ENCorps eNews - January/February 2015 - In This Issue:

Since we have officially wrapped up our food security initiative funded by the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, we have been reflecting on the progress and impact our volunteers have made during that effort. It was an exciting and productive year for ENCorps and our food security partners around Maine. Here is a brief look at what we accomplished:
  • Nine workshops, aiming to increase knowledge of food security challenges and solutions, as well as improving practical skills among members, were offered and attended by 117 individuals, including 51 ENCorps members.
  • Sixty-nine ENCorps members attended the annual Summit in the Spring of 2014. The main focus was on food security and included sessions by the President of Good Shepherd Food Bank; the impact of climate change on Maine's agriculture and marine systems; a panel of ENCorps members discussing community-based approaches to addressing hunger; and a workshop on improving vegetable gardens.
  • Fourteen ENCorps members used a stipend to fund their volunteer projects. Funds were used to purchase supplies for food pantries and food kitchens including an energy efficient freezer; support the development of a food coalition sustainability plan for the Mid-Coast; support community gardens; fund travel for meal deliveries; and fund participation in the Master Gardener classes to enhance community garden projects.
  • Eight regional meetings of ENCorps members were held to provide networking opportunities for members.
  • Thirty-five ENCorps members submitted volunteer hours for food security projects, amounting to 4,820 hours of community service. This work has given nearly $97,000 of economic value back to Maine communities!
  • Twenty-two new projects relating to food security were undertaken.
  • Significant knowledge and skill gains were reported by our members, especially in the areas of volunteer management and succession planning.

All told, ENCorps has made quite an impact on the issues of food insecurity in Maine. Thank you to all of our volunteers for their leadership and dedication to the serious issues facing this state. We look forward to continuing our united efforts in furthering food security and other important issues in Maine.


In January, Shannon Kinney, presented the webinar, Top Ways to Market Your Non-Profit and Conduct Fundraising Campaigns Online. The webinar was designed to show members how to find the best social media and online marketing strategies to promote their non-profits in order to fundraise, build brand awareness, and more. Shannon described many of the applications available on social media and search engines, such as Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Foursquare/Swarm, and she explained how each of them differ from one another. For a small organization or nonprofit, Shannon suggested that the most effective and easiest social media tool to get started with is Facebook.


Shannon is the Founder and Client Success Officer of Dream Local Digital, a digital marketing agency that works with thousands of small businesses all over the country to help them develop social media strategies, design and manage their social media sites, and to create and develop content for blogs. From her 15 years' experience in the sales and marketing industry, Shannon offered valuable tips for using social media in the nonprofit realm. She says that having a professionally designed page is key. Stimulating conversation on your site is also very important. You can do that by creating ways for people to provide comments and feedback. She says, "Remember these pages are like the telephone - you need to answer!"


Facebook Statistics
  • More than 50% of active users log in each day
  • Average age of users is 38 and 200 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  • 2.7 billion posts are "liked" or commented on each day
  • 250 million photos shared each day
  • 1 billion video views each day
  • 1 million business page "likes" are happening each day -and that is shared with all of their friends

Using social media successfully requires more than just getting a site developed. Social media is most effective when you post content to the site regularly. Ideas for content to post on your site are:

  • Stories of your work/success stories
  • Attractive pictures
  • Media hits about the organization
  • News or web stories about employees/volunteers
  • News or web stories about the industry, ally organizations
  • Include photos, images, videos, hashtags
  • Combine quotes/catchy phrases with compelling images
  • Create opportunities for engagement/commenting by prompting with questions

Best Practices for Social Media 

  • Personal stories are one of the most effective ways to promote/generate support for your organization. Make sure you profile them throughout your social media and include pictures!
  • Tell your story, and make a clear ask to get people involved
  • Encourage others to share their stories
  • Encourage your funders, members, and board to post about you
  • Ask questions and ENGAGE!
  • Leverage trends and #hashtags
  • Optimize your profiles
  • Develop strong branding
  • Talk about your mission and post articles relevant to your mission
  • Tailor your message to the audience and channel
  • Make DONATE buttons/links visible and clear. Make sure you include a link to donate in at least every post that makes an ask
  • Link to social channels on your web site
  • Inspire your followers
  • Recognize Volunteers!

