The election for Common Cents 2022 is complete.
Please find more information about the Common Cents 2022 recipients here.
One of the ways we donate to our community each year is by organizing our Common Cents program. These donations allow Belfast Co-op shoppers to round up the total of their purchases to the nearest dollar, donating their extra change to provide support to a highlighted community organization whose work contributes to local resilience.
Contributing to “Common Cents” helps us meet our commitments to you, our neighbors, while fostering positive growth in our community. Let your cashier know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity each time you shop! Find out more about the program here.
We are doing some things differently this year!
- We have 58 eligible organizations this year after nominations were open most of the year. Read the lists below to see an overview, further down the page you may read a brief bio and click a link to their website for more info.
- We are introducing online voting with the intent to reach more owners with greater voting privacy.
- You may also notice the organizations are split into categories this year. There are many valuable organizations in our region and we want to spread our donations appropriately. We are suggesting owners choose two organizations from each category. Each owner gets 12 votes to put towards their chosen organizations.
- Voting will begin on October 18th and end on the 31st, you will be sent an email when voting begins.
- Owners will receive an e-mail with a voter ID and password to enter online.
- Owner Accounts with more than one owner will receive a separate e-mail for each individual on the account, similar to recent Board of Director elections.
If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone is welcome to be a Co-op owner- owners choose who to support by voting on the recipients! Learn more about becoming a Co-op Owner here.
Owners get 12 votes and may vote once per group, we suggest you spread your votes across these 6 categories.
Scroll down to learn more about each group and follow a link to their website.
⦁ Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS)
⦁ Bowsprit Foundation
⦁ Atlantic Challenge USA
⦁ Penobscot Marine Museum
⦁ The Good Life Center
⦁ Sundog Outdoor Expeditions
⦁ Little Learners Preschool at the YMCA Belfast
⦁ Belfast Area Child Care Services
⦁ White Ash Learning Cooperative
⦁ Upstream Watch
⦁ Friends of Sears Island
⦁ Friends of Lake Winnecook
⦁ Island Institute
⦁ Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition
⦁ Sebasticook Regional Land Trust
⦁ Natural Resources Council of Maine
⦁ Friends of the Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Area
⦁ Veggies for All
⦁ Maine School Garden Network
⦁ RSU 71 School Garden Collaborative
⦁ Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program
⦁ Waldo County Bounty
⦁ Building Advocates Leadership Program (Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine)
⦁ Waldo County Pet Food Pantry
⦁ Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective
⦁ Maine Youth Power
⦁ Knox County Homeless Coalition
⦁ From Above
⦁ Mabel Wadsworth Center
⦁ OUT Maine
⦁ New Hope for Women
⦁ Finding Our Voices
⦁ Maine Family Planning
⦁ Restorative Justice Project
⦁ Maine Equal Justice
⦁ Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and Services
⦁ Resources for Organizing and Social Change
⦁ WERU Community Radio
⦁ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Journeyperson Program
⦁ Rock Coast Roller Derby
⦁ Hardy Girls, Healthy Women
⦁ United Midcoast Charities
⦁ OUR Power
⦁ Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Mid-Maine
⦁ Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives
⦁ Four Directions Development Corporation
⦁ Volunteers of America Northern New England Treasure House
⦁ Penquis Foster Grand Parent Program
⦁ Outback Bicycle Repair
⦁ Belfast Senior Organization/Senior Center
⦁ Wales Park Community Garden
⦁ Waldo County YMCA
⦁ Belfast Area NEMBA
⦁ Belfast Flying Shoes
⦁ Come Boating!
⦁ Belfast Maskers
Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS)
WaYS empowers Wabanaki youth through environmental education and land stewardship curriculum that blends together scientific study with indigenous land-keeping wisdom.
Trekkers’ mission is to help young people cultivate their own inherent strengths. Trekkers programs include five learning components: community service, cultural awareness, environmental education, wilderness experiences, and healthy risk-taking or challenge.
OceansWide inspires students to become more involved in research and conservation of the world’s oceans by providing hands-on observation of the secrets hidden deep beneath the Gulf of Maine.
Creating opportunities for youth-in-need to gain practical-skills experience in agriculture, forestry, food preparation, and traditional crafts.
Atlantic Challenge USA
Atlantic Challenge USA provides experiences for personal development, youth empowerment, local and international community-building, seamanship skills, and connection to maritime heritage through rowing and sailing traditional boats, including Bantry Bay gigs and other human-powered vessels.
