By Sheri Bell

This past spring, I had the pleasure of attending the Scarborough Public Safety Annual Recognition Ceremony. It just so happens they were honoring my father-in law for 60 years of public service in the Scarborough Fire Department, along with many others in the Scarborough Fire Department and Scarborough Police Department. Yes, you read it right, 60 years. Now most people who hear that do the math and figure out he must have started when he as teenager, and you would be right! He caught the fire bug very early and has never lost it. He still goes to calls, runs trainings, attends meetings and is a role model not just for his family and the fire department, but the whole town! Well, I was sitting there waiting for the ceremony to begin, and I got thinking about what other ways can one volunteer.

I am sure I am not alone in dropping off a non perishable food item at a local food drive or even our very own Captains Cupboard. Maybe it was Toys for Tots or coats for kids’
box. Could it be you rolled up your sleeve at a blood drive? Now, there are many other ways you can donate, not just your money but your time. Project Grace, based in Scarborough, is always looking for volunteers to help wrap Christmas presents around the holidays, fill boxes of presents for the family and fill boxes and bags of holiday meal items. There are a few soup kitchens in the Portland area that are always looking for volunteers: the Wayside Evening Soup Kitchen at 252 Oxford Street, Portland (telephone number 328-1613), and the St. Vincent DePaul Soup Kitchen at 307 Congress Street, Port-
land (telephone number 772-1113). Both of these places are always looking for people
to help serve meals, but you need to call ahead and get on the schedule. This past spring with a manhunt going on in Northern Maine, many people dropped off water, coffee and food for the many law enforcement personnel. The plastic filling our oceans is at an all time high and many people are helping clean up their local beach area in between tides.

There are so many possible ways to volunteer, whether it be your money, your time, or both. Big Brothers Big Sisters is right down the road from our campus, and they are always on the lookout for people to step up and help with their many young members in
need of a positive role model (their phone number is 773-5437). As for me, I am always looking for new ways to give back, pay it forward, and do my part. In the past I have taught religious education, helped run many church groups and activities, given blood, dropped off books to my local library, given food to many food drives, helped out at a few soup kitchens, and visited the elderly and the sick. These good deeds have always
left me with a warm feeling in my heart. I am sure that you are able to come up with
many more ideas then I did. Please get out and volunteer, if for no other reason than that it will make you feel good! This year I will choose one organization or one way to shine the spotlight on in each issue. I will report on how you, the student here, can help this one organization. I will share all my information with you, so you can decide if this is some way you can give back.

Categories: Calendar

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