The largest statewide conference for leaders in the volunteer sector is the Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism.
This year, Kristen Cambell with the National Conference on Citizenship was the keynote speaker.
” I hope that people walked away with a greater sense of purpose and validation that what they’re doing is important and critical to communities,” explained Cambell.
The event brings together hundreds of leaders in Maine’s volunteer sector.
” That most basic element of connection can be really powerful for solving social and economic challenges in our communities,” said Cambell.
Cambell talked about research her organization has done exploring the relationship between civic engagement and economic vitality.
” Communities that had higher rates of civic involvement in 2006 experienced less growth in unemployment between 2006 and 2010,” said Cambell.
The research also shows that an unemployed person is more likely to find a job after volunteering.
” Volunteerism can help provide the skills, networks, and confidence that make people employable and help them find jobs,” said Cambell.
The goal is to strengthen the volunteer sector in Maine and validate the work current volunteer leaders are doing.
For information on volunteering in Maine, visit www.volunteermaine.org.