May 2017
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For Maine Volunteer Program Leaders, Sponsors, and Supporters
May is here, which means that Spring has officially sprung. It's also officially Senior Corps Week! It's the perfect opportunity to recognize the efforts and hard work of some of our State's most experienced volunteers.

Take advantage of the warm weather and sunshine to venture out in to your own communities and take part in some spring volunteering! Dedicate some time to a local food pantry, community garden, beach cleanup, or neighbor in need.

Yours in service,
Maine Commission for Community Service
SAVE THE DATE
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June 8
AmeriCorps Affiliate applications due for Fall start.

AmeriCorps Affiliates is a new grant opportunity for participants to serve as little as 100 hours to earn an education award; open to ages 14+. More info.

 

June 12

Deadline for Blaine House Conference Presentation Proposals. If you have expertise to share with novice, intermediate, or advanced volunteer managers and staff this is for you!

 

October 10

Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism at UMaine Orono - Key Note Speaker Tobi Johnson


May is the 100th Anniversary of JFK's birthday!
On May 29 take time to remember John F. Kennedy, the creator of the Peace Corps and National Service Corps who so infamously advised us to "ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country".
 
Here JFK is addressing the first Peace Corps volunteers in 1961.

2017 Maine Volunteer Roll of Honor
Adult Volunteer Roll of Honor members were recognized at the Portland Sea Dogs Volunteer Appreciation night on May 9!
 
For a full list of this year's 481 Roll of Honor Members click here.
 
Every year nominations open in October and close the following March. This is a non-competitive award process and easy to complete! The only requirement is that volunteers serve at least 500 hours in the calendar year.
Share Your Expertise!
If you have knowledge and skills related to the field of volunteer management we want you. The call for presentations for this year's Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism is now open. The Conference is being held on October 10, 2017 at UMaine Orono.

Proposals should be geared towards novice, intermediate, and advanced volunteer managers and program staff and focus on current trends in the field, expanding professional skills, clarifying issues, etc.


Deadline June 12.
 
SeniorCorps Week is May 15-19, 2017
As highlighted in this article from the Guardian, isolation among senior citizens is an international problem. SeniorCorps week is an excellent time to recognize and strengthen the activities of the senior volunteers in our communities working with their peers and neighbors to improve the lives of elderly Mainers. SeniorCorps members also act as foster grandparents to children in need of a positive mentor. Additionally, they provide invaluable services to veterans, their families, the environment, and numerous other activities.

Check out this great picture from Aroostook's RSVP Volunteer Recognition Night on May 4!

#SeniorCorpsWorks
 
Volunteerism Survey
The Commission is looking for input as it builds an application for Volunteer Generation Funding.
 
Our big questions are...
  • What are the hot button issues you are seeing in your service areas or local community that lend themselves to volunteer-based approaches? 
  • What are the  needs that could be well addressed by increasing local volunteer efforts?
Please follow the link within 1 week to our 4-question poll and provide us with some input from the field - it should take you less than five minutes to complete!


2017 Governor's Awards for
Service and Volunteerism
On April 24 First Lady Ann LePage presented the 31st annual Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism. Among those recognized was Olivia Spelman, a student at Falmouth High School, with the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award.
 
The other awardees were:
Julie Abbott - Volunteer of the Year
Megan McCue - Outstanding National Service Volunteer
Grace Interfaith Food Table - Outstanding Nonprofit Volunteer Program
For the full story and to learn more about the recipients, click here.
For the photo album of the event, click here.
For information on how to nominate an individual or organization visit http://www.volunteermaine.org/governors-service-awards/ or contact Cecily Cook at cecily.cook@maine.gov.
The Maine Commission for Community Service
Welcomes 10 New Board Members!! 
During the April Business Meeting on the 21st 10 new commission members took their oath and were officially sworn in to the 25-member commission.
The new members include (from left to right): Coleman Lapointe, Brianna Tibbetts, Melik Peter Khoury, David Burns, Sean Ingram, Diane Dickerson, Nicholas Isgro, Beth Lambert, and Aaron Dombroski. Jacinda Goodwin was also sworn in later in the meeting.
For more information about the new members and the seats they hold on the commission click here.
Encouraging Employees to Volunteer can be Great for your Company, Community, and Employees!
 
As the labor market tightens, competition for employees is fierce. In addition to competitive pay and benefits packages companies are turning their attention to individual skills development as a way to attract and retain employees. One way to do this is through a meaningful volunteer program; creating an opportunity to give back and develop professionally is valued by a lot of employees.
 
"We [are] helping them develop skills, which is obviously also helping the agency,"  Tina Kozak, the President of a Detroit-based public relations firm, said. "Our people and our work are our most important products. But also, the focus on that helps us retain employees because they see we are investing in them and they want to stay, they want to do great work - it's helping them visualize where they can be."

Furthermore, according to Jenny Lawson, president of networks for Points of Light, "Employee volunteer programs are important because they sit at the intersection of three goods": 1) positively impacting communities; 2) connecting people to a sense of purpose and meaning; and 3) more engaged employees results in increased retention, reduced recruitment costs, and an enhanced bottom-line value. For more information on how to start employee engagement or pro-bono programs at your company click here.