Penobscot Marine Museum
The Penobscot Marine Museum’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the maritime culture of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond through collections, education, and community engagement. We strive to connect our region’s past with contemporary issues that will shape our future.
The Good Life Center
The Good Life Center is dedicated to perpetuating the legacy and values of homesteading and back-to-land icons Helen and Scott Nearing through its preservation of their historic Forest Farm homestead in Harborside and programming that advocates for simple and sustainable living skills, social and economic justice, organic gardening and the non-exploitation of animals.
Sundog Outdoor Expeditions
Our mission at Sundog is to get Mid-Coast middle school kids outside participating in challenging activities in order to build confidence, craftsmanship, resilience, and integrity.
Little Learners Preschool at the YMCA Belfast
Our Little Learner’s Preschool, for age 3 – 5, provides a safe, fun, and comfortable setting where children can build positive relationships in a nurturing and inclusive environment. We promote emotional, cognitive, physical, and language development.
Belfast Area Child Care Services
Belfast Area Child Care Services was established to provide affordable, quality, child care to children of working parents, particularly, low-income families and children in special circumstances. Believing that our community will thrive when each member is valued, our mission is to nurture children’s growth and support healthy families.
White Ash Learning Cooperative
White Ash Learning Cooperative aims to offer young people the opportunity to derive their education from self-chosen activities and experiences. Using a sliding scale tuition model to increase accessibility to alternative education models, we offer year-round Nature Immersion programming and self-directed, project-based learning in literacy, math, science, and Spanish. Our mission is to provide young people with an empowering environment to take a leadership role in their education while cultivating a deeper relationship with the more than human world.
Upstream Watch Upstream Watch is an all-volunteer group advocating for the protection of clean water, fishing habitat, and wildlife. The organization works to protect and restore local fishing, indigenous rights in the Penobscot watershed, and the rewilding of the area’s rivers. Friends of Sears Island Friends of Sears Island is the organization charged with stewardship of the uniquely significant 601-acre conservation easement on Sears Island, one of the largest undeveloped islands on the Eastern Seaboard. Our mission is to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the island, and to maintain public access for recreation and education. Friends of Lake Winnecook Friends of Lake Winnecook Board of Directors and its members are currently working with the State of Maine and Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District on a 10 year Watershed Plan. Island Institute Since 1983, the Island Institute has partnered with thousands of dedicated people who care about the coast of Maine and believe that a sustainable future for our communities and the environment is crucial. Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition supports conservation and stewardship of natural and public resources of the Belfast Bay watershed through research, community-building, and education. Sebasticook Regional Land Trust SRLT’s mission is to recognize and conserve the rich wild and working landscape of Central Maine’s Sebasticook River watershed. Natural Resources Council of Maine NRCM’s mission is protecting, restoring and conserving Maine’s environment now, and for future generations. Friends of the Harriet L. Hartley Conservation Area The mission of Friends of the Harriet L Hartley Conservation Area is to support coastal land conservation now and for future generations, preserve and protect the waters of Belfast Bay and its watershed and promote the continued restoration of native flora and fauna to its ecosystem, and to collaborate with local citizen organizations working toward a common goal of environmental stewardship and ethical management of resources.
Veggies for All
Veggies For All (VFA) gleaning works with area farmers to redirect unused/surplus produce into area hunger relief programs and drop-off sites to increase access to those in need of fresh, nutritious food. VFA works closely with the food pantries, soup kitchens, churches, and drop-off sites to distribute the fresh food.
Maine School Garden Network
The mission of the Maine School Garden Network is to promote and support educational gardens for youth, and to encourage school programs that teach healthy eating and environmental stewardship.
RSU 71 School Garden Collaborative and BCOPE Garden Project
We are currently cultivating gardens at the BCOPE Campus (BAHS Alternative Ed.), East Belfast Elementary, Knickerson Elementary and Troy Howard Middle School. The Garden Collaborative allows these garden projects to share resources, knowledge, seeds, volunteers, curriculum and best practices and to foster greater connectivity between school communities. We recognize that our gardens do not end at their physical boundary, but that our decisions ripple out to affect our communities and ecosystems–we are committed to discovering, developing and sharing truly regenerative practices.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program
As an organization, our mission is to offer dignity and empowerment by providing all members of our community with access to healthy food. We envision a future where quality, nutritious food is available for all.
