Volunteer drivers give back to community

Every day, thousands of people travel to and from medical appointments, including cancer treatments. Studies show patients often delay or have difficulty obtaining medical care because they lack transportation. In Maine, more than 8,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer next year. For many, getting to treatments will be their biggest roadblock. Volunteer driver programs are a tremendous asset to Mainers, which is why volunteering is so important.

Volunteer drivers donate their time and can provide as many rides as they are able. All drivers must have a driver’s license, good driving record, access to a safe and reliable car, and proof of insurance. As a volunteer driver, you are provided extensive training to make sure you are equipped and confident to transport passengers. Many programs provide drivers with tax-free mileage reimbursement.

Patients aren’t the only ones to benefit. It is a great feeling to know you are making a difference in someone’s life. Being a volunteer driver provides a sense of well-being, opportunities to meet new people, and a concrete way to give back to your community.

Heather Drake

Maine Cancer Foundation


Commenters miss monument benefits

Upon reading .COMments in the Dec. 6 issue of the Bangor Daily News about the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, I had to wonder how the commenters have failed to see that the monument is bringing business to the area.

I arranged for a family gathering of 26 people for five days on Millinocket Lake this summer, to see the monument at its beginning, shop in the community, eat in local restaurants and just enjoy the whole area. The business owners we spoke with, both new entrepreneurs and those with older businesses, are very encouraged and hopeful about the new spirit in their communities.

Business owners in the area must be pretty happy to have had 20,000 m onument visitors as customers this year. New hotels, restaurants and businesses will be needed and will follow.

In the same issue of the paper, there was a story about the Millinocket Marathon, in support of the communities around the monument, which started with 50 runners in its inaugural race in 2015, and this year (per the Dec. 10 BDN) had 1,300 runners. There has been no entry fee, and those runners and their supporters were encouraged to spend money in the area, supporting the businesses. Even one weekend a year of such numbers certainly helps the area, and spreads word about the monument.

I hope the commentators who wrote negatively about the monument will begin to open their eyes to what is really happening in their area.

Marie Ward


Thank you the Greatest Generation

A belated “thank you” to the “Greatest Generation” of soldiers, men, women and parents from a 1943 child who was blessed, as were the children of my generation.

The recent remarks on the life of President George H.W. Bush, and the man he was, brought back a thought I have long held: my generation was a most fortunate one.

Our parents lived through the fun days of the 1920s and the hardships of the 1930s. Then they faced and survived the sacrifices of separated families, the death and maiming of soldiers, and the children who never knew a parent.

After the war, when the soldiers returned home, married, raised or continued to raise their families, they couldn’t do enough for their children. Life was good, as a generalization, as society went from building tanks and bombs to stoves, refrigerators, cars, etc. We were the recipients of their largesse.

Like Bush, we too had been raised in families and a society based on values of family, neighborhood friends, church, commitments and service, which they sought to pass on to us. We were blessed, but as we didn’t realize it, we didn’t truly appreciate it.

The values attributed to Bush were the values this generation too possessed and used to raise us. They were and are appreciated, even if we have not always expressed it as best as we might have done.

Richard Rhoda