UMaine Activities Planned for ‘National Make a Difference Day’ Oct. 23-24

Contact: Ryan Bouchard, 581-1796

ORONO — The Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism is holding its Fifth Annual “UMaine Cares” service event in celebration of National Make a Difference Day, Oct. 24.

UMaine Cares began in 2005 as an effort to raise funds for hurricane relief in the Gulf Coast area. Student groups and individuals volunteered time to clean up various areas of campus. For each volunteer participant, one dollar was donated. They also sold UMaine Cares bracelets to raise funds.

The program has now expanded, more than doubling in size from last year, and is focused on serving the needs of the surrounding community. More than 150 students, representing almost 20 student groups, have signed up to volunteer, with many still signing up to volunteer. On Oct. 23-24, students will volunteer for half days and full days with local organizations, with university staff and faculty serving as team leaders.

Many of these community organizations have developed a strong relationship with the Bodwell Center and UMaine students. Crossroads Resource Center in Old Town, a food pantry serving hundreds of area families, is one such organization. Students, faculty, and staff provide ever-increasing support through student volunteer hours, donations, and an ongoing partnership. Student volunteers will be holding a food drive for Crossroads, as well as preparing a meal for the patrons of the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor.

Other organizations welcoming student volunteers include: Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, Bangor Humane society, the Eastern Area Agency on Aging, the Orono Bog Walk, Salvation Army and Leonard Mills Logging Museum.

Any community organization interested in hosting student volunteers or anyone who would like to be involved with UMaine Cares, Oct. 23-24 is encouraged to contact Ryan C. Bouchard at the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism by e-mail at or phone at 581-1796.