Service News

The McKeen Center's Service Newsletter is regularly updated with information and updates regarding volunteer opportunities, events, educational and professional resources, and other opportunities to participate in community engagement and public service within the Bowdoin community, Greater Brunswick area, and beyond.

In order to keep yourself and your community safe when volunteering, please read and familiarize yourself with the McKeen Center's COVID-19 Volunteer Guidelines.


Winter Break Community Engagement Fund
Regular Application Deadline December 15 

The McKeen Center’s Winter Break Community Engagement Fund provides funding of up to $1000 to support students in committing to reciprocal and impactful community engagement during the extended 2020 winter break. Participants will commit to providing either 50 or 100 hours of volunteer service to a nonprofit or municipal organization and will receive training, support in identifying a host site, and a fellowship award from the McKeen Center. Volunteer work can be remote or in-person, provided students are following the McKeen Center’s guidelines for in-person volunteering. Learn more and apply here!

Apply for the Ladd Fund for Community-Engaged Learning

The Richard ’62 and Sabra Ladd Fund for Community-Engaged Learning established by Dick Ladd ’62 and Sabra Ladd, supports engaged scholarship mini-grants for students who will partner with community or government-related organizations. The mini-grants will be administered by the McKeen Center for the Common Good. Students can apply for up to $500 in funding through the Ladd Fund. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. Learn more and apply here.


Community Social Marketing for Conservation Project

Local veterinarian Elizabeth Stone is seeking volunteers to promote solutions to help people protect birds in their yards and communities. Her work is focused on reducing impact on birds from windows, cats, and other hazards, and she is interested in applying ideas from community based social marketing. If you have any experience or expertise in fields of conservation and/or social marketing, please contact Elizabeth at

Volunteer Options through United Way

United Way of Greater Portland has posted their current volunteer needs which include community opportunities such as making cards, videos, and masks, delivering food and donations, mentoring and tutoring, and other connections with other local organizations. See their newsletter for more detail

Community Connections & Tech Support through Bath Housing

As we head into more isolating winter weather in combination with continued COVID-19 precautions, especially for the many high risk households here, Bath Housing is seeking volunteers to connect via phone with individuals who may need extra connection or support during this time. Bath Housing is also seeking volunteers to offer virtual basic tech support for community members (how to set up a phone voice mail, how to check and delete phone messages, how to use Zoom, etc.). Please contact Avery Friend for more information.

Connect with Brunswick Seniors through People Plus

People Plus, a Brunswick-based senior community center, is seeking volunteers to place regular check-in phone calls to homebound elders. Interested volunteers would maintain the same call list throughout their volunteer commitment, thus developing a relationship of trust and respect. If interested, please contact Avery Friend. Training materials will be provided.

Harpswell Aging At Home Socialization Committee

Harpswell Aging At Home is recruiting people who may have some collaborative ideas on how to provide socialization opportunities as we approach a time of year that many of our elderly are isolated and alone through long winter months, especially in this time of pandemic. They are seeking interested students who may like to be part of a committee and run with creative ideas to get our seniors through the tough months ahead. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Avery Friend. 

Volunteer with Portland Adult Education
Ongoing and Flexible

PAE is affiliated with the Portland Public School system and offers various academic, job skills and ESL courses to adults in the greater Portland area, working largely with the local immigrant and refugee population. Bowdoin students can function as remote tutors or teaching assistants in online classes and/or help students navigate the technology issues that come with remote learning. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for those interested in language education and cultural exchange. Scheduling is independent and flexible––contact Cole van Miltenburg for more information.

Music and Tech Support for The Chocolate Church Arts Center
Bath, Maine

The Chocolate Church Arts Center is seeking volunteers with knowledge of and interest in music to help inventory sound equipment, assist with livestream events through camera and editing work, and/or help set up sound and lights for concert events. Contact Avery Friend for more information. 

Food Preparation and Delivery through Harpswell Aging At Home
Harpswell, Maine

Every other Tuesday, Harpswell Aging at Home has volunteer cooks that prepare food and deliver it to Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, where the food is packaged by additional volunteers and then distributed by volunteer drivers to about 30-40 recipients. 3-4 meals are delivered to each recipient.  Contact Jane Clavet for more information. 

Sorting Supplies with Partners for World Health
Portland, Maine

Partners for World Health facilitates the collection and distribution of high quality medical supplies and equipment for the benefit of individuals and communities in need, facilitates the collection and distribution of high quality medical supplies and equipment for the benefit of individuals and communities in need. Volunteers can sign up for shifts between 9:00 – 12:00 or 1:00 – 4:00 on Tuesday – Saturday to assist Partners for World Health in sorting supplies for distribution. Strict safety measures are being taken, with a cap on volunteers, mandatory masks, gloves provided, and tasks spread throughout the warehouse. An orientation is provided and can be done virtually. 

Red Cross Registration Volunteers
Various locations, Maine

The Red Cross is seeking volunteers to work the registration tables at blood drive drives. Drives are coordinated in Topsham, Brunswick, Bath, Harpswell, Freeport, Lisbon, Lewiston, Auburn and the smaller communities in the area. With the closings of schools and a lot of businesses the Red Cross is having to have many smaller drives to make up for the loss of the larger drives. Safety measures are being taken. 


Window Into Washington Online Seminar Series
Events from 10/29 through 12/1

Join The Fund for American Studies for this fall’s Window into Washington free online seminar series. Sessions will highlight public policy, economic and career-focused topics that bring some of our best speakers to audiences around the country. Seminars include Women’s Economic Rights, Virtual Networking in Washington, DC and Beyond, Reporting from Washington: Journalism Jobs in DC, and Careers in Foreign Policy and International Relations. Learn more and register here.


Email Avery Friend to set up individual or group meetings with any of the McKeen Center staff to learn more about ongoing events and programs, seek resources, discuss ideas, and have questions answered. Please also email Avery with any items that you would like to see included in Service News.