BAR HARBOR — Cameron Swan is happy to make deliveries to the doors of downtown homes or businesses most weekdays. He travels on foot. Aside from tips, his service is free.
The unique program, organized by Cameron’s father, Chris Swan, has a goal of connecting special needs kids and young adults to the community, introducing them to area businesses, and giving them experience toward employment.
Though right now Cameron is the sole participant, Swan said, “I’m hoping to involve more kids in the service.” He plans to bring more participants on in the spring, when the delivery service is expected to pick up.
Cameron Swan graduated from MDI High school last year.
Chris Swan came up with the idea to keep his son involved in the community, and aid in his transition “from school to real world,” he said.
“Cameron was involved in unified basketball at MDI High School,” Chris Swan explained. “This new activity at school was created to involve all kids. I see this delivery service as an extension of that thought process.”
He said it is a tip-generated program that offers work experience to participants. It provides “an opportunity for the kids to show business owners in town how valuable they are. It would be great for some of my future deliverers to be hired by some of the businesses we have been servicing.
“In the meantime, deliveries in Bar Harbor showcase the young folks’ social skills and responsible behaviors,” he continued. “[It’s] a great stepping stone to full-time employment.”
Deliveries are arranged by Chris Swan. “Ideally, people contact the restaurant, order and pay over the phone and contact us for the delivery,” he said. He has used Facebook to connect with patrons and participating businesses.
Supporting businesses to date have included A Slice of Eden, Epi’s, Side Street Café, Subway, the Thirsty Whale, Hannaford, First Express, Paradis Hardware, and Mount Dessert Bakery.
“Part of our mission will be to promote the businesses that have jumped in and supported this idea from day one,” Chris Swan said.
Deliveries are made throughout the downtown area, and as far away as Jackson Laboratory if time allows, he said.
“We have used Cam’s services,” said Lori Krupke, the director of Kids Corner childcare center. “He has a heart of gold! He has run to the grocery store for us and gotten us some staple foods we rely on. He has also done runs to the hardware store, which is wonderful because it saves the teachers time. With Chris’ guidance, it has been [a] great way to get those time-consuming chores done during a busy day.”