BANGOR, Maine — Michael Noyes of Bangor was honored last weekend by WLBZ-TV, Channel 2, receiving one of its five “People Who Care” awards given to individuals who have had a positive effect on their communities by doing volunteer work.
Eleven years ago Noyes was cutting branches in his yard when he had an accident and was permanently disabled. Since losing the use of his legs, Noyes’ perspective on life has changed.
Nine years ago he began volunteering at Camp CaPella, a camp for handicapped children and adults in Dedham. Today Noyes is a carrier for the Bangor Daily News, is on Camp CaPella’s board of directors and is a contributing member of the camp’s fundraising committee. In addition, Noyes has volunteered with the Youth in Motion program, which allows children in wheelchairs the opportunity to remain physically active in sports and other activities, and Maine Handicap Skiing, a program through which Noyes teaches people with disabilities how to ski.
According to Dana Mosher, executive director of Camp CaPella who nominated Noyes for the award, losing the use of his legs hasn’t slowed Noyes down.
“Mike is a doer,” Mosher said. “Whatever we need to get done Mike always finds a way to make it happen. The word ‘can’t’ isn’t in his vocabulary. He’s always saying that he can do anything anyone else can do, it just takes him a little longer. There are not many people who can suffer an accident like that and change their entire life in a positive way, and Mike has done that. I have an enormous amount of respect for that man.”
Noyes credits his positive attitude to his life-changing injury and the feeling he gets from volunteering.
“Before I got injured, I wasn’t part of the disabled community,” Noyes said in an interview Friday. “I never even thought about them. Had I not been disabled I would not be doing what I enjoy and love so much today. It really opened a door for me. I urge people to volunteer; it has really done wonders for me. It makes you feel so much better about yourself, knowing that you are helping and making a difference. It’s a very rewarding experience. There is nothing like making a child smile.”
For information on Camp Capella and how to volunteer, visit its website at campcapella.org or call 843-5104.