Seven volunteers from Catholic Charities Maine (CCM) have been recognized with Maine Roll of Honor awards sponsored by Volunteer Maine and Governor Janet Mill’s office. All of the honorees completed more than 500 hours of volunteer service last year.
Two volunteers donate their services in the Aroostook County area, where thrift stores contribute to CCM’s Hunger and Relief services. Freda Watkins is a volunteer at our Threads of Hope thrift store in Caribou, Maine, and has contributed 815.25 hours. She loves to be in the store supporting the staff and customers. She keeps the staff area clean and tidy, makes lunch, brings in snacks, and goes “above and beyond” to help, Kelly Day, Director of Volunteer Services reported. Carol Hartt is a volunteer at our Hope Chest Boutique in the Presque Isle Mall, which features antiques and gently used goods. Carol dedicated 537.5 hours and makes the store sparkle, and “oh so organized,” according to Day.
Five of the honorees contributed their time and skills to the SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone Renew Courage & Hope) program. Four of those volunteers, Susan English, Lorraine Barre, Barbara Hughes, and Betty Bates, spent hundreds of hours knitting and crocheting clothing and blankets for distribution to those in need throughout the state. The fifth, Anne Skelton, is a Visitation Volunteer and assists those who are unable to drive by providing rides to appointments and errands. She also checks in on isolated seniors who need companionship.
Susan English of Wales, Maine, volunteered 682 hours knitting sweaters, hats, mittens, and baby clothing. She has been knitting all her life and joined CCM’s volunteer efforts in 2017. “I enjoy every minute of it,” English said. “And I think it’s great that so many people donate their yarn for us to knit and crochet.” She is a parishioner of Wales Presbyterian Church, where donors provide yarn for her projects.
Lorraine Barre of Rumford, Maine, has been crocheting and knitting for CCM since 2020. Last year she dedicated 960 hours making baby blankets, lap robes, hats, and shawls and enjoys doing so three or four hours daily while watching television. “It’s fun and it helps me stay awake while watching TV,” she explained. “I also appreciate that our Holy Savior Church parishioners donate lots of yarn, as well.”
Barbara Hughes of Lewiston, Maine, has been knitting since the 1960s when she was taught needle crafts by a friend of her mother. She has been volunteering for CCM since 2010. “It’s fun to make lap robes, and a friend helps by sewing them together,” Hughes said. She volunteered 1,440 hours last year.
Betty Bates, who lived in Auburn, Maine, and died last March, dedicated 835 hours of her time knitting last year. She spent many years contributing hundreds of hours knitting for those in need and earned her place on the Roll of Honor for several years. CCM is deeply grateful for the work she did.
Anne Skelton, also of Auburn, Maine, helps more than ten clients each weekday by driving them to doctors’ appointments, shopping trips, or other errands. “I love to be able to volunteer,” Skelton said. She started volunteering with CCM after she met Wendy Russell, aging services director for Catholic Charities. The two were swimming together in a water fitness program at the YWCA pool in Lewiston. She has dedicated hundreds of hours each year and 949 last year alone. “You never know what you can do as a volunteer until you talk to people who do it,” Skelton said.
Russell reports that CCM is proud to have nearly 500 volunteers serving more than 55,000 Mainers. “Of course, we are always looking for more!” she remarked. If you are interested, please learn more and apply at www.ccmaine.org/volunteer. CCM has opportunities all over the state.
“We feel blessed by our wonderful volunteers at CCM. The Roll of Honor award and ceremony is a chance to recognize these amazing volunteers who care deeply to serve others. We are so glad they are a part of our team,” Day said.
About Catholic Charities Maine
For more than 50 years, Catholic Charities Maine has provided high-quality, community-based social services to people of all faiths, beliefs, and economic backgrounds. As one of the largest human service agencies in the state, we are committed to helping children and adults overcome adversity and achieve self-sufficiency. To learn more, please visit www.ccmaine.org or call 1-800-781-8550.