Volunteer Newsletter Fall 2015

Preble Street
Volunteer Newsletter   Fall 2015

Group coordinators, please forward this message to everyone in your group!

Helping at the Holidays and All Year Long

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving and Christmas always generate a lot of new interest in volunteering, for which we are very thankful!

Increase in volunteer requests during this time of year help us fill shifts through much of the winter. However, openings during the holidays are limited. If you are interested in coming in during the holiday season, please get in touch as soon as possible. In the same vein, if you volunteer on a regular schedule and you want to take a day off, please let us know that too.

Along with the holidays comes winter weather, and before we know it, the snow will begin to fly. The only predictable thing about storms in Maine is that we will have them.

Because people’s need for vital services is even more urgent during inclement weather, Preble Street remains open and serves meals regardless of the conditions outside. At the same time, we take your safety very seriously and realize many dedicated volunteers may not be able to make it in when a storm hits. There are two things we ask you to do to make sure everyone is safe during a storm:

1. If you are not sure you can make it, please let us know as much in advance as possible.

2. If you live within a reasonable travel distance and are able to get here during a storm, please consider being part of our on-call team. Email me at volunteer@preblestreet.org and I will gladly add you to the on-call list.

Happy Holidays to you, one and all!

Help Rewind 100.9 Stuff the Bus

Stuff the Bus

It’s the season of giving! Join Chuck Igo as he and the crew from Rewind 100.9 Stuff the Bus to help our hungry neighbors! Please stop by with your non-perishable food items and cash donations at the following locations:

Tuesday, November 24th
10am-7pm, Hannaford, Maine Mall, South Portland

Wednesday, November 25th
7am-12pm, Hannaford, Back Cove, Portland

You can also make a secure, online donation to Preble Street on our website.  

Together we can make sure that no one goes hungry in our community.

Volunteer Spotlight: Julia Hansen

Waynflete Apple Pickers

Meet Julia Hansen (standing center), a sophmore at Waynflete High School who started volunteering at the Resource Center Soup Kitchen with her mom, Suzanne Fox, a little over a year ago.

This mother/daughter team started by coming in for a breakfast shift once a month, but over time Julia’s interest in and commitment to giving back has grown. She has asked a lot of great questions and learned more about the myriad of services Preble Street offers.

Julie now volunteers weekly, and her  concern for the challenges faced by those living in poverty has inspired her classmates and friends to get involved. As co-leader of the Ethical Leadership Club at her high school, Julia has organized clothing drives and coordinated a group of her classmates to pick apples when the owner of a local backyard  orchard offered to donate the apples to Preble Street. She has worked with her faculty advisors to organize volunteer groups from Waynflete to prepare a monthly meal in the soup kitchen.

We are impressed with and thankful for her energy, compassion, creativity, and dedication.

Advocacy Corner: After Election Day

Preble Street Votes

Election Day 2015 has come and gone. But the work of pushing for change doesn’t end on Election Day. Every day, Preble Street is engaged in fulfilling our mission of not just meeting urgent needs but also advocating for solutions to the problems of homelessness, hunger, and poverty. 

During the run up to the City of Portland election the three mayoral candidates met with more than 150 people who make up the full-time staff of Preble Street to hear about the  work of Preble Street, its values, and the commitment it shares with the City “to create strong, safe, accessible and vibrant neighborhoods, increase housing availability and affordability, create economic opportunities to transition people out of poverty, and prevent and reduce homelessness.”

During the last Maine legislative session, Homeless Voices for Justice advocates and Preble Street staff also testified on 34 bills that impact the most marginalized people in our communities, including MaineCare expansion, the minimum wage, funding for homeless shelters, access to monthly bus passes, General Assistance, SNAP, and TANF benefits, and barriers to the voting process.

Sometimes we win. Sometimes we lose. But we’ll never stop raising our voices until there’s no one left who needs a meal, a bed, or a safe place to come in from the cold. Learn more about advocacy at Preble Street here. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Bank of America

Bank of America

For several years, Bank of America has filled a monthly lunch shift in the Resource Center Soup Kitchen. The group is led by volunteer extraordinaire Elizabeth Tarantino, AVP, Sales and Support Specialist for Contact Administration and Global Delivery Management at the Bank of America branch in Brunswick. Elizabeth coordinates training for BOA new hires and includes a volunteer shift as part of their training.

A longtime Preble Street volunteer and stellar group coordinator, she easily manages a group of 10-15 employees, who put out a meal with very little assistance from kitchen management.

This group is always enthusiastic, reliable, and extremely motivated. In addition to their volunteer efforts, Bank of America has been a great friend to Preble Street, and we’re thankful for their community engagement efforts.

