When summer rolls around, we find ourselves with plenty of time for our favorite activities—after all, summer is the best season in Maine. Whether you're headed to the beach, hiking in the mountains, or cracking open a new book, the opportunities for self-care are abundant. But next time you're taking a moment for yourself, consider what you're doing to help others across the Pine Tree State.
Countless nonprofits in Maine depend on volunteers to help them make a difference. Whatever your interests—from music to food to the outdoors—there's an organization that would benefit from your time. This summer, we encourage you to grab your friends and family and spend an afternoon serving the greater Portland community. To get started, we've highlighted three organizations that could use a helping hand. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
If you’ve ever walked along a trail in the greater Portland area, odds are it’s part of urban nonprofit Portland Trails’ 70-mile network of accessible paths and green spaces. The organization relies on a robust community of volunteers to help maintain existing trails and build new ones, so join in on the once-monthly Public Trail Volunteer Day, organize a team-building group volunteer session, or consider becoming a Trail Steward.
Founded by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her husband, Guster guitarist Adam Gardner, REVERB partners with musicians, festivals, and music venues to protect the environment by organizing greener concerts and tours. Volunteers work in Action Villages to educate fans and connect them with local and national nonprofits while on-tour team members coordinate the elimination of single use water bottles, fueling of buses with sustainable biodiesel, donation of food waste, and more.
A grassroots donation center that helps individuals and families in Maine meet their basic, material needs, Maine Needs relies on the generosity of the Portland community to collect clothing, hygiene products, household items, and other necessities for Mainers facing financial hardship. On donation days, volunteers work three-hour shifts sorting and organizing goods; other times, they pack up items that caseworkers have requested on their clients’ behalf.