DEAR SUN SPOTS: The City of Auburn is looking for volunteers. Are you looking for a way to give back to your community? Do you want to make a positive difference? By volunteering to serve on one of the boards or committees of the city, you can do just that. The benefits of volunteering are numerous. It allows you to meet new people and expand your social network. It’s also an opportunity to share your skills and experiences while learning and developing new ones. It can provide you with an opportunity to work on skills that may help you in your career, such as problem solving, decision making, project planning, task management and much more. Volunteering can be fun and give you a sense of pride knowing that you are making a difference! If this is something that interests you, don’t hesitate to apply now.

Our current board and committee vacancies include Auburn Housing Authority, Audit Committee, Board of Assessment Review, Cable TV Advisory Committee, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Loan Committee, Citizens Advisory Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and Zoning Board of Appeals.

The deadline to submit your application is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21. The Appointment Committee will meet at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, to review applications and make their nominations. Nominations will then be presented to the City Council for appointment at a date to be determined. All applications must be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk. If you have any questions, please contact the City Clerk, Susan Clements-Dallaire, at 207-333-6601, ext. 1126 or via email at [email protected]

—Susan, City Clerk, Auburn

ANSWER: Susan, you wrote a wonderful letter explaining many of the excellent benefits volunteering can provide. Sometimes I don’t think people realize that when we are giving our time and sharing our talents, we are also receiving many gifts that include the enjoyment of new friendships and learning new skills. Becoming a volunteer can also combat the feelings of isolation and loneliness that come upon all of us from time to time.

I often hear about how the numbers of community volunteers have diminished over the years. Many people who have invested decades of their lives involved in community service work are aging, and younger people, for various reasons, aren’t stepping in to fill the vacancies. I suggest that all my readers take a good look at their schedules and their interests and see what you can do to keep your communities vibrant and strong. Even being involved in just an occasional event or serving on one committee is helpful.

For example, my 11-year-old granddaughter has spent about 25 hours baking for community fundraisers and working at the annual library book sale this past summer. I swear I saw her bloom right in front of my eyes!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m so glad I have this chance to write a note in your column to gratefully thank a young firefighter for finding my wallet in Zing’s parking lot and returning it to me.

Everything happened so fast that I don’t remember his name, but thank you very much.

—Marie, Greene

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]

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