A challenge to help others amid challenging times
The beneficiary of the Habigs' philanthropy is Families First Health & Support Center, a Portsmouth-based community health and family resource organization serving the Seacoast and southern Maine with affordable primary health care, parenting programs, prenatal care, dental care and mobile health care for the homeless.
"We decided we needed to evolve our simple gift-giving to Families First to inspire more people and businesses to give back to this community and make a difference in someone's life," said John Habig, who serves as executive director and financial adviser at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Portsmouth. "So in 2009, we issued a challenge to get others involved by seeking donations to go toward matching our $25,000 donation. We desperately want to make a difference and hope we can inspire others to give back."
"For all nonprofits, it has been a very challenging environment, given the economy since 2008," she said. "In challenging times, people give less and funding gets cut, but the number of people in need increases with more uninsured, unemployed and homeless. When a donor steps forward with a $25,000 donation, it is a big opportunity to inspire others to give."
To make services available regardless of ability to pay, uninsured patients are offered a sliding fee scale for primary, prenatal and dental care. Homeless patients using the organization's mobile health care program pay no fees. All one-to-one family support programs and most parent-education and family group programs are offered at no cost.
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