Program Spotlight: Veterans Housing Services

In September, Preble Street Veterans Housing Services (VHS) received $1.7 million Veterans Administration’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant to continue the work started in 2011.

That same week, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter honored VHS as an “Outstanding Community Partner” at the agency’s annual meeting. Learn more about the work VHS is doing across Maine to end veteran homelessness. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Lucinda DeMaria

Lucinda DeMaria

There are many different ways to give back. Some people enjoy making grand gestures. And some, like longtime Preble Street volunteer Lucinda DeMaria, don’t have to.

Lucinda not only volunteers twice a week for  lunch in our Resource Center Soup Kitchen but also consistently goes above and beyond, filling in whenever extra help is needed.

Lucinda is funny, kind, hardworking, and perfectly content to spend hours scrubbing pots and pans. No matter what’s going onsevere snowstorm, sweltering summer heat, holidaysLucinda always manages to make it in to serve her hungry neighbors. 

In fact, last spring, when she broke her arm she even called to ask what she might be able to do with one arm!

Thank you, Lucinda, for dedication and spunk that sets you apart from the crowd! 

Join Us in The Good Fight!

The Good Fight

Join Preble Street and The VIA Agency in inciting kindness across the nation with The Good Fight app.

Volunteer Needs
Please contact our volunteer manager if you are able to work any of these shifts at the Resource Center Soup Kitchen:

Breakfast (7-10am):

November 30

December 1-2, 4, 7-11, 14-18, 21-22, 25-31

January 1-2, 4-9, 11-16, 18-21, 24-31

Lunch (10:30am–1:30pm):

December 1,3, 7, 9, 21-23, 25, 28-29, 31

January 1-2, 4-8, 12-15, 20-21, 25-26, 28-29

Dinner (3:30-6:30pm):

December 15, 23-25, 28, 31

January 9, 11, 14, 19, 25, 29-30

Upcoming Events

10th Annual Stuff the Bus Food Drive

November 24-25

Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Workshop
November 26

Shop for a Cause

Portland Shop for a Cause Day
November 28

Logan Place Art Show
December 4

Support Preble Street by shopping with AmazonSmile

In the News

A Place to Call Home

TideSmart Talk #154: Mark Swann and Dana Totman

Preble Street’s Tom Ptacek on Love Maine Radio

Food stamps asset test elicits criticism, support at Maine hearing

L.L. Bean announces $125,000 donation to Preble Street in Leon Gorman’s name

Preble Street awarded $1.7M to aid veterans with housing needs in Maine

Shelter Food Pantry Helps People Who Didn’t Get GA

Portland Picnic Aims to Combat Food Insecurity

Local Hero – Michelle Lamm, Maine Hunger Initiative

Mark Swann Remembers Leon Gorman: 1934–2015 

More News>

Financial contributions make the most impact because they offer us the flexibility to provide whatever is most needed, especially casework and advocacy services to help people escape homelessness, hunger, and poverty. To make a financial donation, please visit our secure online form.

You can also help us stock our shelves and clothing closets with an in-kind donation.

Clothing and toiletry donations can be brought to 5 Portland Street, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm and Saturday-Sunday, 9am-noon.

Food donations can be brought to 252 Oxford Street, 7 days a week, 7am-5pm.

Corporate Giving
Do you work somewhere that supports volunteering with corporate gifts? Contact your employer for details on how to apply for gifts to Preble Street based on your volunteer hours or email us at
development@preblestreet.org for more information.

Holiday Wish List
In the spirit of giving  Preble Street is  collecting the following items for our clients: gloves (heavy duty, large), thermal underwear, winter boots, backpacks, winter hats (unisex), hooded sweatshirts, underwear (male and female), athletic socks, flashlights, AA batteries, booklights, school supplies, art supplies, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, travel-sized toiletries, and lip balm.

And to bring a little joy into their lives we host holiday parties for clients in each program. We’d love your help with home-baked cookies and cakes, crackers and cheese, chips and dips, shrimp cocktail, etc., as well as festive decorations such as lights, paper snowflakes, tablecloths, and garlands. To donate food or supplies for holiday parties, please sign up as soon as possible by emailing

Did You Know?
Preble Street has been a Charity Navigator “Four-Star Charity” for ten years running, and is one of Maine’s highest ranked nonprofitsLearn more!

Charity Navigator Four-Star Charity

Questions, Ideas, Concerns?
We’d love your feedback on this newsletter, your experience volunteering at Preble Street, or anything else.

Drop us a line at volunteer@preblestreet.org.