Volunteers of America Northern New England Joins VOA National in Effort to Address Moral Injury

VOANNE will host two-day seminar on moral injury in Augusta, September 19 & 20   

 Volunteers of America Northern New England is part of a national effort by Volunteers of America to raise awareness of and treat moral injury. Volunteers of America national is launching an ad campaign on moral injury in New York’s Times Square to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, tomorrow September 10th. Launch of the campaign, titled “The War Inside” will include video on the NASDAQ and Reuters digital boards for the first 10 minutes of every hour on Sept. 10.

Locally, Volunteers of America Northern New England, which is based in Brunswick, will hold a two-day seminar on treating moral injury. The seminar, titled Moral Injury, Pathways to Recovery, will be held at

The Senator Inn

284 Western Avenue, Augusta, ME

September 19, 2019

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

September 20, 2019

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It will be led by Dr. Rita Brock, a foremost authority and researcher on treating moral injury, and will feature sessions with Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, Rev. Dr. Linda Mercadante, and Mr. Jesse Estrin, all of whom have extensive experience working in the moral injury realm.

“There is an urgency to raising awareness on moral injury,” said Richard Wayman Hooks the CEO of Volunteers of America Northern New England. “From military veterans to those struggling with substance use disorder to victims of domestic abuse, we recognize that there are significant numbers of people suffering and Volunteers of America is here to help. Our seminar is aimed at those who are trying to help and treat people dealing with moral injury. Mental health workers, law enforcement, social workers, clergy, and veterans’ service workers—all will gather vital information that will greatly aid their efforts.”

Volunteers of America has characterized moral injury as “a war inside.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs defines moral injury as “a psychological harm resulting from either (1) acting, failing to prevent, or witnessing actions that violate an individual’s deepest values and principles, or from (2) betrayal by a trusted authority figure in a high-stakes situation.” While moral injury first emerged in research on military veterans, anyone who works in high-stakes situations or who has endured trauma can experience it.

The effects of moral injury are pervasive throughout society and contribute to homelessness, self-harm including suicide, rage, addiction, compulsive overwork and/or depression. Unlike some causes of distress, moral injury is not a mental illness. It is an existential crisis in identity and meaning because of devastating life circumstances and it can happen at any age. Fortunately, recovery is possible. Volunteers of America has stepped up to assist in the recovery for thousands suffering across the U.S.

“The first step in recovery of moral injury is recognition and understanding it,” said Rita Brock, Ph.D., founding director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America. The center is named for Jonathan Shay, a medical doctor and clinical psychiatrist best known for his work with post-traumatic stress disorder who first introduced the concept of moral injury. Brock leads Volunteers of America’s efforts to identify and treat moral injury as part of its service programs and is eager to lead the seminar in Augusta. “Some think that moral injury is the same as PTSD,” said Brock. “While they can share some symptoms, they’re very different conditions and treating moral injury the same as PTSD can actually worsen the condition.”

A noted theologian, Brock was the founding director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, where she was also a research professor of theology and culture. She is an author of multiple books on moral injury and is a leading national expert on moral injury in combat veterans.

For more information on Volunteers of America Northern New England’s seminar, go to https://www.voanne.org/ or to see the national campaign, go to www.voa.org.

About Volunteers of America Northern New England

At Volunteers of America Northern New England, we serve the people of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont with the promise to reach out and uplift the human condition and provide opportunity for individual and community involvement.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit, faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, our ministry of service has provided compassionate care to a variety of groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps almost 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. Our work touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those we serve, integrating our deep compassion with highly effective programs and services. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit www.VolunteersofAmerica.org.


Poland Spring Associates Provide a Helping Hand for Their Neighbors This Holiday Season

Poland Spring, Poland Spring Water, Poland Spring Water Maine
Community organizations and residents in Poland, Hollis, Kingfield, Fryeburg, Denmark, and northern Maine receive assistance through associate-driven efforts

POLAND SPRING, Maine, December 20, 2018 – Poland Spring associates from the Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield bottling facilities helped spread holiday cheer in their communities this season by supporting local families in need.

“Each year, our team of dedicated associates goes above and beyond to support local charities in their communities to help families have a brighter holiday,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Poland Spring associates don’t do this because they have to; they do this because they understand the importance of giving back and being good neighbors.”

