General Orientation for New SMAA Volunteers
The Southern Maine Agency on Aging is the best resource for discovering successful solutions as you age. Our mission is to improve the physical, social, emotional and economic well-being of older adults. We have been in business to aid older adults of Cumberland and York Counties since 1972.
The Southern Maine Agency on Aging was developed as a result of the Older Americans Act of 1961, which required every state to set up agencies on aging. In response, Maine created the Office of Elder Services, then over the course of time designated five regional nonprofits to be the area agencies on aging. For York and Cumberland counties, Maine chose SMAA as the area agency on aging.
To fulfill our role, we have outlined five strategic goals to help us better serve the older adults of York and Cumberland counties.
- To be the recognized source of information, programs, referrals, and access to benefits for older adults and their families in southern Maine.
- To champion the adoption of healthy and active lifestyles in older adults in collaboration with the health care organizations and municipalities of the region.
- To serve as a visible and effective advocate for older adults and their family caregivers.
- To respond proactively to the changing needs of older adults and their caregivers through measurably effective, high-quality programs and services.
- In recognition of federal and state funding pressures, to increase the percentage of operational revenue obtained from philanthropic and non-governmental sources including donations from individuals and corporations.
To reach these goals and to serve older adults in Cumberland and York counties, we provide an array of services including:
- Information and Referral
- Resources and Ongoing Assistance
- Health Insurance/Medicare Counseling
- Family Caregiver Support and Assistance
- Check Writing Assistance
- Adult Day Care in Saco
- Meals on Wheels
- Community Cafés
- Discount dining with our “As You Like It” program
- The Commodity Supplemental Food Program
- Grocery Shopping
- Classes for People with Concerns about Falling
- “Living Well for Better Health” six-week workshops
- Maine Senior Games for athletes age 50 +
There are so many different roles for volunteers within SMAA. For example, we have volunteers who love to participate during the Maine Senior Games because they like the excitement of sports and competition. There are volunteers teach others to live with their chronic conditions or teach exercises to help with balance. There are 600 who deliver meals to homebound seniors, and still there is need for more help is still there.
Through the RSVP program, a volunteer can be a friend, an ally, and a helper to an elder or to a child. While others volunteer at nursing homes to simply being there for someone who lacks companionship.
A volunteer can try new things or help a nonprofit like SMAA by volunteering their time and sharing their expertise. Volunteering can bring joy and a sense of achievement to the volunteer. We have RSVP volunteers who use their passion for photography, knitting, crafts, sharing their love of books, physical activity, or theater to help SMAA or another non-profit through RSVP.
Volunteers are unpaid members of the SMAA team. Nearly 800 people have volunteered at SMAA in the last nine months during which they contributed 16,320.97 hours of their time—a monetary value of $174,798.11!
At SMAA, we require that our staff and volunteers maintain the privacy of anyone that they meet or work with during their hours of service.
As a volunteer, you may see confidential information. SMAA requires all volunteers to keep confidential any information concerning SMAA’s business including but not limited to its clients, employees, volunteers, and services, and must not divulge or disclose that information to any person not employed or serving a volunteer placement at SMAA without proper release and approval. If you don’t know if information could be shared, please err on the side of caution and don’t share it. This policy applies to all RSVP stations.
The Southern Maine Agency on Aging is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Critical support of SMAA comes from the donations of individuals, corporations, municipalities, and foundations that support our services. SMAA programs receive state and federal funds through the Maine DHHS Office of Elder Services; the Corporation for National Community Service; Biddeford, Portland, South Portland, and Cumberland County Community Development Block Grants (CDBG); and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), some of which require matching funds from charitable donations.
To learn more about SMAA’s funding, please visit our website.
If you would like to make a donation to SMAA, please contact the Agency’s Development office at 396-6591 or visit the donate page on our website.
Importance of Volunteers at SMAA
“We are blessed with many dedicated, long-term volunteers and without them, Meals on Wheels and every other SMAA program wouldn’t exist without their commitment.” —Jo Ann McPhee, Nutrition Manager at SMAA
Volunteers are vital to SMAA’s supporting services. Just like paid employees, volunteers represent SMAA in the 51 cities and towns we serve. Not only do volunteers help SMAA employees with administrative tasks at SMAA’s Scarborough office, but there are many other roles that volunteers take on. For example, without volunteers SMAA could not successfully run the Meals on Wheels program on which more than 22,000 homebound elders depend. It is volunteers who make the difference. Thank you for all that you do!
As a SMAA Volunteer
“I get so much out of it. They’re doing more of a service for me than I am for them.” —Frances McDonald, a Meals on Wheels driver for the past 22 years
As a volunteer, you have a right to:Assignments that suit you
- Clear and specific instructions about your assignment
- Continuing staff support
- Treatment as an equal co-worker
- Opportunity to offer your ideas and suggestions
- Regular appreciation for your efforts and accomplishments
- Know who your supervisor is
“Volunteering gets your mind off the negative. It has impacted my life in a positive way.” —Jane Hurst, Volunteer for SMAA and RSVP
As a volunteer, I have a responsibility to:Make a serious commitment to the assignment and perform it to the best of my ability.
- Be willing to learn and ask questions.
- Work with Agency employees, volunteers, clients and those of related organizations.
- Keep track of the time I volunteer and submit those hours to my supervisor.
- To read the Volunteer Guide, and abide by all the rules and policies, and sign and send back the Volunteer Acknowledgement Form (insert link to Volunteer Guide [html]) to:
Southern Maine Agency on Aging
136 U.S. Route One
Scarborough, ME 04074