This spring the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter is off to another fantastic semester! Volunteers logged an impressive 222 hours this February, including extra hours of childcare. The expansion of childcare volunteering has been especially important early in the semester with volunteers stepping up to take care of last-minute requests for help. A few extra sets of hands can be crucial with multiple families and many parents seeking and securing jobs. Helping out never seemed so fun when it means hanging out with awesome kids like these! To top it off, a group of Colby students has even started a cooking class on Thursdays. With more crafts projects and activities in the works, all we know is the cold can’t keep us down! We are so glad to have such amazing volunteers and shelter staff and are looking forward to a great year!


The Barrels Program is up and running again as all volunteers have begun their shifts for the spring semester.  We have some new volunteers who are excited to start helping, and many returning volunteers who have gotten back into the swing of things.  Some volunteers are cooking delicious cookies, while others are helping to keep the store looking as cozy and welcoming as it always is. Come on down, support a local business, and say hi to some great dedicated volunteers!


Spending a morning with a group of wide-eyed high school students may not be on every college student’s bucket list, but I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day.

Last Wednesday I led a tour of Colby for a group of 15 high school juniors from Mt. Abrams High School, a small school in Western Maine.  The students had traveled over an hour to get to Waterville, but despite the early morning, frost-heave heavy bus ride, the group was wide awake and eager to walk around in the chilly Maine morning.

From asking critical questions about the quality of the dining hall food and the variety of dorming options to more involved questions about Colby’s academic programs and study abroad opportunities, the students on my tour were obviously eager to figure out their futures. Leading this group of respectful and hilarious students around Colby’s beautiful—though frigid—campus reminded me why I decided to pursue a degree in education.

As a tour guide for Maine Aspirations, my goal is inform Maine middle and high school students about the benefits of pursuing higher education and the opportunities that a college degree can provide.  As a native Mainer, I know how easy it is for students to simply give up on education after high school, opting to stay in their home towns rather than try new things simply because they are unaware of the opportunities that lie beyond town, county, and even state lines. Watching the eyes of the students on my tour light up at the thought of spending a semester in London or studying in Belize for Jan Plan made me realize that, as a tour guide and a future teacher, sometimes planting the smallest seeds of desire in young students minds is enough to help them change their futures.

-Written by Morgan Rublee ’14


Birthday Wishes has been off to a busy start this second semester! In January we hosted a party for a 13 year old girl, a 14 year old boy and a new born baby! It was a busy month, but we are glad to see that local Maine families are finding respite, warmth and safety at the Shelter. Surprisingly, in February, we did not have any children celebrating birthdays! However, we brought a pack of volunteers down to the shelter to play games and make crafts with the children.  Sammie ’16 was definitely the best at limbo, but Michelle ’16 pulled out her camp counselor tricks of the trade to entertain the young ones.  We are excited about the new faces joining our ranks of volunteers and are looking forward to what March has to offer!


Today in Rising Readers, we introduced magazines to our first grade class during their library time.  We looked at Highlights Magazine, Ranger Rick, Zootles, and National Geographic for Kids.  The kids love the magazines because there are cool pictures, interesting and easy to read stories, and fun games in the back!  Almost half the class decided to check out a magazine for the week!

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We are thrilled to announce that in January Paw Pals members logged the most monthly volunteer hours in TWO YEARS! What a great way to spend JanPlan, by giving back. January was also a fabulous month for animals at the shelter the two longest term dogs, Wanda and Dozer, were both adopted into loving families and we couldn’t be happier!
The volunteering momentum has continued into the Spring Semester. Last week, seven new paw pals members attended a volunteer orientation and will begin weekly duties at the shelter. In addition, the humane society recently held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser where Paw Pal-ers were spotted both volunteering and enjoying dinner. Be on the lookout for upcoming campus fundraisers for the humane society hosted by Paw Pals.
Long term resident, Dozer, who was finally adopted!

Long term resident, Dozer, who was finally adopted!

 


Earlier this week, Colby students Olivia Biagetti 14′ Sammy Draper 14′ and Anna Hess 14′  painted the interior walls of the South End Teen Center.  The teens will have a fresh looking space to come back to after school vacation week!

Colby Seniors Paint the SETC

Colby Seniors Paint the SETC


On Sunday, the women’s ice hockey team volunteered at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, organizing all of the donations that the shelter received over the winter.

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On Sunday at Sugarloaf, the football team assisted in the opening day of the Maine Special Olympics. Members of the football team and staff helped to organize and setup for the pre-event dinner as well as serving meals and cleanup. Furthermore to cap off the evening members of the team and staff participated in ice skating with participants as well as a karaoke event.

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