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Maine VolunteerFare

Operation KeepMEwarm: It's Not Just a Winter Thing

Published June 30, 2006

Call out for Operation Keep ME Warm County Coordinators

For the 3rd year, Operation Keep ME Warm will winterize houses of Maine homeowners who are senior citizens or have disabilities. The target dates are October 19 ? October 22.

On the planning and implementation side, this project has a second purpose ? identify and provide experiential training to community systems that could be used in emergencies to coordinate volunteers. (Did you know York County used the OKMW model to help citizens after the flood?)

There is always a surge in requests for immediate help after a severe local event. The professionals handling the safety, utility, and other aspects of response need prepared, trained, competent volunteer coordinators with whom they developed relationships before the emergency.

York, Waldo, Oxford, Androscoggin and Penobscot are ready. 14 more counties to go. This is a capacity-building exercise AND an act of kindness to neighbors.

-County Coordinators are agencies or networks (including faith groups, educational systems, fraternal groups) that can

-Reach across community boundaries and engage others in planning as well as conducting this project;

-Manage data ? before the project, during it?s implementation, and after to report clearly what happened on the ground

-Follow protocols designed to ensure safety and solid risk management

-Communicate clearly with volunteers, the press, and citizens receiving service

-Add local resources (people, relationships, knowledge, skills, volunteers, etc.) to the statewide tools and complete the work promised to customers

-Organize a planning team of sufficient size and depth to ensure the process for deploying volunteers and serving customers is organized, well managed, and able to handle minor disruptions or surprises.

Coordination starts NOW. So get your summer feet wet with this unique volunteer project!


The state steering committee partners: Office of the Governor, The Governor?s Office of Energy Independence and Security, Maine Commission for Community Service, Maine National Guard, Maine Dept. of Transportation, Maine State Housing Authority, Efficiency Maine.


-The number of customers? 3,000 homes statewide.

-There will be funds for coordinators to cover supplies and other incidentals. Volunteers will be offered reimbursement for mileage.

-Sample of Lead coordinators? duties:

1. Recruit 10 members for the county planning committee and convene the group by July 15.

2. Attend project management training late July (exact date TBA)

3. By August 15, identify facilities that will be used both for storage of supplies and Volunteer Stations.

4. By August 30, assign key leadership functions to members of committee (e.g., making routes for installers, collating forms, confirming service with customers, staffing the Volunteer Stations during project)

5. By September 1, develop volunteer recruitment plan that will reach high schools, colleges, businesses, civic clubs, churches, etc. with message about the project, how to sign up, and dates. Implement recruitment plan by September 15.

6. By September 30, confirm staffing for Volunteer Stations and other logistical elements including moving needed materials from central county reception area to volunteer stations.


To sign on as the coordinator for your county, send an e-mail to Include your Organization Name, Key Staff Contact, Phone, Email, and Town.


Email them to