JD Foundation looks to continue its mission with new office building

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ABBOT — For over a decade the JD Foundation has been working as an educational tool across Maine in order to bring suicide prevention and bullying rates down through awareness and education. The organization had previously been based out of the 107 Main Road home of JD Foundation founder Cheryl Morin and her husband Vic, but now a converted carriage house on the Morins’ property will serve as the organization headquarters. The office space was formally opened during a ceremony on Oct. 14.

Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, said he became involved with the JD Foundation years earlier during an organization fundraiser. “There was a huge yard sale here, a whole lot of work, and I said you should do an auction and little did I know twice a year I would do an auction for them and it’s been a pleasure,” Davis said.

He was joined at the grand opening by Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford, and the two had a Legislative Sentiment — also from Rep. Norm Higgins, R-Dover-Foxcroft — to present to the Morins. Stearns read the sentiment which said the JD Foundation — named for Cheryl Morin’s son William Jody Day who she lost to suicide on Nov. 18, 2005 — has provided outreach to over 1,000 students and conducted more than 60 suicide awareness workshops.

“No family should have to lose a loved one due to a lack of education,” Stearns read. “We hope this finds a home in this beautiful new building,” Stearns said to Morin, who also received a letter and flag from U.S. Rep Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine.

“For about nine years Vic and I have opened our home to suicide prevention, working with clients one on one,” Morin said. She said they have used every available bit of space with boxes in every corner and utilizing a spare bedroom.

“We have even had our dogs go for a ride while I saw a client one on one,” she said. “We are really happy to do it, no regrets, but we are really happy we can have a life outside the JD Foundation.”

Morin said the new office separates her work and home lives and the building is “a wonderful, cheery place to lift people’s spirits naturally.”

She said she wanted to thank some key people, including the Pushor family of Guilford who donated the former carriage house. “To them the building had no purpose but to us it was pure gold,” Morin said.

The structure needed to have the roof removed for transport and John Douglass of R.A. Thomas Logging of Guilford performed this task and putting the roof back on top with a logging truck. Dave Littlefield Trucking of Parkman put the building on a flatbed for the move over the backroads from Guilford to Abbot. Both businesses performed the work at no cost.

After thanking longtime “special friend and consistent donor” Linda Palmer of Abbot, Morin acknowledged her husband.

“He’s worked night and day on this building, doing 90 percent of the work on it,” Cheryl Morin said. She said Vic Morin has put in more than 500 hours “and he continues to work on it.”

Morin said many others have helped the JD Foundation over the years. “We know we have saved lives, we know we have made a difference in many lives,” she said. “We want to keep working and reduce the stigma around suicide.”

Before the conclusion of the program Morin introduced Adrienne Clarke, part of a group of new facilitators and trainers for the organization. She said Clarke, who served a decade in the U.S. Army, will be leading support groups for veterans, “to get to know what their needs are and help them in every way we can.”

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
CONGRATS ON THE NEW OFFICE BUILDING — Cheryl and Vic Morin of the JD Foundation, center, in Abbot were presented with a Legislative Sentiment from Sen. Paul Davis, R-Sangerville, left, and Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford, during a grand opening for the organization’s new office building located next to their home on the Main Road on Oct. 14. For over a decade the JD Foundation has been working as an educational tool across Maine in order to bring suicide prevention and bullying rates down through awareness and education.

Observer photos/Stuart Hedstrom
NEW HOME FOR THE JD FOUNDATION — A donated former carriage house, which was moved to Guilford from Abbot at no charge, will now serve as the home of the JD Foundation. Organizer Founder and President Cheryl Morin had been operating for over a decade out of her adjacent home on the Main Road.

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