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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:   58

POLICY CODE:   JN

TO:                   Superintendents of Schools and School Principals

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education

RE:                    Operation Keep Me Warm

DATE:              November 19, 2004

Do you have a community service requirement for your seniors? Or do you just want to teach them the importance of volunteerism before they go out on their own?   Do we have a project for you!

Governor Baldacci, Home Depot, Maine Oil Dealers, and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority are pleased to announce Operation Keep Me Warm . This statewide project is aimed at weatherizing the homes of 3,000 of Maine's most needy citizens - low income senior citizens - in an effort to keep them warm throughout the winter months.

This is a major undertaking as we need to recruit over 3,000+ volunteers in the next 3 weeks to assist us with the weatherization process. We are looking for 1,000 teams of 3-4 people to give a day of their time during the Keep ME Warm blitz December 4-12 th. Volunteers will be weather stripping doors, caulking and covering windows, etc. On site training for all volunteers will be provided.

We all know how important it is to students to stay connected to their communities. This is an excellent way to do that.

On behalf of the Governor and the 3,000 senior citizens in need, we are asking if you'd take part in this very special project by announcing and encouraging your students to sign up in teams and volunteer a day of their time anytime between December 4-12 th to weatherize homes. We would also encourage you to forward this important message to faculty, staff and alumni as well. Why not organize a day for the senior class to spend in their community. How wonderful would it be to say that your school was able to weatherize 25, 50, 100 or more homes in your community?

A day of their time means many warm days for the senior citizens they help.

A copy of the Governor's press release about this event can be found at:  

http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Portal+News&id=4506&v=article-2004

Interested students can sign up online in teams at http://www.volunteermaine.org/ or by calling 1-800-452-8735 .

This is a wonderful community service project that will make a difference in so many people's lives.

Any assistance on your part would be helpful. Your giving spirit is very much appreciated.