Volunteering can be an important part of your college experience. Our office can help you find meaningful volunteering opportunities online and within the local community. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get help with finding, planning, and connecting to current opportunities.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
The PDCC is looking for volunteers for everything from making phone calls to distributing voting information flyers around Portland - click here to sign up
Meeting: Thursday, 10/15 at 6:30pm
Join members to discuss and vote on GOTV efforts, and go over the minimum wage referendum on Portland's ballot this November. The agenda for Thursday's meeting is here. Registration is required - RSVP here!
The Maine Democratic Party has begun socially-distanced and masked canvassing, and is looking for volunteers to help out! There is a required hour-long training before you get started - click here to sign up
People First Portland is an electoral campaign to pass five referendum initiatives in the November election. You can learn more about their organization here.
Letter writing: One way to help is to write a letter to the editor. These short (250 word) letters can help reach more voters in these key moments just after absentee ballots have been mailed. These letters are an opportunity to put a name and a story behind various ballot initiatives. To learn more, click here to sign up
Each year we take the USM Community out into the Greater Portland Community to involve ourselves in much needed service! For students and faculty alike, it is a great chance to volunteer without a long-term commitment, to experience how great it feels to be of service to a selfless cause. At our last Husky Day of Service 292 students, staff, and faculty volunteered for a total of 876 hours at 21 local organizations!
USM participates in this week-long effort by offering a variety of events for students to help learn about and volunteer for the cause. Each year, in the week before Thanksgiving, the National Coalition for the Homeless brings together communities, schools, and volunteers across the nation in an effort to increase awareness about hunger and homelessness in the United States.
During this entire week, the SL+V team engages with students to help inform, advocate, and market events in the community for Trans awareness. Our team also works interdepartmentally to encourage students to attend on and off campus events, as well as memorials.
Each year the SL+V team works with Husky Veterans to engage in different projects revolving around Veterans Day. This is an important day to be of service to our country. Last year USM students went to Evergreen Cemetery to identify Veterans, to ensure proper recognition.
There are a multitude of events around campus that change every year. Have an idea for this upcoming Earth Day? Want to see how diverse volunteering your time can be? Contact us!
Join A Student Group
A fantastic way to get involved and meet people with similar interests is to join a student organization. Below is a list of community focused student groups that are currently active at the University of Southern Maine.
Student organizations can work with Service-Learning and Volunteering by filling out this form. We would be thrilled to help your student group from pre-planning to post-event wrap up.
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a student group that participates in a one-week, substance-free, service trip during Spring Break in March. Students serve with local organizations in the community to which they travel, meeting community needs and learning about the culture of the area and the organizations they serve. There's always time for some fun and sight-seeing as well!
The University of Southern Maine Circle K is a volunteer organization centered around service, leadership, and fellowship. We meet in 113 Upperclass Hall on the Gorham Campus every Monday night at 8 pm during the academic year.
We do community outreach projects that empower people in need by applying business and economic concepts and an entrepreneurial approach to improve their standard of living and quality of life.
Golden Key is the largest collegiate honor society in the world. Membership into the Society is by invitation only, to the top 15% of college/university sophomores, juniors, seniors and top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on the objective criteria of their academic achievements.
The Husky Hunger Initiative is a student group dedicated to fighting hunger and food insecurity within the USM Community, as well as to decreasing stigma around food-pantry use
HRH's main focus is sexual health, education, and activism efforts to fight for reproductive health funding and other healthcare initiatives. They work alongside University Health and Counseling to provide sexual health services and expert sexual education, the QSA to raise awareness and address issues in the LGBTQ+ community, and a variety of other student groups and organizations. They have opportunities to get involved by planning projects and events at USM, as well as connections with outside organizations in the area. Please contact Emma Donnelly at email@example.com for more information. Check out their Facebook page to stay updated with their activism efforts!
The founding principles of this National Sorority are to develop the highest philanthropic ideals possible within each chapter and individual sister. Providing service to others is the cornerstone on which this Sorority was built. We continue to build on that through various service projects and activities for both the campus and surrounding communities.
This is a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities and organizations available in the local community. This has overlap with our event calendar, but is different because some organizations require a long-term commitment to volunteer. Contact information for those programs is listed within each individual description.
