Hungry for some volunteer work? The Trinity Jubilee Center – only a five-minute drive from campus – has plenty of opportunities.
An independent non-profit organization since 2001, the Trinity Jubilee Center now serves over 1,000 people in the Lewiston-Auburn area each week. The Center provides immediate aid in the form of meal programs and a day shelter as well as long-term aid in the form of job application advice and medical attention. The Center is dedicated to helping people get back up on their feet regardless of their needs or restrictions. According to its website, “Each person comes to the Jubilee Center with different barriers and goals and utilizes different programs in order to stabilize and improve their life.”
Erin Reed ’08, the Executive Director and Food Pantry Coordinator, is eager to increase Bates’ presence at the Center. “My AESOP trip volunteered at Trinity and I’ve been involved ever since! Our previous Executive Director is also a Bates alum who volunteered for a long time before joining the staff. We’ve had some awesome Bates volunteers and would love to connect with more students!” she said.
Any special skills you have might come in handy. Elizabeth Kiley-Bergen ’20, who worked at the Trinity Jubilee Center this past summer, was able to use her French speaking skills to translate for francophone clients, such as immigrants and political refugees from Francophone Africa. “My job would change from day to day, because, in a small space and with a small staff, Trinity services a lot of people with A LOT of different needs,” she explained. Each day, there are two translators and two or three full-time staff members available, so volunteer help is greatly appreciated in order to serve as many people as possible.
“Most of my time was spent translating job applications for francophone clients, though my translating duties sometimes included translating for patients at the free clinic on Thursdays or helping people that spoke limited English make phone calls and such. Also, when we were understaffed in the kitchen, I would jump in to help the kitchen manager Crystal,” Kiley-Bergen added.
Spending time in the Lewiston-Auburn area is a great way to re-connect with different communities and life outside of Bates. Trinity Jubilee Center is a meeting place for people from all walks of life, each with unique stories to share. “Working at Trinity this summer I really came to see firsthand how complicated Lewiston is, which is not something we ever think about in our limited little Bates bubble. Lewiston really struggles economically and there is definitely a lack of opportunity for mobility. A place like Trinity helps to keep a lot of smart and capable people as well as those who are down on their luck afloat,” said Kiley-Bergen.
Last year, the Trinity Jubilee Center served 26,000 meals, distributed 10,000 bags of groceries, and helped more than 225 people find jobs!
The Center runs five programs: soup kitchen, food pantry, day shelter, resource center, and the refugee integration program. The kitchen serves healthy lunches every Monday through Saturday at 11am. Volunteers are needed weekdays, especially Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 am-9am to help cook and from 12pm-1pm to wash dishes and clean up. Volunteers are welcome to come in earlier, at 11:00am, to help serve lunch as well. On Saturdays, volunteers are needed from 9am-1pm to cook, serve, and clean up. If you’re looking for a once-a-week gig, the Center is also looking for volunteers to pick up food donations from restaurants and cafeterias like Commons that save leftovers. Lastly, the Center wants to expand its Refugee Integration Program and hire a work-study student to help refugees with job applications. They hope to help even more people this year – but that requires volunteers!
Email [email protected] if you are interested. The Center is only a mile from campus at 247 Bates Street, and the community service shuttle can take you there if you need a ride.