More than $130,000 of new federal monies have been awarded to Volunteer Maine, the state service commission in Augusta, and will support increased training for small community organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that they can continue to serve Mainers in need, according to a news release from Volunteer Maine.

In addition, Volunteer Maine will use the funding to encourage at least 500 new volunteers willing to register to respond to emergencies through the state’s disaster volunteer response platform, MaineReady.Org.

Volunteer Maine received this funding through the George H. W  . Bush Volunteer Generation Fund, an initiative established by Congress in 2009 to bolster volunteer infrastructure in critical areas. The service commission will receive its $132,958 award in October. This federal investment will be matched with $47,341 in public and private funding.

Volunteer Maine will utilize the monies to:
• Offer increased support to Maine’s small community agencies with comprehensive volunteer management training and technical assistance;
• provide technical assistance to volunteer programs needing to re-form and re-establish volunteer activities due to COVID-19;
• support expanded emergency volunteer efforts by encouraging 500 new volunteers to respond through MaineReady.Org;
• provide training to agency staff around the use of MaineReady.Org; and
• launch a statewide public awareness campaign to promote volunteerism supporting ongoing needs related to pandemic response and recovery.

“The pandemic has upended the way many volunteer programs operate. Maine’s community agencies rely on the support of dedicated volunteers to deliver services, but many are scrambling to change how they deliver service because volunteers and customers cannot interact as they have in the past.” said Volunteer Maine Executive Director Maryalice Crofton, according to the release. “This funding will allow us to provide volunteer leaders with critical training and technical support to adapt to this new volunteer management environment.”

Information about upcoming training opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information, visit MaineServiceCommission.Gov.

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