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When she's not playing the harp, she's fighting hunger

Betsy Kopyc is a dedicated volunteer at her local food pantry. Aside from helping others in her retirement, she has another hobby: the Celtic harp.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Whether it's time or money, there are so many Mainers who give to help others.

In the case of Betsy Kopyc, she gives both. 

She is a dedicated volunteer at her local food pantry and when she's not helping others, she's playing the Celtic harp.

She was living in Lewiston 20 years ago when she needed a way to fill the time after work at night. So, she thought she'd learn how to play the harp.

Since then she picked up another hobby: volunteering. 

"I was working as a volunteer at the Midcoast Hunger Prevention in Brunswick one day a week until I could no longer do that because they didn't want people over the age of 65 working there any longer because of the pandemic," Kopyc said.

Kopyc understands the safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic but she says she misses being able to volunteer. She said it was an honor to help her neighbors in need.

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"I would see people from all walks of life come in there needing food. Young people, old people, people who just couldn't make their ends meet, and every day I would see that and it was eye-opening to me."

She felt the need to continue to help but didn't know how, until the mail arrived one day.

"When I got the stimulus check I thought, 'what am I going to do with it? I don't really need the money. So what am I going to do with it?'"

Kopyc donated her entire stimulus check to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which works with pantries like the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Progam.

RELATED: Food insecurity on the rise, as Mainers feel COVID-19's economic impact

"They are so grateful for whatever they can get. It just makes your heart feel good," Kopyc said. "I get much more out of it than I put in for sure."

Thursday, May 7 is the annual NEWS CENTER Maine Feed Maine telethon to support the Good Shepherd Food Bank. You can donate any time by clicking here.

RELATED: NEWS CENTER Maine's 2020 Feed Maine Telethon to help stop hunger in Maine during the COVID-19 pandemic

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At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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