Profiles In Giving
Our donors help make our programs a success—and we are grateful. We would like to introduce you to a few of them.
Meet Some of Our Donors
Vivien A. Pitman - Saco, Maine
(Note from Peg Brown, Director of Development: The memorial tribute below was written by one of our donors who recently made a gift in memory of the late Vivien A. Pitman of Saco. The donor believes that Mrs. Pitman's life-long commitment to unselfishly help the elderly and the less fortunate personifies the efforts the Southern Maine Agency on Aging makes every day to assist seniors. “I believe that SMAA is a unique resource for help that deserves the support of every resident of southern Maine," he states with emphasis.)
Vivien A. Pitman’s name certainly isn't a household word in Maine outside of her chosen profession of nursing, but Vivien Pitman will long be remembered by her patients and other nurses whom she inspired during her lengthy nursing career.
She was born Vivien Avery and grew up in Brunswick, Maine. In 1936 she graduated from the Maine General Hospital School of Nursing in Portland and became a night supervisor at the former Farrington Hospital in Portland
Her service to her community and her country began in her youth when she became the youngest Girl Scout in the state of Maine to earn the coveted Golden Eaglet Merit Award. Later, as a young woman, she became a part-time Girl Scout troop leader helping to show young girls paths to service and good citizenship.
As a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nursing Corps during World War II, Vivien braved the German bombing of Britain to treat wounded Allied soldiers returning from the battlefield. Her assignments included acting as supervisor of neuropsychiatric services at the 279th Station Hospital in England. After contracting tuberculosis in the damp climate in england, she found herself on a hospital ship returning to a stateside military hospital. It was her long-held conviction that women were entitled to be on the front lines, in the thick of it.
In civilian life, Vivien Pitman went on to distinguish herself not only as a highly respected registered nurse, but also as a nursing home owner with a reputation for excellence. In 1959 she attained a long-term goal by starting a full-care nursing home in South Portland called the Manden Nursing Home on Broadway. She was very proud of the home and always put the welfare of the patients first. The Maine Department of Human Services was so impressed that it used her nursing home facility as the standard by which to judge other nursing homes in the state. Poor health combined with the demands of running a large business forced her to sell the facility in 1970. In 1971, her husband, Paul C. Pitman, died after a long illness.
Vivien died at the age of 81. Although her life of service has ended, her memory continues to inspire nurses who believe that the satisfaction of helping the sick and less fortunate is truly a reward unto itself.
Alan Nichols - Wells, Maine
“I have benefited tremendously from the services of Southern Maine Agency on Aging!” It’s RSVP program has allowed me – a stroke survivor – to participate as a volunteer in a Stroke Mentoring Program being developed at York Hospital. As well, I now have excellent Medicare Supplemental Health and corollary prescription coverage due to the knowledge, counsel and calm demeanor of SMAA’s Resource Specialist Division.”
“I was blown away by the range and scope of SMAA’s outreach programs for the elderly when I attended a Volunteer Luncheon earlier this year. One other volunteer was 100 years old, knitted blankets for the needy and typified the spirit of all attendees: enthusiastic, engaging and uniformly positive in outlook. Each and every volunteer loved what they were doing and each EMPATHISED with the many needs and issues of the clients they served.”
“SMAA is unique, precious and a leader. Thank you all, staff and volunteers. For these reasons, I am a generous donor and SMAA is part of my estate plan.”
Judith Stone - Portland, ME
As a nurse I have always had a passion for the care and well-being of the elderly. I carried that passion with me throughout my career and while at Maine Medical Center I had the opportunity to collaborate with the Southern Maine Agency on Aging's leadership. In an effort to address some senior care needs within the Greater Portland community, I learned about the Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) and was very impressed with their personnel and with the good work of the organization.
Since that time I have been privileged to work on a number of community initiatives related to senior services and have always found that SMAA is at the table and critical to the success of the programs. The dedication to all aspects of senior life is evident in all the Agency does and its staff is caring and compassionate. The community is blessed to have such an active and viable force working on behalf of its citizens.
For these reasons and countless others, I see SMAA as an invaluable community resource and most worthy of supporting. I know it will be there when I require some of its many services.
Thank you SMAA.
Barbara McLellan—Loyal Employee and Donor
|Barbara McLellan remains independent in her own home and gives so others can do so as well.|
Barbara McLellan of Cape Elizabeth worked for the Southern Maine Agency on Aging for ten years, beginning as a clerk/typist and working her way up to office manager. In 1987, Barbara retired, but her commitment to our work continued.
Barbara is the third generation to live in her large house—and she’s determined to stay in the house as she gets older. But, Barbara also knows that sometimes that is difficult to do, especially when you are on your own. Fortunately, Barbara knows that if the time comes when she needs help, she’ll be able to turn to the Southern Maine Agency on Aging. In the meantime, she refers friends to our services and makes an annual contribution to support our work.
Barbara was surprised that we wanted to profile her. She asked, “Why me? I don’t give that much each year.” But, for us, it isn’t the amount of support that is important, but rather the consistency of her dedication to the organization long after her employment ended.
Marjorie Allen—Bequest Donor
Marjorie Allen was an inspiration to her many friends for her long and active life, her independence, sharp mind, dry wit and “wicked sense of humor.”
Born in Cherryfield, Maine in 1910, Marjorie went on to work for the U.S. Government, Geological Survey, Water Resources Division in Washington, D.C., then took an assignment in the Agency’s field office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marjorie lived independently well into her 90s until she suffered a fall. After her fall, Marjorie needed assistance. Fortunately, Marjorie had the resources to hire outside care. During her final years, Marjorie frequently talked about how lucky she was to have the help of friends, without whom she would not have been able to maintain her independence.
Marjorie always felt it was important to provide for those were not as fortunate as she was. To this end, she supported many charities throughout her lifetime. Marjorie’s bequest to the Southern Maine Agency on Aging was a way she felt she could help others maintain the quality of life with which she had been so blessed.
Iva Johnson—Meals on Wheels Donor
|Iva Johnson donates because a neighbor benefited from Meals on Wheels.|
Nearly a year later, we finally connected with Iva and visited with her in the shade of her backyard in Windham, her grandchildren playing in the pool, her son hanging laundry, wild turkeys sauntering by.
When we asked Iva what motivates her to give so regularly to the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, she replied, “I had a wonderful neighbor, Gertrude, who had no family, and she received Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels and help from neighbors allowed her to stay in her home until she died last year.” Iva had read about Meals on Wheels in an article years before—and, then she had an opportunity to see it in action. Iva’s been sending checks to Meals on Wheels ever since.
For Iva, now 72, donating to Meals on Wheels is what works best for her. She has friends that help deliver with Meals on Wheels, but because she takes care of her grandchildren, she is not in the position to give of her time.
Iva knows first-hand the importance of nutritious food. She grew up on a farm in Scarborough with six siblings, cows, chickens, and pigs. She still has a large vegetable garden although not as large as when she was raising her four children and doing lots of canning.