Lifelong maine
americorps Program

The University of Maine’s Center on Aging’s Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps Program (LMAP) celebrates the valuable contributions of AmeriCorps members who pledged to “get things done” with the communities where they are serving. Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps members working in multiple locations across Maine, have undertaken community projects to improve the lives of older residents, helping them live independently, through meal programs, balance training, better living initiatives, and more!   

Note: Below, and throughout our site, underlined text indicates a live link


Age-Friendly Community Initiative
in the Bethel Region


Bethel has benefitted from the service of two AmeriCorps members. During year one, part-time member Meryl Kelley, helped the committee develop and implement a comprehensive communication plan and worked to raise awareness of age-friendly by non-traditional partners, including local businesses. During their second year, our LMAP member is coordinating the age-friendly initiative, continuing to expand community awareness of the work, recruiting volunteers, and creating development opportunities to enhance the capacity of the steering committee. 

Pat and Sonya welcome people to 

the Walk-In Cafe

Blue Hill peninsula, Deer Isle and stonington

On the Blue Hill Peninsula, Pat Saunders and Sonya Bates have exemplified AmeriCorps values.  Healthy Peninsula’s Walk-In Cafe opened on April 20, 2022, next to the accessible Murphy Trailhead in the center of Blue Hill.  The Cafe was an idea conceived by Anna Wind the Healthy Eating Coordinator at Healthy Peninsula as a way for peninsula residents to meet with friends, share conversation and food, and do so in a Covid-safe environment. The AmeriCorps members serving on the Blue Hill Peninsula made that idea reality and it has become a treasured gathering that many attendees say is the highlight of their week. As one guest remarked, “Everyone is so happy to see me.” The Café meets every Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:30 am.  Attendees of the Café have come from the 9 towns of the Blue Hill Peninsula, Ellsworth, Orland, Portland, and even Cranbrook, British Columbia. Fifteen volunteers have put in over 65 hours of service at the Café and it is sponsored by Healthy Peninsula (HP) in partnership with Friends in Action, the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust.  During their service, Pat and Sonya have implemented the Matter of Balance program offering training for coaches as well as community classes; assisted with the distribution of the USDA Supplemental Commodity Food Boxes; distributed free vegetables and books through the Magic Food Bus program; provided support for The Simmering Pot, a weekly in-person and home delivery community meal program; assisted in bringing SNAP benefits to the Blue Hill Farmers Market; and have supported Healthy Peninsula’s growing volunteer program through development efforts, support, and celebration of volunteers.

Click here to read a reflection by each member on their service.

Chelsea's LMAP team - (from left to right) Patti Fredette, Wilma Ware, and Dot Grady - at the AmeriCorps maine swearing in ceremony


In Chelsea, the AmeriCorps trio of Dot Grady, Wilma Ware, and Patti Fredette have been exploring the ways to transform the undeveloped and underused resource of Butternut Park, located on the East bank of the Kennebec River into a community beacon.  Collaborating with Age-Friendly Chelsea, the Chelsea Conservation Committee, and the Chelsea Historical Society, the three worked to enhance the park and make it a place for people of all ages to enjoy.  In the past year they have built a “River Stage” using natural resources found in the park, reintroduced Butternut trees, created a walking trail, provided picnic tables, and installed signage describing the history of the Chelsea waterfront.  Currently, the three are focusing on installing a trailhead kiosk, informational markers for native plants and trees, and purchasing benches. 

Click here to read a reflection by each member on their service.

LMAP members (from left to right) Mary MacDonald and Tara Mozdziez are dishing up fresh, healthy food for people who attend Breaking Bread Together


Up in northern Washington County, the team of Mary MacDonald and Tara Mozdziez have served to assist the Danforth Livable Communities in establishing the first regional community center.  Since 2022, the two have led fundraisers and Tara has written grants with site supervisor and Danforth Town Manager Ardis Brown, collectively totaling over $100,000 for center’s ADA and code renovations and programming designed to improve the lives of older residents.  Recently, the Breaking Bread With Others Program launched with grant funding from the John T. Gorman Foundation.  The program provides 3 breakfasts and one lunch per week at the center and, partnering with a local non-profit residential program, delivers the weekly meal to over 25 50+ aged households in this small, isolated community.  The program not only provides food but for those enjoying the meal at the Danforth Livable Community Center, a way to interact with neighbors and learn about the center’s other programming which includes exercise and health activities, arts and crafts, The Clothes Closet (free clothing for those in need), a community resource navigator (Mary aids residents in locating and applying for public assistance programs), a volunteer driver’s program and this spring, the team will welcome a long-awaited raised bed garden to the center.  The efforts of the 2 LMAP members have made a difference in this community, Brown says, “Without them, we would have never been able to achieve so much nor in such little time”.  

