Tees get A+ as animal shelter fundraiser

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Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland staff and volunteers, from left, Heather Smith, Anna McCartney and Robert Weimer, and adoptable puppy Riley, wearing shirts from a campaign by Maine Unites, which raised $10,000 for the animal shelter.

WESTBROOK — Tails at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland have been wagging a little harder lately. 

The animal shelter, located at 11 Landing Road, recently received a $10,000 donation from Maine Unites, a charitable organization under the company Atlantic Sportswear. The ARLGP was awarded the check at the end of February.

“It will support our life-saving programs and will support the more than 4,000 animals that come through our doors,” said Jeana Roth, the director of community engagement at the ARLGP. 

Atlantic Sportswear, which sells T-shirts and athletic clothing, created Maine Unites over a year ago to support Maine nonprofits. The organization sells custom T-shirts promoting nonprofits with the proceeds all going back to the nonprofit.

“Anyone can donate money, but this finds a way to entice others and get them involved,” said Brittney Troxel, the Maine Unites coordinator.

Maine Unites chooses a new nonprofit to sponsor every two months and then sells 400 T-shirts at $25 each. The shirts are designed with the nonprofit’s name on them, which Roth said allows people to promote their organization.

“It’s a really good opportunity to have these T-shirts on people in the community and having them show support for the shelter,” she said.

Roth said people were “really excited” to buy the shirts, which were available at the shelter and at Atlantic Sportswear, located at 36 Waldron Way in Portland. Troxel said Maine Unites had no problem selling out of the ARLGP shirts. 

In addition to the ARLGP, Maine Unites has sponsored four other nonprofits over the past year. It has raised $10,000 each for 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, Maine Audubon in Falmouth, Maine Huts and Trails in Kingfield and the Travis Mills Foundation in Hallowell. The next nonprofit being sponsored is the Milestone Foundation in Portland. 

“Ultimately the goal is to seek out nonprofits in Maine and bring attention to the things they need,” Troxel said.

Maine Unites plans to sponsor one nonprofit a month in the future. She said the ARLGP was chosen for a campaign because the Maine Unites staff loves the organization and many of them have adopted animals from it.

“They do so much for the greater Portland area and we’re very familiar with their services, so it was an easy decision to make,” she said.

Roth said the ARLGP is very grateful for Maine Unites’ support.

“They’re making a big impact on the community and they’re animal lovers so it meant a lot to us that they chose us,” she said. 

The $10,000 donation won’t be going to any specific project, Roth said. It will be added to the shelter’s regular operating budget so that animals can continue to be cared for. 

“That’s a significant amount of money that we can do a lot with,” Roth said. “It definitely makes an impact.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland staff and volunteers, from left, Heather Smith, Anna McCartney and Robert Weimer, and adoptable puppy Riley, wearing shirts from a campaign by Maine Unites, which raised $10,000 for the animal shelter.

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