do with my life, really,” she said.

The Indian Women’s Mission is geared toward serving tribal women and their children, but helps any family that needs assistance, Scribner said.

“When it comes to feeding people and clothing them, one cannot discriminate,” she said

The Indian Women’s Mission is located at 19 West St. on Indian Island.

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