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Statewide volunteer group brings "Mainers Together"

Formed by the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers Together is a neighbor-to-neighbor volunteer network.

AUBURN, Maine — Lots of people feel like they want to help others during the coronavirus pandemic, but it can be overwhelming if you don't know where to begin. 

That's where a new statewide group can help, and in most cases you don't need to give anything, except your time.

"I thought I was going to stay in a rut but I think everyone has to get out there and do something," Karen Peillet said.

When life slowed down, Karen Peillet picked up her pace by volunteering for Mainers Together.  They have volunteers in all of Maine's 16 counties and they provide neighbor-to-neighbor support.

"In the midst of all of this there is so much beauty to be found," Dawn Sullivan, another volunteer, said. "There was one night we were on the phone for two hours. Just laughing.  Laughter is the best medicine!"

Sullivan was paired up with a buddy, who just needed someone's support.

"To see her when I drop off the care package, it's there it just fills my heart with gratitude," she said.

"We're just trying to create a bit of community in this time," Carrie Jadud, the Androscoggin Regional Coordinator for Mainers Together, said.

She said there are three common things people need help with right now.

Number one: deliveries of groceries and other basic needs. 

Number two: moral support.

"There are people who are by themselves and are lonely and are scared and having someone to check in on them once a week or so can be huge for them," Jadud said.

And number three: a voice. Jadud said there's a need to advocate for people who can't by reaching out to local leaders to make them aware of any community needs that aren't being met.

"So that people are making better decisions at the policy level," she said.

Mainer Together is looking for volunteers who can offer as much or as little time as they're willing and able to spare.

"So you can volunteer for an hour or you can volunteer both feet in," Peillet said. "Just helping others makes you feel better."

For more information about Mainers Together, visit their website.

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