Isabelle Coleman (seated), a member of the York County Crafters Knitting Circle, who also sits on the Thriving in Place (Advisory Council, enjoys a warm embrace from Sherri Verrill, a volunteer in the Fuel Assistance/Energy Services program during a recent York County Community Action Corporation volunteer celebration. COURTESY PHOTO

Isabelle Coleman (seated), a member of the York County Crafters Knitting Circle, who also sits on the Thriving in Place (Advisory Council, enjoys a warm embrace from Sherri Verrill, a volunteer in the Fuel Assistance/Energy Services program during a recent York County Community Action Corporation volunteer celebration. COURTESY PHOTO

SANFORD — If you took all the folks who volunteer in various ways with York County Community Action Corporation and added up all their hours, the total would run to five figures, and their value  to six.

According YCCAC spokesman Brad Bohon, in 2016, some 500 volunteers provided 30,000 hours of service to YCCAC,  which translates into roughly $600,000 in donated time and labor.

Bohon said their volunteerism would equal the work of 15 full-time hourly employees. 

There are volunteer drivers who, using their own vehicles, transport people to cancer care, non-emergency medical appointments, and children and families under DHHS Child Protection Services and Foster Care Case Services. he said there here are local residents who serve on the YCCAC Board of Directors, the Head Start Policy Council, and others who assist teachers in Head Start classrooms. There are trained tax preparers who help with the laborious task of completing federal and state tax returns, and student interns who assist nutrition counselors in the WIC program. There are volunteers who answer phone calls, volunteers who help maintain the agency’s gardens and lawns, volunteers who assist individuals with health insurance navigation, and volunteers who file and keep the offices organized and running smoothly. 

And there is the York County Crafters Knitting Circle: a group of volunteers, all women (though men are certainly welcome to join), who meet each week at the YCCAC office complex in Sanford to knit winter accessories—hats, mittens, scarves—which are then distributed to York County families with children through the Head Start program. 

In mid-April, volunteers were thanked for their service to the community with an appreciation event. Ericka Sanborn, YCCAC’s Volunteer Coordinator, invited all volunteers to come together at the Sanford office for a tribute to their hard work and a celebration of their contributions over the past year.

“You – our volunteers – are such important extensions of the work we do each day, and we wouldn’t be nearly as successful if it weren’t for you,” Sanborn said to the crowd gathered in a conference room for the event. “An amazing thing is that each and every one of you sitting in this room represents a ‘branch’ of community action – be it health care, economic opportunity, WIC, transportation, energy services or children’s services.

“You are all tremendously valued and you all make a difference through the donation of your time and talent. And for that we are grateful.”

Carter Friend, YCCAC’s recently hired Deputy Director, introduced himself to the group and then thanked them for their contributions to the community. “Volunteers are a part of the lifeblood of an organization,” he said. “It is our hope that you feel a part of the agency.”

Volunteer opportunities are always available at YCCAC. Contact Ericka Sanborn at 459-2938 or by email at [email protected]