From the community

Locals nominated for the Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism

Posted March 26, 2013, at 4:56 p.m.
ohn Eckert from Augusta mans his station with a smile, heat sealing Meals on Wheels lunches at Spectrum Generations Cohen Center in Hallowell.
ohn Eckert from Augusta mans his station with a smile, heat sealing Meals on Wheels lunches at Spectrum Generations Cohen Center in Hallowell.
Laura Baker from Damariscotta (left in photo) learns how to create thank you cards for Ani-Meals donors at Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center in Damariscotta.
Laura Baker from Damariscotta (left in photo) learns how to create thank you cards for Ani-Meals donors at Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center in Damariscotta.

For National Volunteer Month, Spectrum Generations has nominated two of its outstanding volunteers for the Governor’s Awards for Service and Volunteerism: John Eckert and Laura Baker.

John Eckert started volunteering in February 2010 at Spectrum Generations Cohen Center in Hallowell, becoming an indispensable addition to the volunteer staff as well as the Nutrition Team. He retired from the Togus VA in 2010 as a Veterans Administration Benefits Program Coordinator, and before that spent 26 years protecting our country in the Armed Forces.

John’s major volunteer focus is in the Meals on Wheels and Community Lunch programs. He is considered the lead packer, working with fellow volunteers to pack and seal hot and frozen meals for homebound seniors in Southern Kennebec, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln Counties.

“Spectrum Generations provided just the right opportunity for me to volunteer,” John said in a press release. “If we (the volunteers) can touch just one person every day, then it is worth all the work we do. I enjoy giving back and knowing that I make a difference.”

Laura Baker exemplifies the true definition of a volunteer. She has been volunteering at Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center for 16 years. Laura’s main duty is keeping the center’s physical appearance up to her high standards; engaging in an extra bit of conversation with and creating a sense of place for center guests. Laura gladly jumps whenever needed.

On any given day, Laura can be found answering phones, giving rides, assisting with Meals on Wheels distribution, recycling, and decorating for the holidays.  She exemplifies Spectrum Generations’ mission: promoting life-long learning, health, wellness, nutrition, community engagement and the social well-being of all older and disabled adults. Laura continually advocates for the rights of Lincoln County’s aging population doing whatever she can to make our community a better place for everyone to live and age.

Spectrum Generations is grateful for John and Laura’s committed service and would like to invite you to join their family of neighbors helping neighbors. If you haven’t thought about volunteering before, consider the following ways to serve your community through Spectrum Generations.

Volunteering comes in many different varieties, from short term to long term commitments, to any level you are comfortable with. If your talents lie in speaking, teaching, counseling, or administrative tasks, then volunteering in our Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) program would be the perfect opportunity for you. Individuals can also help on our phone lines dispensing information on aging and disability assistance and referrals, or with just a little training, could be leading or assisting with ongoing Medicare For Everyone Clinics at each of our community centers throughout central Maine (Hallowell, Waterville, Skowhegan, Belfast, Topsham, Damariscotta, and Rockland).

If you have a limited amount of time to give, assisting with special events and fundraisers are great ways to get out and involved in the community.  Or, perhaps you have a highly trained professional background and want to put it to use after retirement. Pitch your idea and Spectrum Generations will find or create the right placement for you.

Volunteering does not have to be a solidarity commitment.  Volunteer as a couple, put together a group of girlfriends to have a monthly “do-good” get together, share special time together as a parent/child volunteering together, or arrange a project that involves your church group.

Spectrum Generations’ Volunteer Corp is a dedicated group of vibrant people and is continually growing. This past year, 768 individuals volunteered 42,220 hours of their time partnering with Spectrum Generations to serve their community.

If you or your group are interested in becoming part of the Spectrum Generations Volunteer Corp, or would like to make a donation to our programs, call Jamie Ribisi-Braley at 207-620-1677 www.spectrumgenerations.org/volunteer.

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