Yelp Helps is a year long series here in Maine where once a month we connect with a local non-profit to learn more about who they are and what they do before spending a few hours volunteering for them. As one of our Yelp Helpers said recently, "it has been such a great way to get to know more people in my community. Yes, the other wine and dine events are great and they are just lovely – but chatting over a pile of dirt with rakes and brooms? You can't beat bonding like that. People that I want to know better are those that would use 5 hours of a glorious sunny June day to give back."
If there's one thing our community loves, it's four-legged fur babies. So we were all delighted to kick-off the Yelp Helps spring season at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. ARLGP provides temporary care and shelter for stray, abandoned, confiscated, and relinquished animals before placing them in loving, responsible homes. We socialized with the kitties, walked the puppies, cuddled the bunnies and cleaned their cages, did laundry, built walking trails, and helped register folks for a community immunization program. Check out the reviews (and adorable photos) here!
Nicole B: "Our hosts at ARLGP were phenomenal, appreciative, and true animal lovers. The weather was beautiful, the event's turnout was great, and we made plenty of new 2 and 4 legged friends."
In May we connected with Rippleffect – a community development organization that promotes hands-on education, exploration, and adventure programming in outdoor classrooms. After taking a skiff out to Cow Island, we started our day of volunteerism by doing a "trust follow" through an old, abandoned, pitch black fort. Next, we dug in deep and transported literally hundreds of buckets of beach sand uphill to pack down on the island's trails to prevent erosion. Our day ended with delicious sandwiches from Fit to Eat overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Photos and reviews can be found here!
Tony W: "I don't know how else I would have even heard about the good things that are happening on Cow Island or with Rippleeffect if it wasn't for this wonderful volunteering opportunity! And who can just roll out of bed on a gorgeous May Saturday and take a boat out to a secluded island? Yelp can, and I was happy to help."
Our Spring session of Yelp Helps ended on a beautiful Saturday morning in June at the Ronald McDonald House of Portland, ME where they provide a B&B of sorts to families of ill children receiving care at nearby hospitals. We weeded, cleaned, painted, and baked – it was a great way to lighten the load of the people who work at our local RMH and help the families staying there continue to feel welcomed at their "home away from home." We ended our day with a picnic outside featuring sandwiches, pasta salad, chips, and sun-warmed baked goods, provided by Mainely Wraps. Reviews here!
Simone D: "I absolutely love Yelp Helps! Not only do you get to connect with Yelpers, but you get to give back and make connections with each organization. Each org has touched one of the helpers to come back and volunteer again, and this month was no different. While I was familiar with the Ronald McDonald House; I was unfamiliar with all they do. Their mission is amazing, and they do a great job at meeting the need of the community."
We're halfway through the year and have given about 250 hours of community service to Greater Portland. "Volunteering together forms great bonds," our hosts at RMH reminded us; and, we couldn't agree more. Please consider joining us at any of our upcoming Yelp Helps (which you can RSVP to here)!
After all: it feels good to do good.
Thanks to this season's sponsors:
For more information on our amazing non-profits:
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