Winslow teen presents check to Project Sparrow


Amy Moody, left, accepts a check on behalf of Project Sparrow from Winslow’s Miss Teen International, Mikayla Gurney. (Photo by Jeani Marquis)

by Jeani Marquis

The board president of Project Sparrow, Amy Moody received a $265 donation check from Mikayla Gurney, Winslow’s Miss Teen International 2018, as part of the activities at Winslow’s Public Safety Open House.

Helping children is Mikayla Gurney’s platform as her reign as Miss Teen. She feels Project Spar­row will put her donation to good use making foster children who are going into an unfamiliar situation more comfortable. Project Sparrow advocates for and supports at risk children being raised in Maine’s foster care systems.

Nearly 2,000 pinwheels were set up to represent the many children currently in Maine foster care. (Photo by Jeani Marquis)

Project Sparrow’s mission is to raise awareness of the needs of foster children and to fill in any gaps not filled by the agencies. There are nearly 2,000 children now in Maine’s foster homes. Many of these children had to leave unsuitable situations suddenly without extra clothing, diapers, toiletries and toys. With the help of donations, Project Sparrow provides these essentials.

“Maine’s children are in crisis. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of infants entering foster care due to the opiate crisis in our state,” explains Amy Moody. “Not everyone may feel they are called to be a foster parent, but there is always some way for everyone to help.”

The need is growing. To illustrate the number of foster children currently in Maine, Project Sparrow enlisted the JMG group from Winslow High School to set up the traveling display of nearly 2,000 blue pinwheels. Amy Moody said that it made a strong impression on the high schoolers that each one of pinwheels they inserted into the ground represented a foster child.

Project Sparrow’s next major project is their Christmas toy drive beginning mid-October. To get involved, look for information on the organization’s website or the Project Sparrow facebook page. What’s next for Miss Teen Mikayla Gurney? She’ll be working on the Project Sparrow Christmas toy drive as well because 2,000 foster children deserve a happy holiday.


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