CAMDEN – Long-time Camden Area Christian Food Pantry (CACFP) volunteer Gordon “Gordie” Guist was honored on September 28 for his many years of service. Surrounded by balloons and a giant sign signed by well-wishers, volunteers and patrons stopped to chat with the retired Guist and say thank you.
A Camden resident, Guist has volunteered with CACFP for almost 18 years. When asked what he found to be the most rewarding part of his service at CACFP, Guist said, “These are the people. All the staff (volunteers), the board of directors and the companies that provide food are dedicated to helping those in need. And our customers appreciate their efforts.
Managed by five local churches, the CACFP is entirely made up of volunteers. While going through the pandemic has been a difficult time for many, one positive aspect has been the dedication of volunteers, like Guist, who serve the families of the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry. This includes more than a dozen people who show up week after week to provide food to members of the community who might otherwise be food insecure.
Guist is no stranger to voluntary service. He was an American Red Cross first aid instructor, one of the state’s first emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and a member of the Camden First Aid Association from 1977 to 1986. He served on the budget committee of Camden and volunteered with PenBay Veterinary Associates / Rockport Veterinary Hospital.
Diagnosed 23 years ago with Parkinson’s disease, Guist was a co-founder of the Camden Area Parkinson’s Support Group in 2003 and a facilitator for 17 years. Unfortunately, it was because of Parkinson’s disease that Guist felt the need to retire.
When asked if he had any advice for people considering volunteering, Guist replied, “Do it! Find a cause and give it 110% effort. You will be rewarded with a great dose of satisfaction.
Camden Area Christian Food Pantry is a fully volunteer 501 (c) 3 nonprofit serving residents of Appleton, Camden, Hope, Islesboro, Lincolnville, Rockport, Searsmont, Union, Washington and others in need.
To learn more about Camden Area Christian Food Pantry, visit camdenpantry.org or facebook.com/CamdenFoodPantry.