Volunteerism in Maine remains at significant national ranking

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 4:07 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Volunteering or lending a helping hand is what Maine is all about.

This week is National Volunteer Week.

Maine ranks fourth in the country for volunteer impact, according to a recent study through Maine.

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Gina Bingham is no stranger to volunteering.

She settled in Maine not long ago and immediately searched for ways to help, mostly because Bangor reminded her of home.

“I grew up in a town that was very similar to this area, and it was a town where everybody knew each other, and if there was somebody that needed something, it was no hesitation,” said Bingham.

According to the Maine Commission for Community Service, 392,000 volunteers served 32.6 million hours in Maine between September 2020 and 2021 despite the pandemic.

Vernon Carmack, 24, says there’s always more work to be done and wants to see more young people active in the community.

“I feel like if a lot more younger people got into this line of work and just volunteered more and learned about it more, I feel like it’ll make a huge change,” said Carmack.

“Knowing that I come here every day and I’m making a difference, really affects my own life.”

Lifelong communities fellow, Karen Campbell, has volunteered and worked with AmeriCorps for some time now.

She, like many others, says volunteering started when she was younger and became an honorable duty to perform no matter where she lived.

“It’s really important to feel like you can help others in your community, and I think studies have shown that people are their happiest when they can also give of themselves,” said Campbell.

Bingham says there’s many ways you can get involved in the community and the time dedicated to making a difference won’t go unnoticed.

“You absolutely can affect change, and it’s effective locally and every little bit counts,” said Bingham.

If you’re looking to volunteer for Good Shepherd, head to their website for more information.

If you’re looking to volunteer with AmeriCorps Lifelong communities, you can also head to their website for more information.