For more information and marketing tips, and to connect with Dream Local Digital, visit www.dreamlocal.com 
or contact them at (207) 593-7665. They are located at 463 Main Street, Rockland, Maine 04841.



Heather Davis, Executive Director of the Telling Room presented a workshop for ENCorps members in 

December to share techniques and best practices to tap 

the natural creativity of children. 


The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland that works with 2,200 students each year, all of whom become published writers! They offer a variety of afterschool programs for children to get involved with creative endeavors, such as drop-in writing workshops, field trips, and competitive writing programs. Every year there is an overarching theme that guides the projects the students are involved with. This year's theme is Bodies of Water, with past themes such as Food, Wilderness, and Neighborhood. 


"Whether it's using puppetry 

to build self-confidence and 

problem-solving skills; poetry 

and prose to realize their full 

potential; or creative drama to 

learn about history and 

geography, the arts are a 

powerful tool that can help 

kids feel connected to the world 

around them and be 

successful learners." 


- Heather Davis, Executive Director


The Telling Room has a unique way of approaching language arts. They use Arts Integration and Project Based Learning methods. As defined by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Arts Integration is "an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in another creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both". Project Based Learning is a "teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, problem, or challenge" (The Telling Room).


Sometimes kids have challenges becoming engaged in the writing process - they may not think they have a story to tell, or they may think that adults don't want to hear their story. To help kids get started with the writing process, the Telling Room often uses other creative methods, such as photography or drawing, as a jumping off points. Heather showed the workshop participants how effective this approach is by having them do a creative activity during the workshop. Participants were asked to draw a map of their childhood home or their favorite home, and then spend about ten minutes creating a written description with lots of imagery. It was amazing how easily the words fell onto the page!  Heather invited participants to share their writing aloud, and everyone had some wonderful short stories to tell. Participants discovered that this is also an excellent way for people to get acquainted!


One of the special programs at the Telling Room is the Young Writers and Leaders program. It was started 5 years ago and designed for immigrants and refugees, or anyone who is an "international language learner". It is a 200 hour program that provides one-on-one mentorship, college preparation assistance, job skills and leadership training, and culminates with a community presentation of their work. It is a competitive program that accepts only 30 students per year. Teachers nominate the students, and it requires an application an interview process. Last year's program resulted in a 45 minute film called "The Whole World Waiting". In this film, each student presented a piece of their writing about their beliefs and conceptions of the United States before they moved here (watch the video here). The Telling Room is proud to say that they have a 0% drop out rate from this program, and 100% of seniors in this program have gone on to college!


The Telling Room is entirely grant funded with a few individual donors. They have many community partnerships that help them achieve their mission. Currently they are working to obtain more funding to try to eliminate the waiting list for certain programs. Heather said that their partnerships with teachers are extremely valuable, because they help to identify students that may benefit from their programs. The success of their programs is made possible by their strong base of volunteers who have a passion for working with children and teens.



Tips for Working with Children and Teens:

  • Provide a structure, theme, and activity but give kids a choice if they are reluctant to participate or excited about their own, different idea
  • Use high quality materials so kids know you are serious about investing in them, and set up everything in advance
  • Use guest teachers and outside expertise if you want to try an art form or project that you don't have much experience with
  • Don't limit yourself to visual art: try games, writing, theater, movement    
  • Keep a low adult to student ratio so kids having trouble get the help they need
  • Be aware of mandatory reporting requirements; if kids bring up anything that indicates they are in harm's way at home or at school, authorities have to be contacted


For More Information, or to get involved, contact The Telling Room at (207) 774-6064 or http://www.tellingroom.org/. They are located at Suite 201, 
225 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101.



