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Organizations like Preble Street and Maine Needs seek more volunteers

Organizations all across Maine are in need of volunteers to keep their doors open and running to help those in their respective communities.

PORTLAND, Maine — Volunteers at Maine Needs say that the need for help is greater than ever.

Christine McAuliffe has been volunteering with Maine Needs for years. She said "Every time I come in, there are 100- 200 requests in the email. We just need volunteers to put it all together."

Caseworkers and care providers can send in fill requests ranging from clothing, hygiene products, cleaning items, bedding, and kitchen items. 

Tara Blach is the communications director at Maine Needs. She said they need around 100 volunteers a week, working 3-hour shifts, to help fill items for asylum seekers, local domestic violence shelters, and schools.

"We have grown a lot in the past year, and I think as more organizations become aware of us as a resource, we have gotten a lot more requests. To keep up with the needs of the state and community we really need people to come in and do all of the basic stuff. Filling requests is a big thing that we need a lot of help with," Blach said. 

Other organizations need help as well. Preble Street volunteers make 1800 meals a day to send to shelters or those in need in the community.

"We have openings for 15-20 volunteers daily, seven days a week. It was once much more common to have larger groups of 15 people at a time, let alone through a day," Jack Gendron, volunteer program manager at Preble Street, said. 

However Mainers choose to volunteer their time, there's a place for them to do so. Even if it just means shoveling a neighbor's driveway with the Office of Elderly Affairs.

"We shovel walks, sidewalks, steps. [The] idea is to get safe for people to get in and out of their home after a snow storm," Linda Weare, director of the Office of Elder Affairs, said.

These organizations are only asking for three hours of your time, a week to help make a difference.

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