The Red Stocking Fund

Appealing for support for Maine children & families

Child holding their drawing of home

The Russells adopted Harry in 2020What does home mean to you?

At the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, our definition of home has evolved over the past 121 years. Although we started as a physical safe home for orphaned children in 1899, today, the Maine Children’s Home is a figurative home of essential services that help children, parents, and families gain the tools and encouragement they need to be happier, healthier, and safer in their homes. Hundreds of Maine families benefit from the essential services we provide — counseling, adoption services, teen parent education and support, parent training and mentoring, summer camp resources and the Christmas Program. We believe ALL children and families deserve and need homes of love, meaningful connection, and stability.

In the time of COVID-19, the demand for home support has been more urgent than ever. This is why we are asking you to please contribute to the Red Stocking Fund of the Maine Children’s Home today. Together, we need to raise $100,000 by December 31, 2020 to help the Maine Children’s Home survive and thrive from this moment in history.

Please make a donation today!

One Time Donation

If you'd like to provide a note or special instructions, you will be able to do so after you have been redirected. 

Recurring Donation



About the programs your donation will support

Our George J. & Mary S. Mitchell Adoption Unit

In our adoption program, your donation will help support individuals and families who are facing the financial costs of pregnancy and birth-parent counseling; who are searching to be reunited with their family members; or who are moving forward with a domestic or international adoption.

Our Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program

In our teen-parent program, your gift will help provide education, counseling, support, and guidance to pregnant and parenting teens.

Our Christmas Program

In our Christmas Program, your contribution will help us purchase winter essentials and toys for the more than 1,700 kids our Christmas Program served in Maine each year.

Our Harland A. Turner Counseling Center

In our counseling program, your donation will support our outpatient mental health counseling, specializing in play and art therapy, and adoption counseling.


What your donation can do

$10 provides a family a copy of either Connected Child, Connected Parent, or Parenting with Theraplay®.

$30 pays for training in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI) for a parent raising their adopted or foster child.

$75 pays for one hour of individual or family counseling for those who have no means of payment but need counseling.

$100 can help a teen parent access childcare and other resources for themselves and their children.

$160  pays a full course fee for a parent to attend all eight sessions of a Making Sense of Your Worth Group.

$500 - $1,000 sends a counselor or an adoption staff person to TBRI® Family or Making Sense of Your Worth training.

$2,500 provides a Play Therapy week of training for counseling staff to better serve children and families.

$5,000 pays for the counseling of individuals and families who struggle with high deductibles, copays, or loss of insurance.

$6,000 provides summer programming for the Teen Parent School Program. 

$7,500 sends a staff person to TBRI® Practitioner training.

$10,000 brings the Theraplay Institute to the Maine Children’s Home campus.

$25,000 pays for space on the Maine Children’s Home campus for providing families with supplies and services.

$35,000 provides a TBRI Family Boot Camp experience for children and families who are built from adoption or foster care.


Make the most of your giving to the Maine Children’s Home using the CARES Act:

Here’s what you need to know about the CARES Act, and how you may be able to maximize your charitable giving this year to the Maine Children’s Home when it means the most.

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law to help combat the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. The CARES Act may provide increased tax incentives for charitable giving for some donors, but these benefits apply only in the 2020 tax year, so you must act by December 31.

First, donors who itemize can deduct cash contributions to the Maine Children’s Home and most other public charities to offset up to 100 percent of their income. Ordinarily, this income tax charitable deduction for cash gifts is limited to 60 percent of income. The 100 percent limit allows especially generous donors to reduce their 2020 federal income tax to zero. Existing carry-over rules still apply, so those who are even more generous can carry forward unused cash contribution deductions for up to five years. This makes it easier for our most generous supporters to make a gift of a lifetime to the Maine Children’s Home.

If you don’t itemize, you can take the standard deduction AND reduce your taxable income by up to $300 for gifts of cash to public charities by using an “above the line” adjustment.

Answers to a few questions regarding the CARES Act and giving:

Can a donor age 70½ or older still make a gift to the Maine Children’s Home from an IRA?

Most required minimum distributions (RMDs) from retirement plans have been eliminated for 2020; however, donors age 70½ or older can still make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD, or IRA charitable rollover) of up to $100,000 to the Maine Children’s Home from their IRA. While the benefit of using a QCD to satisfy an RMD does not apply for 2020, a QCD remains a great way to make tax-advantageous gifts, especially if the donor doesn’t itemize deductions.

Does the CARES Act have any impact on corporate giving?

Yes. The CARES Act Increases the cap on how much corporations may deduct for charitable gifts from 10 percent of taxable income to 25 percent.

Does the CARES Act apply to any gifts other than “cash”?

The increased limits are applicable only to cash donations. Contributions of any kind of property, including marketable securities, real assets or otherwise, do not qualify.

Who should the Maine Children’s Home supporters contact if they have questions?

We advise donors to check with their tax advisor to learn more about how the CARES Act may specifically apply to their tax situation.

We know that our supporters have important priorities for their families and loved ones and that their health and financial well-being comes first. We are here to help shape a charitable gift plan that suits a donor’s needs and allows them to keep supporting our important work. Please contact our Director of Development at

Thanks again for your generous support of the Maine Children’s Home.

This information does not constitute legal or financial advice. Consult your financial advisor and obtain professional counsel of an attorney to assist you in making a gift in a way that will benefit the people and organizations you care most about.


The History of the Red Stocking Fund

Red Stocking Annual AppealThe Maine Children’s Home’s annual fundraiser is named after the Red Stocking — a 121-year-old symbol of help and hope for thousands of Maine families and their children.

Around the turn of the 20th century, many Children’s Home Societies across the U.S. began using a red stocking as the symbol of need and giving during the holiday season. Children would make little red paper stockings and collect pennies to help the orphans. Today, we carry on this spirit of giving through our own Little Red Stocking campaign, a tradition that is nearly as old as The Maine Children’s Home itself. In the fall, we send out a Red Stocking appeal to our loyal supporters which helps us in all of our programs to build and strengthen families throughout the state of Maine.

For more information on how you or your business could help the children and families supported by Maine Children's Home programs, please contact the Development Department at 207-873-4253 (extension 217) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email Director of Development Elizabeth Barron.