Sherry Davis, Maine Forest and Logging Museum


Sherry Davis, Program Director at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum is a native of Shelton, Connecticut, who came to Maine as a Journalism student at the University of Maine in Orono. It was there that she met her husband, and together they made their home on Deer Isle and raised three daughters. Sherry became a full time mother and homeschooled their daughters through their high school years. It was during this time that she started to volunteer at different organizations as part of their lessons. Sherry became involved in sewing programs, homeschool groups, 4H, church and anything else her daughters were into as a result of their schooling.


One morning, after several days of fog on the island, Sherry, her husband, and their three daughters embarked on a journey north to "find the sun". This led them to the Maine Forest and Logging Museum (MFLM).


The MFLM is a non-profit organization "dedicated to keeping alive the foresting industry of long ago for the present-day citizens of Maine." Its focus is on forest resources. The museum website boasts an "interactive Living History format with an operating up and down sawmill and includes an authentic blacksmith shop, bateaux, trappers' line camp, covered bridge, and a settlers' log cabin.


While visiting the MFLM, Sherry inquired about volunteer opportunities in re-enactment programs. She was told there was a need, and being a history buff, Sherry could not wait to begin. Using painter's drop-cloths and making their own clothes, Sherry and her family began setting up their re-enactment camp. Since that time Sherry has also learned blacksmithing and can make her own campsite tools. She enjoys teaching others how to survive on their own by making what they need instead of buying.


After several years of volunteering, Sherry offered to fill the spot of Interim Director after the current Director stepped down. She wanted to make sure the office would stay open so others could enjoy the museum. When a new Director was found, Sherry was hired as an Administrative Assistant and then promoted to Program Coordinator.


The Maine Forest and Logging Museum is currently open only for events. The museum has partnerships with the University of Maine and the Maine Discovery Museum. They currently have over 200 volunteers with 150 of those coming strictly for Living History re-enactment days. The museum staff would like to gain several steady volunteers to give tours and work in the gift shop so they can keep the gate open on a regular basis.


The museum offers many educational activities along and social gatherings. February events include sled rides, stargazing, a landscape photography class with Glenn Sanborn, a trapping demonstration with Paul Favolise, and wildlife photography with Michele Barker.


On February 27, from 10-12 the museum is hosting an orientation for prospective docents. No previous experience or knowledge of the museum is required. Bring a lunch and get acquainted with Sherry and the museum and its history. For more information email sherry@maineforestandloggingmuseum.org.   


Maine Forest and Logging Museum

54 Government Rd.

Bradley, ME 04411 

(207) 974-6278



WEBINAR:  Maine Highlands Senior Center:  Preserving memories, Enriching Lives, Building Community. Unlocking the Energy of Community.

Dr. Lesley Fernow, President of Maine Highlands Senior Center, a project to revitalize Central Hall in Dover-Foxcroft and develop a multifunctional community center will discuss the process of choosing a project that matters, evaluating the need, recruiting volunteers, tasking the work, finding the money and promoting the effort, and will discuss the challenge of engagement.   

WHEN: February 19, 2015, 10:00-11:30 AM


WHERE: Three ways to join!  - Via webinar, telephone, or come to the Center on Aging at Camden Hall at UMA Bangor, and watch the webinar together with a group.


MORE INFO & TO REGISTER: This workshop is free to ENCorps members and their guests. Please register with Sarah Harvey, Program Coordinator, at: info@encoreleaders.org or (207) 699-9363. 

2015 Summit - May 18th and 19th
Wells Conference Center, University of Maine


Mark your calendar and plan to join us for another exciting summit!  

  • Participate in workshops and discussions to gain skills and strengthen your organization
  • Tour a variety of University academic centers 
  • Enjoy an off-site field trip to the Bog Boardwalk and the Maine Forest and Logging Museum
  • Wake up to an energizing Tai Chi session with Barbara Stellar
Registration information coming soon!

