Starfish Village Ministry
Starfish Village is a ministry of the Waterville United Church of Christ that is a comprehensive program for homeless families that provides immediate and long-term practical help, advocacy and mentoring – all structured to meet the specific needs of individual homeless families to help them successfully and more quickly transition into permanent stability. After the one-year period, Starfish Village will continue to mentor the family as needed. It’s not a band-aid measure and it’s also not unicorns and fairy dust.
Recall the story about the young boy saving one starfish at a time. In this story, miles of starfish are tossed on a beach, brought too far ashore after a storm to out-run the receding tide. A man watches as a boy walks along the beach, repeatedly bending over, picking up one starfish at a time and throwing it into the sea. The man asks the boy what he thinks he’s doing, and the boy explains, “I’m saving starfish. The sun is rising, and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The older man, wiser but jaded by life, replies, “But son, there are too many starfish on this beach; you can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy listens but then bends down, chooses another starfish, and tosses it into the sea, saying to the man, “Well, it makes a difference to that one.”
If it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a village to save a family. I chose the name Starfish Village for this ministry to always remember the inspiring metaphorical story about the boy who saved one starfish at a time and in recognition of the belief that raising a child or saving a whole family requires the loving and specialized care of many.
Starfish Village Ministry is practical, rational, and common-sense driven.
What exactly does Starfish Village offer?
Using a collaborative partnership model, Starfish Village provides:
1. Emergency Care that responds to the immediate, urgent needs of the homeless or those facing imminent homelessness;
2. Intensive Advocacy that facilitates and oversees the delivery of services the homeless are entitled to receive, including advocating on their behalf for any possible charitable giving;
3. Long Term Mentoring of up to one year that guides a Starfish Village partner-family through the many challenges of transitioning from homelessness into a life of reasonable stability; and
4. Follow-Up Care offers continued friendship & support to partner-families beyond the one-year transitional period.
Is this the kind of local small proactive ministry you can support?
If so, you can mail a much needed donation directly to the church:
Starfish Village Ministry
c/Waterville United Church of Christ
7 Eustis Parkway
Waterville, ME 04901
OR you can also contribute online at the church’s webpage ---> https://www.watervilleucc.org/donate
(On the page, choose Missions, under Essentials Closet choose Other and please type in “Starfish” -- and you can set up auto contributions too).
Any questions, please contact Rev Mo via a Message on FB or call the church.
(Rev. Maureen Ausbrook)