4-H STEM Ambassadors are trained USM students who facilitate hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with youth 8-14 years old. This is a fun opportunity to work with youth while developing skills in leadership, project planning, presentation, problem-solving, and communication -- all skills that are sought after by employers. No STEM-specific background is necessary; all you need is interest in working with youth!
A new University of Southern Maine initiative aims to help young girls in the Greater Portland area join a growing network interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. Get involved, there are tons of opportunities available!
Study centers are run in four neighborhoods: Front Street, Sagamore Village, Riverton Park, and Kennedy Park. The mission of the centers is to provide a positive, productive, and safe environment for students to receive assistance with homework. There is a great need in the neighborhoods as many parents are not fluent in English and have a difficult time assisting with homework. They also work to supplement students’ education by doing art projects, playing educational games, and reading with them. For more information, contact Emily Fitch at (207) 773-4753 x 8263 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Study Center Assistants - assist with afterschool homework help, college, job, and scholarship applications, academic mentoring, and supplemental extracurricular educational opportunities when possible. Time Commitment: 1-2 hours a week for 8-10 weeks throughout the semester.
Extracurricular Activities - volunteers with specific interests they would like to teach often lead these supplementary activities. You have the option of working with the coordinators of each center to define what role you would like to have.
The Portland Mentoring Alliance seeks to improve the life qualities of both young people and adults as they experience the multiple values of a one-on-one relationship. Primarily, a mentor serves as a consistent, reliable role model and a trusted friend to a high school student. The Portland Mentoring Alliance accepts applications on a year-round basis from volunteers who wish to mentor a student at Portland High School. To apply to become a mentor or for more information about the program, please email PMA Director Glenn Nerbak at NerbaG@portlandschools.org or call (207) 842-5358.
Make It Happen! is a college readiness program that helps multilingual students build competitive academic profiles for college admission and financial aid. Make It Happen! AmeriCorps Site Coordinators help students take challenging classes, improve their standardized test scores, develop competitive college applications, and engage in leadership, community service, and professional development opportunities. To provide academic and language acquisition support, MIH! pairs of English Language Learners in grades 8-12 with volunteer academic coaches.
- Academic Coaches - be a positive role model for a student and provide academic support and engage in activities with students that promote critical thinking, goal-setting, and organizational skills. Volunteer academic coaches work with students from countries all over the globe. Meet once a week with a student between 8 am and 5 pm for a minimum of 2 hours. Time-based on location and availability.
A multi-faceted social service agency that serves the hungry and homeless of Portland through food, casework, and many other programs.
The state's largest medical center, and a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland. Maine Medical Center's mission is to care for the community, educate tomorrow's caregivers, and research new ways to provide care.
Cultivating Community creates and sustains greater access to healthy, local foods. CC empowers people to play many roles in restoring the local, sustainable food system, and models, teaches, and advocates for ecological food production. They deliver garden-based education, provide a year-round leadership development program, lead the New American Sustainable Agricultural Project, work with the city of Portland to manage, support, and expand the community gardens program, create and sustain new points of healthy food access, and establish and help manage gardens and growing sites.
PWH is a non-profit organization based in Scarborough, Maine, that is committed to helping reduce medical waste while improving global health. They specialize in recycling and reprocessing medical supplies that have been discarded, repurposing them to help other countries receive the health care they deserve. Volunteer Opportunities include warehouse help such as helping to pick up, sort, and organize medical supplies. You may also volunteer with Project 10,000, which is an effort to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in Africa by providing 10,000 women with kits containing the supplies necessary for a sterile birth and items to keep their newborn warm. Internships are also available for dedicated students looking to further collaborate with a positive team focused on global health and the environmental impact of medical waste.
Partners for World Health also provides the opportunity to start College and Graduate School Chapters. The responsibilities of student chapters include developing partnerships with local hospitals, collecting medical supplies from local hospitals and delivering them to local PWH warehouses, educating the community on global health issues, volunteering in PWH's South Portland warehouse once a month, organizing a mobility or crutch drive once a year, raising $10,000 to send a shipment of medical supplies and equipment to a country of their choice, and hosting monthly global health education series lectures (optional). Members of PWH college chapters are also eligible to apply for medical mission trips.
If you are interested in starting a PWH college chapter at USM, please email email@example.com and Tyler Kalahar, USM Service-Learning and Volunteer Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a Volunteer Application for individual volunteers.