Waldo County Bounty
Waldo County Bounty is a hunger relief organization working to improve access to locally-grown foods for people experiencing food insecurity in Waldo County, Maine through cross-sector planning, collaboration, and fundraising.
Building Advocates Leadership Program (Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine)
The Building Advocate Leadership Program is a skill-building program designed to support participants in using their personal stories as tools for change.
Waldo County Pet Food Pantry
The pet food pantry will assist anyone, they are all-inclusive. They pride themselves in providing proper nutrition to all client’s pets.
Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective
Eastern Woodlands Rematriation is a collective of Indigenous people restoring the spiritual foundation of our livelihoods through regenerative food systems.
Outback Bicycle Repair
The mission of the bike kitchen is to repair and up-cycle bicycles for the community at costs proportional to income and to promote environmentally benign transportation, to create opportunities for folks to participate in low impact exercise that they might otherwise not feel available to them, to provide free classes for cyclists and motorists on what to expect from each other on our roads, to empower folks how to maintain their own bikes, and to redirect some of our waste streams.
Belfast Senior Organization/Senior Center
The mission of the Senior Center of Greater Belfast is to help older adult residents of Belfast live vibrant independent lives. We offer social engagement, outreach, and volunteer work for adults 60 and over in our community.
Wales Park Community Garden
We offer Belfast residents who want to garden but do not have land, to have a plot in the center of the city to raise vegetables. The opportunity to bring the community together, grow your own food, the exercise in doing so, and the pride of ownership, is a gift to all.
Waldo County YMCA
Waldo County Y is a vital community resource for fitness and wellness, and it is a site where all age groups, toddlers to elders, can learn and play.
Belfast Area NEMBA
Belfast Area New England Mountain Biking Association’s mission is to promote the sport of Mountain Biking to people of every level of experience, and to promote land conservation through trail building in Waldo County.
Belfast Flying Shoes
The mission of Belfast Flying Shoes is to bolster the spirited dance and music community in Midcoast Maine. The purpose of our nonprofit public benefit corporation is to promote the presentation, preservation, perpetuation, participatory enjoyment, and continuing evolution of traditional folk dance and music. Belfast Flying Shoes brings participatory dance and music to the general public via workshops, dances, and concerts. Other programs serve specific groups in our community, including older adults, students and staff in preK-12 schools, and residents at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center.
We are a volunteer-run organization dedicated to bringing people together to enjoy and celebrate boats and boating on beautiful Belfast Harbor and the Passagassawakeag River.
The Belfast Maskers is an organization for the performing arts, devoted to a wide range of creative and challenging theater for the education and enjoyment of the community of both participants and audience members. We serve both educational and social needs by embracing people of all ages and experience levels, learning by doing and learning from each other.
WERU Community Radio
WERU Community Radio is an independent, noncommercial, educational media organization. WERU engages with the local community to provide diverse music, independent news, public affairs and cultural content that connects, informs, and inspires.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Journeyperson Program
MOFGA’s Journeyperson program helps beginning farmers with business planning, mentorship, classroom training and financial support. Journeyperson program graduates collectively farm 10,000+ acres throughout the state. These farms have created nearly 800 paid jobs and $10 million in annual sales. More than 300 beginning farmers have graduated from our program, and nearly 9 out of 10 farmers who participated in MOFGAs entry level educational programs are still farming today.
Rock Coast Roller Derby
Rock Coast Roller Derby is a skater-owned roller derby league located in midcoast Maine. The mission of Rock Coast Roller Derby is to empower people to be strong, healthy, and confident through the sport of roller derby.
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women
The mission of HGHW is to take girls and gender expansive youth seriously and put the power in their hands to challenge a society that ignores their brilliance. We want young people to feel their power in our communities and to be engaged in building a world that is safe, respectful, inclusive and equitable for all.
United Midcoast Charities
Founded in 1942, United Midcoast Charities strives to make a stronger, more resilient community here in Midcoast Maine. UMC’s mission is to energize Midcoast Maine nonprofits through finance and guidance, supporting a network of resources stronger than any single organization. UMC’s primary focus areas are food, housing, health & safety and economic security.
