Chris Olsen began his volunteer-based program just a year ago, and it has already turned into a successful volunteer community effort.
Welcome to Housing helps formerly homeless individuals get back on their feet and gives them household items that they would not otherwise have the means of acquiring.
Welcome to Housing had many great accomplishments in 2012.
BANGOR - Parents who are interested in registering their children to be recipients of The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, which provides Christmas gifts for children from birth through age 17, should contact the Bangor Citadel Corps for an appointment immediately by calling 941-2990. Registration began Oct. 19.
Each year, The Salvation Army in Bangor assists hundreds of families with toys and food for Christmas. Last year alone, nearly 600 families received Christmas help, an increase of 100 from the previous year. With the struggling economy, it is expected that more families will have limited resources to provide the extras such as new toys and a special meal this Christmas. Because of this, families are urged to register early so the Army is able to plan for adequate resources to meet the need.
ORRINGTON - There was no church service at the East Orrington Congregational Church on Saturday but the parking lot was filled with vehicles just the same. That's because it was the church's second annual antique car show, a benefit that raises funds for heating oil for area families in need.
"The community gets every cent we raise," said George Smith, the car show organizer. "There's been a lot in the news about people losing their lives trying to heat their homes in unsafe ways, so we came up with a fundraiser for heating assistance."
11-year-old raises money for cancer research in memory of his Mimi
BANGOR Anyone can make a difference. That is the message that 11-year-old Tommy Hosmer wants people to walk away with. And he is making a difference.
Tommy understands loss. He understands how so many of us are affected by cancer, because he's already felt the heavy loss of someone he dearly loved, his Mimi who succumbed to ovarian cancer when Tommy was 9. But despite the pain, he's working hard to help others who are still struggling with the terrible disease. One of his first fundraisers was a book sale where he raised more than $3,300 for Cancer Care of Maine, followed the next year by raising $1,200 with a bake sale. But he's wanted to do something consistent something annual and combine his passion for fighting cancer with his passion for sports. So he formed the Team Mimi Annual Softball Tournament, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 12 Mother's Day weekend - at the Union Street Athletic Complex.
BANGOR - Dog owners and their canine companions are gearing up for the first Greater Bangor Bark for Life fundraiser that will take place near Main Street in June. The group of volunteers organizing the event has been meeting frequently to work out the details to ensure the occasion will be a successful one for the American Cancer Society.
"My goal is to have this event become something that the residents of the greater Bangor area look forward to every year. I want 'Bark for Life' to become something that Bangor is known for," said Elizabeth Tilton, Bark for Life volunteer.
Since the disease does not discriminate, dogs are just as capable as their owners of being diagnosed with cancer. The Greater Bangor Bark for Life volunteers hope to raise $10,000 this summer to support the American Cancer Society's ongoing effort to find a cure for this disease. And they've already gotten two corporate sponsors, Smith Concrete in Newburgh and The Furniture Gallery in Bangor.
BELFAST - The Cinderella Project is once again providing the opportunity for every girl to feel like the belle of the ball at her high school prom. The project, which started in Belfast back in 2007, offers teenagers their very own prom dress, free of charge, from hundreds of donated gowns collected throughout the year.
"There's a lot of need for things like this here," explained Mandie Sawyer, chairperson for the Cinderella Project. "I was teaching Jobs For Maine Graduates [or JMG] when this project started, and I made it into a lesson where we talked about giving back. We thought, what if this project could inspire girls to do something, to pay it forward?"
Since then, Sawyer and her planning committee made up entirely of volunteers, or fairy godmothers as they're so often referred to, have been collecting, organizing and handing out dresses to high schoolers who might otherwise miss the big dance.
BANGOR - The new season of 'Dancing With the Stars' starts Monday, March 19, on ABC, but the new cast has nothing on Maine's own Dancing For the Stars competitors, who are slated to perform at the Bangor Civic Center on March 17. The fundraiser, which benefits the Phillips Strickland House, a non-profit retirement home, teams up well-known locals with trained dancers from the Robinson Ballet.
"We have such a great mix of professionals and stars from the community that the enthusiasm from this group is just infectious. They're just gung-ho," said Karen Higgins of Phillips Strickland House.
Maria Baeza, an American Folk Festival board member, is one of the local stars that will be performing at the event. She and her dance partner, David Lamon of Ellsworth, will be doing a tango routine.
BANGOR In these hard economic times, more Maine families are facing hunger than ever before. Bangor Savings Bank is stepping forward again in an effort to fight hunger. During the month of March, Bangor Savings Bank will be collecting peanut butter and jelly to benefit local food pantries statewide. Donations can be made at any 56 Bangor Savings Bank branch locations throughout the state.
Peanut butter is among one of the most expensive foods for food banks to purchase in large quantities. But it is in high demand due to peanut butter being rich with protein and also having monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, the 'good fats.' To jump start the initiative, Welch's has generously donated 10 cases of grape jelly.
"I am so grateful to Bangor Housing Authority for this partnership that will enable women to be part of the Dress for Success Maine community," said Kimberly Allen, executive director. "By opening a branch in Bangor, we will be able to broaden our reach and affect change in so many lives."
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