REM Award Honorees (2006) — Armand Bilodeau (Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter )

Armand has become such an important part of the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. He volunteers faithfully every Wednesday evening to prepare and serve dinner to guests at the Shelter.

Not only does he prepare the food, but he also teaches nutritional values. He has taken the time and made out a chart for more than one of our diabetic guests. This is just another example how Armand, a diabetic himself, dedicates himself to serving others in the community.

I can’t begin to express my appreciation for all he does! As the song by Alabama goes, “I believe there are angels among us.” I believe Armand is one of those angels.

—Stephanie Steele, Shelter Manager

Armand Bilodeau embodies all that one would envision as a “volunteer of the year”. He served his country during the Viet Nam war, survived, and returned bearing misfortunes from that war that forever altered his own health. He struggles daily to overcome these ever-present health issues in order to provide assistance to those in need. He serves God and church, his family and friends as well as the community at large.

Armand has continued to be a devoted friend, volunteer and much more to all of us at the Mid- Maine Homeless Shelter. He softly reaches out to everyone he meets and finds a common bond, through his Native American (Abenaki Tribe) heritage, community connections, military service and Viet Nam experiences, professional career as an a accomplished chef, but also as wonderful human being, giving and caring to anyone in need. Armand keeps his American Sign Language skills in tact in order to communicate with persons hard of hearing, or who are deaf. Everyone is important to him and he always makes the time or the means to help those in need.

His newest venture is to provide and completely stock a new food cupboard in the Augusta area so that no one may go hungry. This, in addition to caring for our shelter guests with delicious, home-cooked meals every week and fresh fruits and vegetables on which to snack, makes Armand more than our volunteer of the year. He is our friend, our mentor and an amazing man whom we appreciate so very much.

—Carol Donahue

For more information about the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, please visit its website.

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