L.L. Bean board of directors, employees give $3 million to nonprofits in 2014

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FREEPORT — L.L. Bean announced Tuesday that the company will donate $1.9 million to nearly 80 organizations, including the United Way, and provide small grants to dozens of others.

The company’s employees donated $1.1 million to the United Way this year, according to a statement L.L. Bean released Tuesday.

The gifts from the charitable giving program — ranging from $5,000 to $225,000 — were approved by the L.L.Bean board of directors at its December meeting.

The company’s corporate gifts to the United Way total $547,000.

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The program, which focuses on “engaging young people in healthy outdoor activities and ensuring access to recreational opportunities for all,” will provide funding to such programs as Maine Audubon, Teens to Trails, Maine Huts and Trails, Student Conservation, Maine Island Trails Association, Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and sporting groups such as Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited and Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and the Carrabassett Valley New England Mountain Bike Chapter.

Among specific projects, the funds will support a collaborative effort between Mollyockett Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Conservation to create handicap accessible fishing access on Sebago Lake near the state park.

The United Way branches throughout Maine, as well as Freeport Community Services, the American Red Cross the Cancer Community Center and the Mitchell Institute will receive funding under the health and human services category. In education, Jobs for Maine’s Graduates and Junior Achievement, as well as support for local school districts, will benefit. Cultural and arts organizations include the Bangor Folk Festival, Maine State Music Theater and Portland Museum of Art.

The company also provides $200,000 annually to support the Island Explorer propane bus system at Acadia National Park.

“Encouraging outdoor recreation and conservation is the foundation of our company, and we believe in the value of supporting organizations whose missions align with that heritage,” L.L. Bean chairman of the board Shawn Gorman said in the release. “In addition to funding outdoor groups, it is essential to support the work of those community entities that serve human needs.”

According to the release, the program has donated nearly $30 million in funding to nonprofits in the last 10 years alone.

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