Past Projects

We are proud to have founded a number of organizations and programs that continue to serve the community, and to have supported many more. Several of our past signature projects are summarized below, followed by a full list of all of the Maine organizations the JLP has supported with volunteer hours and funding throughout our history.

Occupational Therapy Unit at Children’s Hospital and at Maine General Hospital 

Following the Junior League of Portland’s formation in 1922, its members sponsored two workers in the newly created Occupational Therapy Unit.

Children’s Theater

Founded in 1923 by the JLP, the Children’s Theater of Maine (formerly the Children’s Theatre of Portland) is the oldest continuously operating children’s theatre in the United States. Throughout the 1930s the JLP supported its annual expansion, leading to the establishment of a permanent venue. In 1943, the Children’s Theater was incorporated with financial support coming from the Junior League of Portland’s thrift shop (then known as the Salvage Shop) income.

Children’s Museum of Maine

In 1976, the Children’s Museum of Maine was founded by the Junior League of Portland. The Children’s Museum and Children’s Theater operated separately until they merged in 2008 as the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Center for Grieving Children 

The Junior League of Portland provided startup funding for the Center for Grieving Children from 1988-1990. Since its founding, the Center for Grieving Children has served more than 66,000 children, teens and their families.

Beacon Teen Center

In collaboration with Portland Ministries at Large, the Beacon Teen Center, a safe place for homeless and at-risk youth (now part of the Preble Street Resource Center), opened with strong Junior League of Portland support in the early 1990s.

Kids First Center

Having identified a gap in services to support children of separation and divorce, the JLP collaborated with the Center for Grieving Children to start a new nonprofit organization. The Kids First Center has served as many as 3,500 Maine parents and children each year since opening its doors in 1998.

Trauma Intervention Program

The Junior League of Portland is proud to have collaborated with Maine Behavioral Healthcare (previously Community Counseling Center (CCC), Portland's oldest nonprofit mental health and family services agency, to develop the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) in 2004. TIP connects individuals and families impacted by trauma or tragedy to supportive community services. It helps clients access needed services by working with other providers to strengthen the existing network without duplication. 

BackPack Program

From 2010 to 2013 the JLP put a focus on Hunger and Food Insecurity. Each day, one in five families in Greater Portland struggles to put enough food on the table. Hunger and food insecurity affects a child’s ability to grow and learn, a parent’s ability to work productively, and a senior citizen’s ability to stay healthy. For these reasons and more, the Junior League of Portland embarked on a mission of working to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in the greater Portland area. In partnership with the Good Shepherd Food Bank the JLP launched the BackPack Program to provide food insecure children in the Greater Portland area with easy-to-prepare meals during weekends and school vacations. The program impacted the lives of over 1,000 children in Maine, and the JLP found that school attendance increased on Fridays when BackPacks were distributed. If you are interested in learning more, please take a moment to check out the Tool Kits the Junior League of Portland and Good Shepherd Food Bank created. The BackPack Program Tool Kits are intended to serve as a guide for any organization who wishes to improve, expand, or begin the BackPack Program in their local community.

Click here to check out the Junior League of Portland, Maine's Impact Map. 

Additional Past Projects & Partners

Baby Hygiene Welfare Association Hospital Library Service at Maine General Hospital
Children’s Cardiac Clinic
Rheumatic Heart Project
Establishment of two 4-bed rooms at Medical Center (now Mercy Hospital)
Portland Hearing Society
Southern Coastal Family Planning Center
Women’s Center
Rape Crisis Center (brochures)
Ronald McDonald House (prepared meals through the Guest Chef Night program)

Victoria Mansion (summer manager’s salary)
Preservation Project (Greater Portland Landmarks restoration of Daniel Howe House)
McLellan-Sweat Mansion (restoration of 3 rooms)
Arts Council (calendar publication)
The Gate Coffee House (advocate’s salary)

Project Discovery (educate League Members to better fill community needs)
Boys’ Training Center (now Maine Youth Center)
Volunteer Career Development (courses offered)
Parenting Center at the University of Southern Maine
Woman-to-Woman Project (Evodia House)
Comedy Connection Job Mentoring
Opportunity Farm for Boys and Girls
Portland YWCA Teen Parenting Program
Family Crisis Center (refurbish rooms)
Community Learning Center (After School Learning Program)
School Volunteer Project (taken over by the City of Portland School System)
Mission Possible Teen Center
Portland West
Sweetser – Westbrook Bridge Home
Prides Corner School, Westbrook (KITK)

Preble Street Resource Center
Interview Clothes Closet (Goodwill Industries)
Family Center Shelter
Parkside Neighborhood Summer Program
Kids’ Closet
Portland Goodwill Industries Sheltered Workshop (Executive Director’s salary)
Wayside Soup Kitchen

Maine Audubon Society
Peaks Island Neighborhood Association (park improvement)
WasteCap Portland
Environmental Education Project (turned over to Maine Audubon)

Freeze Out Hunger gala
Portland Youth Opportunities Halloween Hayride and Party
Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) – “Hats Off to You”, Celebration of Caregivers
Maine Children’s Cancer Project- Festival for kids & families

Give Back the Night Safety Forum (in collaboration with Portland Police Dept.)
Children’s Museum of Maine Safety Day
Project KISS (Kids in Safety Seats) – led to passing legislation for mandatory use of seat belts.
Maine Youth Center/Long Creek Youth Development Center (life skills and esteem-building with incarcerated girls)

Recipients of Mini Grants Issued by the JLP
Southern Coastal Family Planning
AIDES Education Project Environment Task Force (JLP)
WasteCap Demonstration Project
Portland Ballet
Foster Grandparents (PROP) “Grammie Bag” Project
PSRC Committee video on homelessness
Cumberland County Affordable Housing Venture Building Materials Bank
Rape Crisis Center (Date Rape Awareness)
Lighthouse Shelter (Salvation Army Teen Shelter)
Project Safe start (Reiche School & Cumberland County Child Abuse & Neglect Council)
Root Cellar Ministries (sound system)
Windham Adult Education (daycare facility heater)
Community Health Services STEP Training Workshops
PROP (furnished a children’s waiting area)
Peaks Island Child Development Center (lead poisoning testing)
Center for Therapeutic Recreation