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This week’s edition!

Comm. Concepts’ drivers program going strong at 30

As 2016 marks the 30th year of Community Concepts’ Transportation Program, demand and need for this important door-to-door service remains as strong as ever. Relying largely on volunteers, Community Concepts provides transportation for MaineCare-qualified medical appointments, breast cancer treatment and support services (funded by a grant from the Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure) and to meet the needs of elders and veterans.

This volunteer driver program is an important one for the region.  Last year, Community Concepts volunteer drivers logged more than 6.4 million miles in completing over 155,000 trips.

According to Community Concepts’ Director of Transportation Brad Edwards, people volunteer to help provide the service for a variety of reasons. Older residents volunteer because they enjoy the social aspects of volunteering and the friends they make. In fact, the agency currently has more than 100 drivers over the age of 50. College students volunteer to become part of the community and to get to know the area. Others volunteer to accrue volunteer hours needed to remain eligible to receive government benefits.

“We receive many inquiries from people looking to volunteer as a way to meet the rules for minimum volunteer hours to remain eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or other benefits,” Edwards said. “Volunteers drive their own cars and are reimbursed 41 cents per mile. On average, our drivers last year received weekly reimbursement checks of around $250. This reimbursement does not count as income, so it does not impact income eligibility for programs like SNAP.”

Opportunities are available in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford and northern Cumberland County. For more information about the program, contact Brad Edwards at 1-800-866-5588 or see www.community-concepts.org.

Just celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Community Concepts is a private non-profit, 501(c)(3) Community Action Agency whose mission is to provide leadership, education and support to build thriving individuals, families and communities. For more information, see community-concepts.org.

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