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UMaine riding service is changing gears during the coronavirus pandemic

Tip Whip is a free riding service exclusively for college students. Now, it's helping the United Way of Eastern Maine launch a new volunteer program

BANGOR, Maine — If you've spent a weekend night in Orono in the past six years you may have heard of the ride service, Tip Whip. Tip Whip is essentially a free Uber for college students and riders can choose to tip after they get home safely.

Spencer Wood founded the company after his graduation from the University of Maine in 2013. After he saw the campus close and all his customers return home, he had one question.

“How can we not only help our students but the community?" Wood asked. 

So, Wood reached out to the United Way of Eastern Maine to combine services during the coronavirus pandemic. The idea they came up with was a volunteer incentive program. 

Credit: NCM

“People want to help but they don’t know how to, and I think non-profits need a lot of help and don’t necessarily know how to ask," Jesse Moriarity, the COO of the United Way of Eastern Maine, said. 

The incentive program will encourage Mainers to volunteer their time for various local non-profits. Those who volunteer have a chance to receive gifts such as coupons, meals, and gift cards donated from local businesses. 

Tip Whip has more than 100 drivers that are eager to help any way they can. 

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“We’re going to make it happen any way we have to," Wood added. 

The campaign will start with the United Way of Eastern Maine and ideally, spread its reach statewide.

Credit: NCM

“This is just the beginning for us and we’re excited to see it take off and ideally help people statewide," Wood said.

The official launch date is April 27. If you are looking to help, or a non-profit looking for help contact United Way. Ways to connect can be found on its website:

Are you enthusiastic about meeting people and the Red Cross? Join the Volunteer Recruitment Team! (state wide in your area) Time commitment: Flexible with scheduled commitment Share your enthusiasm for the Red Cross and be a part of the Maine Region Volunteer Recruitment team.
Provide every college student with a FARE-FREE and RELIABLE ride to their next destination. To connect college students who need an affordable and reliable ride with other college students looking to earn money while driving their own car.

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