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United Way of Greater Portland is working closely with other community organizations to share needs and resources as we learn more. We have included a few volunteer opportunities below from the July edition of our Volunteer Engagement Newsletter.

Help our community in the midst of challenge 

Virtual Card Making
Help brighten someone’s day and write a card! You can share a quote, for example, or send words of encouragement to them know that they are loved. Cards will be distributed through to United Way’s partners to people experiencing isolation, children that need a pick-me-up, and families that need of some encouragement. To create a card now visit unitedwaygp.org/notes.

Mask Making
Governor Mills is requiring facemasks for all in public places. “Individuals must wear cloth face covering in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” This order has created an increased need for masks in our community. At United Way of Greater Portland, we’d like to help ensure staff and clients at our partner organizations are able to return to work. We’re inviting community members to help make and donate homemade masks. While these masks may not be as effective as N-95s, when used correctly, they are useful in blocking out virus particles. Email volunteer@unitedwaygp.org to receive instructions for sewing and donating.

Inspire a student by sharing insight on where you work, what you do, a hobby you enjoy, a craft you’re making or a STEM activity you enjoy. Videos can be short (3-5 minutes) and can be done with your phone. We’ll provide you with tips to video and possible topics if you’re stuck for an idea. For more details email volunteer@unitedwaygp.org.

Support Community Diaper Bank
Approximately 1 in 3 families nationwide report experiencing diaper need, yet existing safety-net programs such as SNAP and TANF do not support the purchase of diapers. Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services provides diapers to area food pantries, the City of Portland Family Shelter, The Opportunity Alliance, and physicians at several MaineHealth clinics. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the number of families without the resources or ability to provide this essential item for their babies. Want to help? Donate diapers, organize a diaper drive or, let your dollar donation go twice as far with KJFS’s bulk purchasing. FMI visit volunteer@unitedwaygp.org.

Virtual Volunteering with Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement (JA) is looking for virtual volunteers who are interested in creating brief videos about their career paths and advice for Maine students in Grades 6-12. JA helps volunteers create the video and provides an outline to facilitate the content. FMI visit http://volunteer.unitedwaygp.org/need/detail/?need_id=514698.

Preble Street Support
Preble Street is seeking food donations. Bring donations to the Resource Center Soup Kitchen, 252 Oxford Street, Volunteer Entrance (ring the bell) — 7 days a week, 7am-6pm. Looking to volunteer for meal service? Sign up online by visiting https://www.preblestreet.org/you-can-help/volunteer/ or contact Volunteer Manager Ali Brauner at 207-775-0026 x1162 or by email at abrauner@preblestreet.org.

Wayside’s warehouse is currently open if you are looking to donate food or help pack food boxes weekday mornings. Email Don Morrison – dmorrison@waysidemaine.org  or call Don (207) 712-4929.

Local Food Pantries
Many local food pantries are also in need of help.  You can contact your local food pantry and ask if they need help.

Virtual Food Drive
Now you can easily organize a fundraiser to support Good Shepherd Food Bank right from your computer! Share your Virtual Food Drive with family and friends to help collect food needed to feed families struggling with hunger throughout our state. Need food ideas: Peanut butter, Rice, Any Kids’ Healthy Snacks, Canned tuna, Tomato sauce, Soup, Canned fruit (low or no sugar), Canned veggies or beans, Granola or cereal bars, Cereal, Macaroni & Cheese. FMI visit https://www.gsfb.org/get-involved/food-drives.

Click here to see a complete list of UWGP’s COVID-19 Resources.