CAMDEN — Gordon “Gordie” Guist, a longtime volunteer at the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry (CACFP), was honored Sept. 28 for his many years of service. Surrounded by balloons and a giant board signed by well-wishers, volunteers and clients stopped by to chat with the retiring Guist and say thank you.
A resident of Camden, Guist has volunteered at CACFP for the better part of 18 years. When asked what he’s found to be the most rewarding part of serving at CACFP, Guist said, “It’s the people. All of the (volunteer) staff, board of directors, and businesses who supply food are dedicated to helping those in need. And our clients appreciate their efforts.”
Managed by five local churches, CACFP is staffed completely by volunteers. While navigating through the pandemic has been a difficult time for many, one positive aspect has been the dedication of the volunteers, like Guist, who serve families at Camden Area Christian Food Pantry. This includes more than a dozen individuals who show up week after week to provide food to community members who might otherwise suffer food insecurity.
Guist is no stranger to volunteer service. He was an American Red Cross First Aid instructor, one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) in the state, and a member of the Camden First Aid Association from 1977-1986. He served on the Camden Budget Committee and has volunteered at PenBay Veterinary Associates/Rockport Veterinary Hospital.
Diagnosed 23 years ago with Parkinson’s Disease, Guist was co-founder of the Camden Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group in 2003 and a facilitator for 17 years. Unfortunately, it’s because of the Parkinson’s that Guist felt the need to retire.
Asked if he had advice for people considering becoming a volunteer, Guist said, “Just do it! Find a cause and give 110% effort to it. You will be rewarded with a large dose of satisfaction.”
Camden Area Christian Food Pantry is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving residents of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Islesboro, Lincolnville, Rockport, Searsmont, Union, Washington, and others in need.
To learn more about Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, visit camdenpantry.org or facebook.com/CamdenFoodPantry.