2nd Quarter 2023
Island Connector
Our Mission

Island Connections provides free transportation and other services to seniors and people with disabilities from Mount Desert Island and the surrounding islands to enhance their independence and quality of life by utilizing our core group of dedicated volunteers.

  • Message from the Executive Director
  • New Giving Circle
  • April is Volunteer Appreciation Month
  • Match Challenge in July
  • "Ride Wise" Numbers
  • Downeast Transportation Expanded Services
  • 211 Maine
Our Office will be closed:
  • April 17 - Patriots' Day
  • May 29 - Memorial Day
A message from Executive Director Sharon Linscott
Dear Friends,

Spring is upon us. The time when the earth reawakens and flowers arrive. Spring came early in the Island Connections office when a thoughtful Neighbor brought us a bunch of tulips (see photo above.) Looking at them makes us smile and lifts our spirits.

Just want to fill you in on some exciting things coming up here at Island Connections. We are so excited to announce our new Giving Circle as a way to honor special donors that will help sustain Island Connections into the future. Also, stay tuned for details on our annual Match Challenge slated for July. We are so grateful for how the MDI community supported our previous match campaigns and we know you will help us meet our goal this year. Our donors mean so very much to us!

To all volunteers, keep your eye out for special appreciation activities during Volunteer Appreciation Week in April. Words cannot express how grateful we are for each and every one of you. Some of you drive once in a while and some drive several times a week. We couldn't do what we do without YOU! You are the driving force of our organization.

As the weather starts to get warmer and folks get outside more, if you are walking by the Bar Harbor Municipal Building on Cottage Street, please stop in the office and say HI! We are on the lower level and we would love to see you.

Blessings & Peace,

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and the week of April 16-22 is set aside as Volunteer Appreciation Week.

We like to show our appreciation to our volunteers throughout the year, but we will have special things going on in April. We will hold live Facebook raffle drawings during Volunteer Appreciation Week and the winning volunteers get a $25 gift card to the MDI business of their choice! We did this last year and it was a lot of fun. We also have some special tokens of appreciation in the works.

Our need for volunteers is constant, as the demand for our services increases. In a typical month, we sign up twice as many new Neighbors as we do new volunteers.

Being a volunteer driver for Island Connections is extremely flexible. You get to choose when, how long, and how often you want to volunteer. As a volunteer you also build lasting connections with our Neighbors. Many of our volunteers told us they like volunteering because they want to help others and give back to our community. And it feels good!

To learn more about being a volunteer driver, call us at 207-288-4457. Or CLICK HERE to apply online. We would love to welcome you to our family!
Our Match Challenge will be this July!

We will launch our 4th annual Match Challenge toward the end of June and the campaign will run throughout the month of July.
This year's challenge will be to match $15,000 in seed pledges.
Stay tuned for more details!

If you don't want to wait until the Match Challenge, donate to Island Connections below.

Through this link, you can also become a monthly donor. You choose how much you want automatically charged to your card or withdrawn from your bank account each month. It is very convenient and helps sustain our program throughout the year.
"RIDE WISE" at Island Connections

In the first quarter of 2023:
  • We completed 1,302 one-way rides, which includes
  • 206 food delivery routes and
  • 218 grocery shopping trips
  • Added 18 new Neighbors
  • Added 14 new Volunteer Drivers
  • 80 Volunteer Drivers gave approximately 514 hours of their time and drove approximately 13,689 miles

Consistently now, one-third of our rides help address food insecurity in our region. We deliver food for Meals on Wheels, the Food Access Project and the Bar Harbor Food Pantry. We also have our own shopping program for our Neighbors. Sometimes we take them to the store, but mostly our volunteers shop for them or pickup their to go orders in Ellsworth.

The biggest impact to our 1st quarter transportation services was the numerous weather cancellations. When winter came, it really came. If Mother Nature had been kind, we would have provided an additional 75 rides last quarter.

On average, the number of new Neighbors is about twice the number of new volunteers, but this quarter the number of new volunteers was close to the same. We have some awesome new volunteers!
Downeast Transportation
has an expanded schedule

There are times when Island Connections is unable to provide services for one reason or another. That is where Downeast Transportation comes in. Downeast Transportation is Hancock County's public transit provider. They offer shopping trips to Bar Harbor and Ellsworth, five-day-a-week bus service between Bar Harbor and Bangor, and midday shuttles in Bar Harbor, and Ellsworth.

The midday fare is $1.00 per day within one town, $3 within neighboring towns, and $6 for longer Hancock county rides. Rides from Bar Harbor to Bangor cost $9. The round-trip fare is the same as the one-way fare, provided you complete your trip in one day. They ask that you have exact change.

All Downeast Transportation buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts.
For more information regarding their routes and times click here.
Or call 207-667-5796.
Did you know about 211?

211 is a free, confidential information and referral service that connects people of all ages across Maine to local services. 211 Maine is based in Maine and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
211 is known as the resource where people go when they don’t know where else to go. Whether it’s financial assistance, domestic violence, addiction treatment, health care, mental health, or heating and utilities assistance, they will talk to you to find out what you need and walk you through all the options to find the right service or program for you.

211 Maine is a collaborative effort of the United Ways of Maine, the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and The Opportunity Alliance as the Contact Center Partner.

Dial 211 today!
Contact Island Connections:


93 Cottage Street, Suite 101
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Office hours are Monday - Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Sharon Linscott, Executive Director
Island Connections * 93 Cottage Street, Suite 101, Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Phone 207-288-4457 * info@islconnections.org * www.islconnections.org