Volunteer Fare  
May 2018

The last month has been a busy one! With Senior Corps Week kicking off Older Americans Month (May) and volunteer recognition events wrapping up Volunteer Appreciation Month (April) there was no shortage of activities and people to celebrate. Check out photos and profiles of some on Maine's most dedicated volunteers and Senior Corps members on our social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter!

Yours in Service,
The Maine Commission for Community Service

Call for Presenters for the
Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism

This year's theme: "A Whole New World: Put Service to the Test"

Since 1986 , the Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism (BHCSV) has provided learning and networking opportunities for Maine's volunteer administrators, program managers, corporate employee volunteer coordinators, and service-learning educators. It is the
 only professional development conference tailored exclusively to the needs and challenges of Maine's volunteer sector.
The conference has a long tradition of mixing local peer presentations with sessions led by regional and national innovators. With the exception of the key note speaker, all the out-of-state session presenters donate their time and only accept reimbursement for travel and lodging.

Currently the Conference Planning Committee is seeking presentation proposals. This is your chance to share your skills and knowledge with your peers and colleagues!

Proposals Due : Friday, June 8, 2018 online at 5:00 pm.
How to submit: Online using link on VolunteerMaine.org or copy this url into browser for direct connection: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bhcsv-cfp
Conference organizers are especially interested in sessions that will help conference participants effectively engage volunteers in programs tackling thorny community problems.

Access the full Call for Proposals and additional details here.
MCCS Welcomes Five New Grantees to the Family

MCCS is pleased to announce that five Volunteer Generation Fund grants have been awarded to community-based organizations across Maine. The purpose of the Maine VGF grants is to provide support to volunteer programs in the State that are providing service in three focus areas: aging in place, transportation services and food security and assistance. 

The agencies that received the grants totaling $162,613 are:
  • Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Scarborough [$37,500]
  • United Way of Eastern Maine, Bangor [$37,500]
  • Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, Brunswick [$37,500]
  • Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Bangor [$14,714]
  • The WindowDressers, Inc., Rockland [$35,399]
Read more

In This Issue
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June 8

June 12, July 26, and August 21
Maine Philanthropy Center's free training series on grant resources and writing grants

June 13
Deadline to submit Excellence in AmeriCorps Award nominations

June 19
MCCS Office moves to the Elkins Building on the AMHI Campus

June 21 & 26
Rural State AmeriCorps Grantee Trainings

June 28-29

Jul. 19, 
Aug. 2, 16, and 30
AmeriCorps Grantee (including Rural State) Trainings

July 1, Nov. 1
Deadlines to apply to be an AmeriCorps NCCC member

October 9, 2018
Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism in Orono, ME

A Look Back on Volunteer Appreciation Month

If you missed it - April was Volunteer Appreciation Month! MCCS was busy organizing Governor's Service Award events for the Adult and Youth Volunteer Rolls of Honor and the individual awards ceremony held in the Hall of Flags on April 23. 

The Youth Volunteer Roll of Honor event was all new this year. Penobscot Theatre Co.'s improv team provided excellent entertainment, there was a medal ceremony, and refreshments! Everyone is looking forward to next year. 

To see more images from these events  click here.

Meet the Newest Commissioner
on MCCS's Board

Governor Paul LePage recently appointed Deborah Johnson to the Maine Commission of Community Service's Board of Commissioners. She is filling Seat 11 representing the State's volunteer community.

Deborah has been with the Department of Economic Development, Office of Community Development since 1997. She started as a Development Program Manager at OCD managing a portfolio of Community Development Block Grant recipients and has been the Director of the Office for the last 6 years.

Bring $25,000 to Your Community with
State Farm Neighborhood Assist

Neighborhood Assist aims to help identify key issues faced by citizens throughout the
 United States. Whether it's newer, safer playground equipment, a literacy program, or a  teen driver  safety initiative at your local high school, you or someone you know could be the catalyst for positive change in your community.

The submission phase is open from June 6-15 on www.neighborhoodassist.com. Program focuses include:education, safety, and community development. Please note, it's best to submit early, since a maximum of 2,000 submissions will be accepted.  Meaning, there is a possibility the submission phase ends early.  In the interest of fairness and accessibility, grantees are not eligible to win more than twice consecutively.
The application is short and simple.  Here are the three application questions:
  • How much does your cause focus on an unmet need in your community?
  • Why do you feel the $25,000 grant would address the unmet need?
  • How much of a lasting impact on this community would the proposal make?

Learn more 

Report from the National Conference on Citizenship

As you know, civic health is an essential measure of a community's health and viability. The indicators track specific aspects of how residents connect with each other, interact, make decisions, and foster activity (economic, social, etc.). Of course, one of the aspects  monitored is volunteering.

In October 2017, the National Conference on Citizenship -- a 64 year old organization chartered by Congress to foster citizenship -- issued its latest report, "Civic Deserts." It is a sobering and thought provoking read.

As defined in the report, "Civic Deserts" are communities without opportunities for civic engagement. These are increasingly common in the United States. The continued decline in a wide range of important indicators of civic health and connectivity threatens our prosperity, safety, and democracy.

The report provides plenty of food for thought for anyone who is engaged in their communities. Readers are encouraged to contemplate  what value service has on expanding trust among community residents. 

Access the report here.