Sheriff Kevin Joyce, president of the Maine Sheriffs Association, presents a check for $25,000 to the administrators of Camp POSTCARD. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Sheriff Kevin Joyce, president of the Maine Sheriffs Association, presents a check for $25,000 to the administrators of Camp POSTCARD. SUBMITTED PHOTO

BIDDEFORD — On Thursday, March 15, at Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford, the Maine Sheriffs Association donated $25,000 to Camp POSTCARD, a program run by Volunteers of America.

Camp POSTCARD (Police Officers Striving To Create And Reinforce Dreams) is a free, week-long program for Maine children. Counselors are volunteer law enforcement officers from across Maine. Sheriffs, State Troopers, and Municipal police officers from around the state, come together to mentor and encourage kids while improving their relationships with law enforcement.

The camp is operated by Volunteers of America, Northern New England and this June, Camp POSTCARD will be celebrating its 25th birthday.

Each year, dozens of children from all sixteen Maine counties attend Camp POSTCARD, giving them a week of exploration, outdoor recreation, and education. Campers adjust to new places and people, all while being mentored and cared for by officers of Maine law enforcement and public safety organizations.

“We are so grateful for this generous donation from the Maine Sheriffs Association,” said Michael Coon, Vice President of Volunteers of America Northern New England, the organization that runs the program. “This donation will give us the ability to add to our camp sustainability fund, an endowment that we are building which will give us the ability to bring kids from all across Maine, for a fun week at camp. For many kids this is their first camp experience.”

More than 55 officers (current and retired) spend the entire week at Camp POSTCARD, many have been Camp POSTCARD leaders for five, 10, 15, even 20 years. Their goal is to give children an experience that will enrich their lives and give them hope for the future.

During this week, campers experience officers as caring and fun-loving people primarily concerned with the well-being of children.

Camp POSTCARD gives children a new perspective on what’s possible for them to achieve; the adults who are providing these experiences and cheering them on are officers and many other caring adults. Camp POSTCARD gives children a boost to their confidence; they broaden their horizons and have the world open up to them in ways they could not imagine.

“We’re really proud to be a part of such an impactful program”, said Sheriff Kevin Joyce, president of the Maine Sheriffs Association. “What makes Camp POSTCARD unique is utilizing law enforcement officers as councilors. It gives children a chance to learn that police officers are caring people that they can trust. We’re changing their perceptions of law enforcement from what they may have experienced in their communities. When they return to their families, they now know the police officer they see in their town is someone they can trust and someone they can go to if they need help.”
Camp POSTCARD is a long-term partnership between the Maine Sheriffs’ Association, the Maine D.A.R.E.® Officers Association, and Volunteers of America. Qualified officers are invited to become volunteer leaders at camp.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: