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Governor Baldacci Announces $300,000 for the Maine Commission for Community Service to fund Grants to Engage More Volunteers

August 25th, 2010

AUGUSTA - Governor John E. Baldacci announced a $300,000 grant to the Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) to recruit, manage, and retain more volunteers to address pressing local needs in Maine. The grant was awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Volunteer Generation Fund, a new program authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act to expand opportunities for more Americans to serve while enhancing the capacity of nonprofits to have a sustained impact in local communities.

The grant will support volunteer connector organizations to increase volunteer engagement of youth, young adults, and individuals over 55 in activities addressing local energy and health needs while building capacity in volunteer programs. It will also be used to support peer networks to foster collaboration and peer support among managers of volunteers.  In addition, the Commission will increase access to professional development opportunities for managers of volunteers.  Research shows that managers of volunteers who receive high quality training increase retention rates, improve the quality of the volunteers experience, and make a greater impact on a community need.

Maine people count on volunteers and volunteer programs to complement the work of government in providing essential services to Maine’s communities,” said Governor Baldacci.  “Young and old, Mainers hear the call and are willing to serve their communities because taking care of each other is what being a Mainer all is about.  This strength – citizens engaged in community volunteer service – is something we cherish.”

The Maine Commission for Community Service has a long history of serving as a catalyst in solving challenges that face Maine's volunteer sector and building effective partnerships.  The grant proposal was written in collaboration with VolunteerMaine Partners, Maine HEARTH partners, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies and participants in peer-to-peer networks of managers of volunteers.  The Volunteer Generation Fund will provide MCCS with resources to establish a strong and consistent infrastructure to support volunteers in Maine. Information on how local organizations can apply for a share of the funds will be available in Fall 2010 on http://www.maineservicecommission.gov/ .

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. 

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.  To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.