For full details about the impact of AmeriCorps in Danforth, click here.

LMAP members (from left to right) Rick McInnis and Rosemarie O'Toole, letting People know about the Volunteer Transportation and Technology Programs in
Age-Friendly Dexter


Age-Friendly Dexter benefitted from the service of two LMAP members. Rick McInnis launched a Volunteer Driver Program--from developing policies and branding and enlisting local partners, to recruiting and training volunteers and making people who needed rides feel comfortable seeking help. Rosemarie O'Toole developed a comprehensive approach to digital equity. She worked with the team to develop grant funding to purchase notebooks and trained older residents in how to use them confidently during virtual medical visits and to stay connected with family and friends. To make sure that people had the opportunity to enjoy in-person socialization as well, she recruited speakers for their Tea Talk Series and for the Pop-Up University. Several of the talks focused on using technology to help people live safely in their own homes but others addressed different aspects of daily living, such as elevated bed gardening, cooking on a budget, and fall prevention.

Houlton's Spring Clean-Up Team (LMAP member Kathryn Harnish pictured second from the left)


Age-Friendly Houlton worked with Lifelong Maine AmeriCorps member Kathryn Harnish to engage the community in a conversation about the types of changes that were most wanted by residents. Kathryn also met with a number of local organizations to learn more about the strengths of the community and to bring all the different groups together to talk about aging. After engaging the Chamber of Commerce and a group of Young Entrepreneurs, the group determined that what is good for older residents is good for business. When Kathryn met with residents who participate in Putnam House, she learned that many residents struggled to complete routine spring clean-up tasks. She gathered her partners, including local business owners, put the word out that volunteers were ready to help anyone who needed it, and launched the first annual Spring Clean-Up Day. The event not only helped residents with clean-up, it showed everyone in town that Age-Friendly Houlton was not another group of planners, but they were doers who were determined to make a difference. The businesses that participated in the day left feeling good about their contribution to the community and even more committed to continuing the work of Age-Friendly Houlton.  

LMAP members (from left to right) Sarah Jandreau and Barbara Riddle-Dovorak recruiting volunteers at the Millinocket Public Library


At the end of the Appalachian Trail, Millinocket, a former mill town with a population of just over 4,000, has LMAP members Sarah Jandreau and Barbara Riddle-Dvorak working on numerous regional efforts.  Last year, they started a Learn & Grow Garden at the Millinocket Memorial Library where a raised bed model/teaching garden was designed to allow various community partners (Wabanaki Public Health, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Breaking the Cycle- a recovery home for women, and the children’s summer reading program at the library) to demonstrate successful gardening practices.  One of their most ambitious projects- to combat local scarcity of fresh food options and to promote community connectedness among all ages- is a planned downtown Millinocket Farmers' and Artisan Market, with an estimated start date of June 2023.  Sarah is also an advocate for Brewer's Eastern Area Agency on Aging virtual Caregiver Support group for those who care for dementia patients and a new group for cancer patients in partnership with the Dempsey Center of Lewiston and Millinocket's own Katahdin Area Support group. Barbara’s community projects have included collecting items for a community 10-year time capsule and participating in the Maine Walking College’s 6-month study and community assessment.  Through the walking college, a grant was received for adding new ADA icons to current signage on the downtown Michaud Tail. 

Click here to read a reflection by each member on their service.

LMAP member David Steed is honored to provide rides to residents as part of his service with the Age-Friendly Saco Volunteer Transportation


Age-Friendly Saco is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to making the City of Saco more livable. The way in which the team is doing this is by addressing the 8 domains of livability as defined by the World Health Organization. 

The area that Age-Friendly Saco is currently addressing as part of its Age-Friendly Action Plan, is transportation. In 2022, LMAP member Linda Verville worked with Age-Friendly Saco to implement an on-demand transportation program for the city's older residents. In 2023, Linda Verville is the paid coordinator of the program and LMAP member David Steed is a full-time LMAP member providing rides to medical appointments. 

Research has shown that drivers typically outlive their ability to safely operate a vehicle by, on average, 7-10 years. Age-Friendly Saco is committed to putting in place the support necessary for Saco residents to be able to stay in their communities as they age, and this includes appropriate transportation. As more and more older adults give up their keys, Age-Friendly Saco needs to be ready to keep them healthy by providing options to access the necessities of daily living especially access to healthcare. 

Age Friendly Saco is providing rides to medical appointments for residents over the age of 60. Since the January 2022 inception of this program, 10 Age-Friendly Saco Volunteers and David have provided more than 300 rides, traveled over 3,200 miles, and spent over 1000 hours on the road.