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Volunteer Newsletter Highlights – December 2019

United Way of Greater Portland can connect you with one-time opportunities and events that help our community, tools for hosting a collection of needed items, as well as ongoing and regularly scheduled opportunities that support long-lasting change and Thrive2027 goals. You can choose what moves you!

Every month we share a Volunteer Engagement Newsletter with opportunities to engage throughout Greater Portland. Here are some of the highlights from  December’s Volunteer Newsletter.

HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS ON THE MAINE NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad is once again transforming the railroad into Polar Express and is in need of volunteers to fill a variety of roles. Starting on November 22 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and extending to the weekend before Christmas, Thursday, December 19 – Monday, December 23, this is a great volunteer opportunity for families and groups! Volunteers will support the box office, prepare and distribute hot chocolate for guests aboard the train, share the Polar Express story and participate in the Christmas sing-a-long. FMI visit http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org/event/?agency_id=56774.

PROJECT HEAT TELETHON

Want to help keep your neighbors warm this winter and get 30 seconds of fame? Join NEWS CENTER Maine on Thursday, January 16, as they host their annual Project Heat Telethon to raise money for United Way’s Keep ME Warm program, Maine’s emergency heating assistance fund. Volunteers are needed to answer phones and process donation information in 2-3-hour shifts, from 5 a.m. – 8 p.m. at NEWS CENTER Maine’s office, One Congress Square in Portland, corner of High & Congress Streets. (Volunteers will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their shift for training.) Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served with snacks throughout the day. Shift times are flexible. FMI contact Kim Charland, Kimberly.Charland@NEWSCENTERMaine.com.

VOLUNTEER READER SERIES

Our Volunteer Reader Series is an opportunity for engagement with children, but it also supports Thrive2027’s efforts to ensure all kids
are reading at grade level by 3rd grade. For more information about Thrive2027 visit www.Thrive2027.org. The opportunities below will
take place in Westbrook Elementary Schools:

Pre-vacation read-aloud – Winter Theme

  • Saccarappa and Canal – Thursday, January 16 (morning)
  • Congin  – Either Thursday, January 16 or Friday, January 17 (time TBD)

Read Across America

  • Saccarappa – Friday, February 28, 9-10:00 a.m.
  • Canal and Congin – Monday, March 2 (morning – exact times TBD)

Additional months are listed in the full volunteer newsletter. FMI or to sign up, please email volunteer@unitedwaygp.org.

CONNECT PEOPLE TO FINANCIAL RESOURCES THIS TAX SEASON

CA$H (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope) Greater Portland Opportunity Guides assist tax site clients with the intake process, discuss financial goals and challenges, and provide information about local programs and services to help increase their financial stability. Opportunity Guide volunteers receive orientation and training, as well as meals during shifts. Volunteers commit to serve for a minimum of four shifts during the tax season (late January – April). Shifts at our central site in Portland are from 5 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and 8:30 a.m. – 2 or 3 p.m. on Saturdays. To learn more about this opportunity to help people access valuable resources, please email Kerrie Keller, kkeller@unitedwaygp.org.

HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS BY BECOMING AN IRS TAX LAW CERTIFIED VOLUNTEER TAX PREPARER

CA$H Greater Portland (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope), an initiative of United Way of Greater Portland in partnership with the Greater Portland CA$H Coalition, is looking for people to become IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. Tax Preparers receive free training—no accounting experience is needed! This is a great opportunity for people with basic computer skills who enjoy working with the public and would be comfortable having one-on-one conversations with tax site clients. Volunteers commit to serve for a minimum of four shifts during the tax season (late January – April). Shifts at our central site in Portland are from 5:30 -8:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and 8:30 a.m. – 2 or 3 p.m. on Saturdays with meals provided. Prefer to volunteer during the weekday? There will be options for that, too! To learn more about this opportunity join us for a meet and greet info sesssion on Tuesday, Dcember 3 from 6-7:30p.m. at Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG), 970 Baxter Blvd, Suite 201 in Portland. To RSVP or for more information please email Kerrie Keller, kkeller@unitedwaygp.org.

POP-UP WRAPPING PARTY

Join us in helping to provide gifts to the moms and children involved in In Her Presence, a United Way of Greater Portland funded program.  Attend our pop-up wrapping party at the UWGP office (One Canal Plaza, Portland) on Friday, December 13th from 12:30-1:30 p.m..  Learn about Thrive2027, In Her Presence, and opportunities for you to volunteer in the new year. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies while wrapping!  If you are interested in donating a pair of fleece or flannel pajamas, let us know and we’ll provide additional details about sizing.  FMI and to RSVP, email volunteer@unitedwaygp.org.   

Check out our December’s Volunteer Newsletter for more opportunities or search online at http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org.

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