The Charlotte White Center's source of inspiration is Charlotte Hudson White, born in Guilford, Maine, January 19, 1905, the daughter of Supreme Court Justice James Henry and Mary (McKown) Hudson. In 1927 she married John Powers White of Bangor, and together they had three children, Mary Loantha, James Hudson, and Betsey Louise.
In 1962, she was elected to the Maine State House of Representatives, where she served until 1973. Charlotte had devoted much of her time in the Maine Legislature to increasing services for people with disabilities.
In 1979, the Charlotte White Center was created by a group of citizens who were concerned by the lack of services in Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties for people with mental retardation or mental illness. To honor Charlotte for her selfless hours of work on behalf of people with life challenges, the Charlotte White Center was named after her. Charlotte White died in December of 1997 having lived a full and active life. At her funeral she was remembered in eulogy by family and friends for all the good works she had created during her life.
Her modest remarks at our opening in 1979 remain a beacon to inspire us today:
"I just thought we ought to do something good up here in Piscataquis for those people who are less fortunate than others."
With those very unassuming remarks by our founder, the Charlotte White Center began its first steps on a long and fruitful journey of service to others that has spanned three decades into the new millennium.
It is noted that those who survive us get to write the history. We are sure this will be the case with the Charlotte White Center. As we complete our third decade of service, there will be an ongoing history written by others who will come along to pick up the cause where we leave off. The history of this agency is written now in the manifestation of its good works.
Thoughts, that at one time were merely good ideas, were placed in the common good of a volunteer board of directors and skilled staff who translated these ideas into the real "bricks and mortar" of the many buildings we have purchased and programs we have built. Those actions enabled the Charlotte White Center to create a wide diversity of social service initiatives forming a healthier, stronger and more vibrant community than the one we inherited in 1979.
We have truly "come of age." The hard work and effort of so many caring, thoughtful, and concerned citizens through this period has transformed the social services landscape Charlotte White must have seen, in her vision to bring forth something good up here in Piscataquis, from one of bleakness to a very fruitful endeavor. Every day hundreds of staff and thousands of consumers engage in a process of open dialogue, thoughtful interactions, and support for personal goals that enrich the lives of all parties. We are, after all, about the "business" of building relationships, positive, lasting, and meaningful ones. For it is in this process of finding common value in each other and offering unconditional positive regard that healing, growth and sustained progress can occur.