The Center for Grieving Children provides loving support to grieving children, teens, their families and the community through peer support, outreach and education. Volunteer Opportunities are an opportunity to dedicate your time and skills to making a difference in the life of a child, teen, family, and the community. Opportunities include becoming a Peer Support Group Facilitator, providing Office Support, volunteering for Special Events and Fundraising, joining the Board of Directors, as well as assisting the York County Fundraising and Marketing Committee.
The ICC supports and improves the lives of immigrants by providing health, social and educational opportunities. They seek to educate and socially and economically integrate all of Maine’s immigrants. Within the ICC, The Power School offers unique opportunities for volunteers to work with students from multicultural backgrounds. Volunteers may be asked to teach small classes of students, tutor or mentor. If you are interested in volunteering for the Power School, contact Karen Collins at email@example.com. Experienced teachers, school administrators or community members who want to share their love of a specific academic study or want to provide administrative support to the school are especially encouraged to apply.
Equality Maine is working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Maine through political action, community organizing, education, and collaboration.
STRIVE serves teens and young adults with emotional and intellectual disabilities. STRIVE offers a range of services which means there are plenty of chances for volunteers to use their areas of expertise, learn new skills and have fun. There are volunteer opportunities within many of the STRIVE and PSL programs, from Dance parties to summer camps. Get involved today!
350 Maine is a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the planetary climate crisis. They grow their power collectively to find real and lasting solutions, to end dependence on fossil fuels, and to build a healthy, sustainable life for people and the planet. To get involved with 350 Maine’s efforts to move towards a fossil-fuel free future, please visit their Facebook page, website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Nonprofit Urban Land Trust that transforms Greater Portland into a healthier community for people-powered transportation, conservation, and recreation. They are dedicated to creating a network of trails in greater Portland that is available to everyone free of charge. Volunteer Opportunities include becoming a Trail Volunteer, an Event Volunteer, or connecting with peers or coworkers through Corporate/Group Volunteer opportunities. For more information on volunteering, email Daniel Bishop at email@example.com. Visit the Portland Trails listing for maps, directions, and details. For more information on Portland Trails, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (207) 775-2411.
Maine Audubon works to conserve Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat by engaging people of all ages in education, conservation, and action.
Gilsland Farm Greeters - volunteers are needed to greet people at the Environmental Center at Gilsland Farm (Falmouth). Greeters welcome and orient visitors and answer questions from the public. Other duties include answering the phone and assisting with various projects. Time Commitment: one four-hour shift per week. For more information, contact Beth Pauls at 207-781-2330 x273.
Volunteer Naturalists (Fields Pond) - volunteers are needed to lead nature explorations Monday through Friday for groups of all ages at Fields Pond Audubon Center. No experience is needed, just a love of nature and a desire to share your passion with others. They provide training in teaching techniques, species identification and wetland ecology. For more information, contact Cyndi Kuhn at (207) 989-2591.
Fields Pond Greeters - volunteers are needed to greet people at Fields Pond Environmental Center (Holden). Greeters welcome and orient visitors and answer basic questions. Other duties include answering the phone and assisting with various projects. Time Commitment: one four-hour shift per week. For more information, contact Cyndi Kuhn at (207) 989-2591.
Gilsland Farm Office Volunteers - assist with the coordination of Maine Audubon mailings at Gilsland Farm (Falmouth). Tasks include data entry, mail merge, printing and preparing letters. For more information, contact Agata Ketterick at (207) 781-2330 x232 or email@example.com
Environmental Education Volunteers - assist with and lead programs for all ages. Programs include outdoor and indoor explorations. These programs are for all ages from Pre-K to High School. Most programs will be from 1-2 hours in length. For more information, Contact Linda Woodard at 207-781-2330 x 213.
Environmental Education Assistants
Other ways to support their work
For more information, call 207-781-2330 or email Michelle Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: There are eight locations across the state offer a range of wildlife habitat to explore, with gentle trails and scenic views, and a variety of programs for all ages available.
Take A Service-Learning Course
Service-learning combines academic coursework and volunteer experiences. It's a great way to get involved in your local community and develop skills for student's careers. Students engage in service-learning both to expand their understanding of a subject and to benefit the community.
Students can explore the list of Service-Learning Courses and register for courses on MaineStreet.