Our Power is a coalition of Maine ratepayers, business leaders, energy experts, conservationists, climate activists, and others committed to putting the Pine Tree State’s electric grid infrastructure back in the hands of Mainers.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Mid-Maine
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset, and Waldo Counties.
Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives
MACPM is the Maine state chapter of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives. Our activities focus on promoting public awareness of midwifery as a safe and valid choice for maternity care and continually improving the quality of care through continuing education, peer review, and collaboration.
Four Directions Development Corporation
FDDC is a Native American Community Development Financial Institution that works every day to improve the social and economic conditions of indigenous people and the Wabanaki tribal communities in Maine. Much of our work supports the development of local, Native American food systems and supporting the economic and environmental agricultural goals of the 4 Wabanaki tribes- the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Mic Mac, and Maliseet. This work includes funding community gardens, business development for tribal agricultural enterprises such as Passamaquoddy maple syrup and blueberries, and expanding the production and market reach of Native American agriculture.
Volunteers of America Northern New England Treasure House
The Treasure House Program at Harbor Place, in the heart of Belfast ME, is home to six adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Treasure House provides supported living and education to residents to address all domains of life skills, interpersonal interaction, community activities.
Penquis Foster Grand Parent Program
Penquis is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1967 to alleviate and eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty. Through its programs and subsidiaries, Penquis impacts all of Maine’s sixteen counties, but primarily serves low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. Our mission is to assist individuals and families in preventing, reducing, or eliminating poverty in their lives and, through partnerships, to engage the community in addressing economic and social needs.
Maine Youth Power Maine Youth Power is an inclusive movement of young Mainers building power and working in solidarity across Maine to advance human dignity, access, and a livable future for all people. MYP is youth-led, multiracial, and femme-directed! Knox County Homeless Coalition Knox County Homeless Coalition is the only dedicated homeless services organization serving Knox county, as well as parts of Waldo and Lincoln counties. We’re addressing the root causes of homelessness through innovation and collaboration around affordable housing. We’re achieving incredible results in breaking the cycle of homelessness through wrap-around Client Services. And with our comprehensive youth program, The Landing Place, we are deepening our capacity to reach whole families in the most effective and impactful ways possible. From Above Addresses helping the unhoused in the Waldo County area. Mabel Wadsworth Center To provide healthcare using a feminist model focused on sexual and reproductive health through education, advocacy, and clinical services. OUT Maine At OUT Maine, we have an ambitious goal: to create more welcoming and affirming communities for Maine’s diverse queer youth in all of their intersectional identities by changing the very systems that serve them. New Hope for Women New Hope for Women offers support to people in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties affected by domestic and dating violence and provides educational resources to assist our communities in creating a safer and healthier future. Services include a 24/7 helpline, hospital accompaniment, support groups, legal services, emergency sheltering, transitional housing, and trainings for schools, businesses and for mental health professionals. Finding Our Voices Finding Our Voices is a Maine-based non-profit organization marshaling survivor voices and community creativity to boldly and creatively break the silence of intimate partner abuse. Maine Family Planning Maine Family Planning’s Prevention Program promotes youth sexual and reproductive health by strengthening school and community-based sex education. We provide technical assistance, innovative resources, and professional development opportunities to leaders working with K-12 youth to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Restorative Justice Project Restorative justice is a growing movement within educational and criminal justice systems around the world. The approach focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation both with the harmed parties and with the community at large. Those harmed take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions to repair the harm they’ve done. Maine Equal Justice Maine Equal Justice (MEJ) is a nonprofit civil legal aid and economic justice organization working to increase economic security, opportunity, and equity for people in Maine. We advocate for fair public policies in the legislature and with governmental agencies. We provide direct legal services and representation through impact litigation on systemic issues and partner with diverse low-income communities and agencies through outreach, organizing, and education. Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter and Services Our goal is to end homelessness one household, one family, one child at a time. Every year, MMHSS serves approximately 500 individuals. The majority are assisted through our 50 bed emergency shelter. Resources for Organizing and Social Change Resources for Organizing and Social Changing (ROSC) is here to nourish the landscape of social change work that grows power from the grassroots up. Our mission is to build and support a movement for nonviolent social change that will educate, activate, & empower people in Maine through grassroots community organizing. We strive to build infrastructure and strengthen cross-issue, statewide movement building by increasing leadership development for grassroots organizers, promoting democratic practices within organizations, and supporting work that gets to root causes of injustice.