Spring 2020

Frances Perkins is an American Icon FRANCES PERKINS: She had the wisdom and courage to re-imagine the future of our nation amidst perilous times. Her pioneering leadership and enduring legacy changed our country, exemplifying the best of American ideals and aspirations.

RE-IMAGINING: In a 1935 nationwide radio address, Frances introduced a radical new idea to a people in distress: Social Security. This new plan would require considerable compromise and much persuasion to convince leaders and lawmakers that this idea would lift a country from times of severe anguish to become an economically secure nation for generations to come. Her remarks defined the framework of her forward-thinking and planning: “The process of recovery is not a simple one. We cannot be satisfied merely with makeshift arrangements which will tide us over the present emergencies. We must devise plans that will not merely alleviate the ills of today, but will prevent, as far as it is humanly possible to do so, their recurrence in the future.” 

Today, again faced with national uncertainty and economic devastation for many, Frances Perkins’ forward-thinking principles can guide our country forward. Americans of 1932 saw their country moving fast in the wrong direction. Americans of 2020 are anxious about their futures. New Deal principles, intelligently implemented, rescued millions of Americans in earlier generations. Applied to twenty-first-century challenges, we believe that New Deal principles can make the difference today.

Like our namesake, the Frances Perkins Center
is committed to being part of the solution.

The COVID-19 crisis hasn’t changed our work here at the Frances Perkins Center so much as it has made it even clearer why it matters. We are increasing national awareness about Frances’ role in saving Americans from destitution, wanting to give hope that by applying the principles of Frances Perkins’ legacy, our governing bodies CAN address today’s societal ills for the benefit of ALL Americans.

Though our Center is very small, it carries an exceptionally large vision that now includes permanent stewardship of the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark. Begun as a dream of seven caring individuals, we now boast thousands who sustain this organization through acts of volunteerism and philanthropy–all guardians of this remarkable American legacy.

Your support allows the Center to create engaging programs, public policy forums, and exhibits that traverse the nation, conveying Frances’ legacy to an ever-growing audience who see its relevance to myriad challenges we’re facing today.

TRUST: We deeply appreciate your trust in the Center’s custody of Frances Perkins’ extraordinary legacy, one that has been unfolding for 140 years since her birth as Fannie Coralie Perkins on April 10, 1880. During this time of great uncertainty, we ask, as you are able, for your renewed commitment or a first-time annual gift.

We need your support, especially now, to enable the Center to strengthen and expand the impact of its programs into our second decade of honoring and advancing the woman behind the New Deal, building upon her legacy and applying her principles at a time of dire national need.

Thank you for being a part of this powerful national effort.

Sarah Peskin, Board Chair Michael Chaney, Executive Director

P.S. In 1960, at 80 years of age, Frances Perkins knew more still needed to be done to achieve the best possible life for all. She implored her listeners, There is always a large horizon…There is much to be done…I am not going to be doing it. It is up to you to contribute some small part to a program of human betterment of all time.” Americans today ARE contributing so much locally and across the country to help our fellow citizens make it to the other side, working to flatten the curve of COVID-19. We look forward to welcoming the public back to our Interpretive Exhibit in Damariscotta and soon to the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historical Landmark in Newcastle. Your gift will ensure that this too will be possible. Thank you.

Ways you can make a gift:

1. Online
2. Mail Check: Frances Perkins Center, PO Box 282, Newcastle, ME 04553
2. Gift of Securities/Stock, email Laura Chaney
4. Questions: email Laura Chaney

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