FARMINGTON — The United Way of the Tri-Valley Area recently received national recognition and grant funding for its downtown volunteer center.

The Maine Commission for Community Service has awarded the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area a Volunteer Generation Fund grant of nearly $46,000. It comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service under the Volunteer Generation Fund.

The one-year grant allows the United Way to continue operating a one-stop shop Volunteer Center in downtown Farmington. The center is with the United Way offices and has been growing since its inception in 2011.

Under the leadership of Nancy Teel, it connects hundreds to meaningful opportunities to improve people’s lives; supports community initiatives such as the Community Energy Challenge, and Days of Caring; convenes a peer-to-peer network of volunteer managers and volunteers; and supports a statewide online database of volunteer opportunities at

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to develop a robust infrastructure to promote volunteerism in Greater Franklin County,” Lisa Laflin, executive director of the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area, said. “Volunteers are the backbone of the region whose daily service helps our community thrive.”

In 2013, an estimated 4,186 volunteers who are connected with the Franklin Volunteer Network, donated 178,667 volunteer hours in Greater Franklin County. This equates to $3,008,752 in community volunteer hours invested, according to Independent Sector.

In recognition of the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s creative efforts, the United Way’s Volunteer Center has been singled out as the state of Maine’s recipient of an America’s Service Commissions and Innovations in Civic Participation award.

The United Way will be featured in a national publication called Transforming Communities through Service: A Collection of the Most Innovative and Impactful National Service Programs in the United States.

The publication features National Service programs and Volunteer Generation Fund-funded programs that use efficient and effective out-of-the-box thinking to make a difference in our communities.

As part of its commitment to recognizing the dedication of volunteers, the United Way annually awards a Community Impact Award.

In recognition of a longtime selfless volunteer who passed away in December, the award has been renamed the Gary A. LaGrange Community Impact Award.

Nominations are being sought for an organization, business, individual or couple who have gone above and beyond volunteering in Greater Franklin County.

Forms are available online at or at the United Way office, 232 Broadway in Farmington.

Previous recipients include Peter Judkins of Franklin Savings Bank; Barclays employees; and Flo and John Caldwell of the Stratton/Eustis Food Pantry.

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