In Poland, associates donated a total of 40 turkeys to the Lifesprings program and the Gray Food Pantry. They also fulfilled the holiday wishes of five local families through the Giving Tree program at Poland Community School. Additionally, Poland Spring held a food drive to benefit the Regional School Unit 16 (RSU 16) Mannafed Backpack Program, along with a water donation and clothing drive to benefit the Poland Food Bank.

Associates at Poland Spring’s Hollis facility donated 120 turkeys and two truckloads of food to support Thanksgiving meal service at the Hollis Food Pantry, and continued the season of giving with the purchase of gifts to help two families in need through the Town of Hollis.

At Poland Spring’s central Maine facility in Kingfield, associates participated in the annual Giving Tree Program, which provides winter clothing and toys to children in need from Kingfield Elementary School. Associates also continued to provide meals to senior citizens through the Bridging the Gap program, which associates have done each month this year.

These efforts are just a few among many in which Poland Spring is involved in helping to make the holidays brighter for local families in need. Other noteworthy charitable efforts in which Poland Spring is actively engaged, include donating $5,000 to Fryeburg’s Community Giving Tree program. These funds helped provide winter clothing to families in the Maine School Administrative District 72 communities of Fryeburg, Denmark, Lovell, Stow, Sweden, Brownfield, and Stoneham. Poland Spring also supported heating assistance programs benefitting thousands of residents in the towns of Lincoln, Passadumkeag, Enfield, Howland, and Denmark.

“We are grateful for Poland Spring’s generosity and support for residents of our community who are most in need of help,” said Jim McKay from the Hollis Food Pantry. “Thanks to their efforts, many families here and elsewhere throughout the state will have a better holiday season.”


About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

Camp POSTCARD Celebrates 25 Years of helping Maine 5th & 6th graders enjoy a free week of summer camp

Camp POSTCARD, Camp POSTCARD Maine, Volunteers of America Northern New England, Maine Sheriffs Association, D.A.R.E.

June 15-22, 2018 at Agassiz Village in Poland

BRUNSWICK, ME. June 14, 2018 –Friday, June 15, marks the opening of Volunteers of America’s 25th year of Camp POSTCARD, a free week-long sleepover summer camp for Maine 5th and 6th graders — helping them make new friends, learn life skills, and build relationships with law enforcement.

Camp is held every year, in June, on the grounds of Agassiz Village in Poland, Maine, and is staffed by law enforcement, criminal justice professionals, and first responders who volunteer their time at Camp POSTCARD. They are joined by other community volunteers, as well as personnel from Volunteers of America Northern New England.

Every day there are new educational and hands-on activities. Mid-week, Wednesday June 20th is “Demo Day” and includes demonstrations of healthy snack making, law enforcement equipment, trained police dogs, wilderness survival skills, fire prevention, a “touch tank” of live marine creatures, an ice cream truck, face painting and more.

Camp POSTCARD, Camp POSTCARD Maine, Volunteers of America Northern New England, Maine Sheriffs Association, D.A.R.E.

Camp POSTCARD is a different kind of camp.

The experience provides a safe environment that stresses appropriate role models, ideals and values. It also allows campers to experience law enforcement in a positive way. Officers too, get to know the kids in their communities better and come away reminded of why they entered their professions: to help improve peoples’ lives.

Who attends Camp POSTCARD?

Law enforcement officers, school resource officers, school personnel and community members identify & recommend children who would benefit from this unique camp experience.

Thanks to community support, there is no charge for any child to attend. Camp POSTCARD is free to all campers. For many kids, it represents his/her first camp experience. It is truly a dream come true, introducing them to many firsts – rock wall climbing, fishing, swimming, kayaking, and team building.

Camp POSTCARD, Camp POSTCARD Maine, Volunteers of America Northern New England, Maine Sheriffs Association, D.A.R.E.All of this is possible due to the support of donors, corporate sponsors, foundation grants, volunteers from law enforcement agencies throughout Maine and numerous in-kind donations of food and supplies from our supporters.

About Volunteers of America Northern New England

Based in Brunswick, Maine, Volunteers of America Northern New England is a regional branch of Volunteers of America, a faith-based organization that has been serving our country’s most vulnerable citizens since 1896. Volunteers of America Northern New England serves the people of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont with the promise to reach out and uplift the human condition and provide opportunities for individual and community involvement. We offer support in the areas of housing, behavioral health, veterans, mediation services, community justice, senior services, youth and families, ministry, Camp POSTCARD, and Cabin in the Woods.