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Gateway Seniors Without Walls

Gateway Seniors Without Walls is a nonprofit organization, staffed 100% by volunteers striving to serve the needs of seniors in Orono, Old Town, Veazie, and surrounding communities. Ultimately, we hope that our programs will improve quality of life for seniors and keep them active, healthy, and aging in place within the community. 


We are currently looking for volunteers to fill various roles, including:

  • Designing and scheduling activities
  • Organizing an activity
  • Helping with carpooling
  • Helping with our booklet on resources for the elderly
  • Helping with fundraising by speaking to potential business sponsors
  • Administrative tasks

If you'd like to talk to us about volunteering, just call 889-3031 or fill out the following form: http://www.gatewayseniorswithoutwalls.org/donate/volunteers/



Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine  

Many volunteer opportunities are available, including Science & Nature Volunteers, who:
  • Use our Tide Pool Touch Tank to teach visitors about Maine's sea creatures
  • Show children constellations in our Star Lab
  • Operate our Camera Obscura
  • Perform various programs in our Ranger Station, including Owls, Reptiles & Amphibians, and Dinosaurs 

For more information, visit http://www.kitetails.org/support/volunteers/

Contact: the Community Engagement Coordinator at jamie@kitetails.org or 207-828-1234 x241.



Spectrum Generations

Spectrum Generations Cohen Community Center is seeking Local Advisory Council Volunteers to assist us in planning events and activities, help us identify unmet needs in the community, connect people with the agency programs, assist with advocacy efforts and Fundraising to support our agency goals.


Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 9:30am at the Cohen Community Center in Hallowell.


For more information, visit http://www.spectrumgenerations.org/volunteer

Contact: the Volunteer Coordinator, Jamie Ribisi-Braley, at jbraley@spectrumgenerations.org or 207-620-1677, TTY: 1-800-464-8703.

Other volunteer opportunities can be found at www.volunteermaine.org!


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by Julia Hathaway


The morning after

The third snow day

Of the 2014-2015 winter

I went out to behold

Drifts ranging

From chest high to over my head

Where the path to my shed

Was supposed to be.

Normally I leave

That cleaning up job to Eugene.

But I was aware

The recycle man

Cometh the next day,

Not to returneth for two weeks.

So I took the matter

Into my double gloved hands

And set to work.


I had read and memorized

Heart Association guidelines

On how to shovel

Massive amounts of snow

Without incurring cardiac arrest,

A very useful thing to know.

I dressed for the cold,

Kept really hydrated,

Scooped up small amounts,

Using the correct posture,

And took frequent breaks.


About half way along

I experienced a small avalanche

From the steeper side.

I just shook the flakes

Out of my hair,

Backed up a bit

And resumed work.

When the path was clear,

A real work of beauty,

I celebrated with

A lentil soup and bagel lunch




Even though those

Heart Association experts

Had forgotten to recommend

A hearty meal afterward.


If you're thinking

This exertion will diminish

My love for snow

You couldn't be more wrong.

Without the lovely white stuff

We'd miss out on


Snow sculpture,

Snowball fights,

And the world's best excuse

For drinking hot chocolate.


If I run into Mother Nature

Any time soon

I'll be saying,

"Bring it Babe.

Hit us with your best shot.

We can deal with

Whatever you have to dish out."


ENCorps members have volunteered 57,776 hours to date! Keep up the great work!

Why Report Hours?
The purpose of ENCorps is to support your efforts to improve your community with training and networking opportunities. All of our programming - the Summit and training events - are free for ENCorps Volunteers. Since we are privately funded through grants, we need to report how you're doing. One tangible way is to keep track of our volunteers' hours each month. It's also a great way for us to acknowledge your good work! Please help us by reporting your hours by the 15th of the following month (for February hours, please report by March 15). 

Encore Leadership Corps




ENCorps is a program of the University of Maine Center on Aging in partnership with the Maine Community Foundation and with the cooperation of local, state, and national organizations. Funding in support of ENCorps has been provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Aging Initiative, The Atlantic Philanthropies, The Maine Community Foundation, Jane's Trust, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, Davis Conservation Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.