This is one of a series of profiles on the 2018 Giraffe Award winners. Each week leading up to the Champions for Children Luncheon on November 15th, we will feature a profile on a 2018 Giraffe Award Winner and showcase how they “stick out their neck” for Maine children, youth and families. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Karen Heck, Senior Program Officer at the Bingham Program.
After 30 years in the non-profit world, starting and working in several, Karen Heck got a dream job working for the Bingham Program in 2004. Her part-time job sharing position with Lisa Miller has allowed her to pursue her passion for social justice, share her knowledge of the philanthropic world with non-profits seeking support, and create friendships with people who control resources that can be put to good use by the non-profit sector. As she looks to retirement at the end of this year, Karen is looking forward to spending more time working at Tree Spirits, the winery owned and operated by her and her partner, Bruce.
“Karen is an inspiration to many and I believe it is because her work is driven by her heart. She cares so deeply about the children and families of Maine and has spent decades working to promote public policy that will set them up for success. Karen also has a strength of will that few possess which I think is driven by her innate sense of equity and justice.” –Morgan Hynd, Program Director, the Bingham Program
As a leader of the Early Childhood Funders Group, Karen helped secure a collaborative funding effort to support a systemic early childhood advocacy campaign. Karen is a co-founder of Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, an organization that has served to inspire and empower the voices of girls in our state. She also represents the philanthropic community on the Maine Children’s Growth Council. Karen has worked closely with the Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN) to help build broad awareness in the state about the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the role of resilience in surviving ACEs. Through her work at the Bingham Program, Karen has ensured that organizations have the resources they need to build greater awareness and policy changes around the issues that are impacting Maine’s children.
We are so grateful for the commitment and passion Karen has devoted to advocating for children’s issues and supporting organizations in their work to ensure the well-being of children in Maine for now and for future generations.
Karen Heck will be awarded an Individual Giraffe Award for her commitment and support for investments in early childhood on November 15th at the Champions for Children Luncheon.
Don’t forget to join us for the 2018 Champions for Children Luncheon! And keep an eye out for upcoming profiles featuring the rest of our 2018 Giraffe Award winners.