If you are a visitor or have recently moved here, you may become acquainted with this area on the ski slopes, at your private vacation residence, favorite resort or restaurant. You may spend many weeks here and truly feel at home. This season offers a unique opportunity to connect in a soulful way with the community you have grown to love.
During the holiday season, local newspapers bring to our attention many volunteering opportunities. In fact, area charity and volunteer organizations reveal a lot about the values and the fabric of a community. Ordinary folk who leave for work each day, take their children to after-school activities and tend their yard on weekends humbly volunteer hundred of hours of their time. They are the next-door neighbor who leaves an hour early each day to have time to check in on a lonely senior, the teenager across the street who tutors a younger student at recess, the retired man on the corner who walks to the park every weekend to read to children and their single parent. The list goes on.
Thus, I propose volunteering as a means of discovering a new community. Even if you are only passing through, your act of kindness or an hour of your time can transform a person’s day; even their health. It can transform you also. Here are a few of the great volunteer opportunities in our area. Many are based in Morrisville, but their activities and impact reach well beyond this.
The Lamoille Family Center, in Morrisville, is currently collecting toys to add a bit of cheer to the Holiday season for area children in need. Penny Mason-Anderson, at our Morrisville office, has set up a collection box there. The Family Center may also need tutors. Call 888-5229 ext 125 for more information or email: bgonyea@lamoillefamily center.org
Meals on Wheels (Morrisville) may need drivers who are willing to deliver meals to elders and the disabled. Routes take between 1.5 to 2 hours. Drivers are compensated per mile. Call 888-5091 to inquire.
River Arts (Morrisville) has opportunities throughout the year in these areas: Teach a class, hang flyers, assist in the after-school classes, help with mailings, parties and events, general office and computer help, research and development. “Our only requirement,” says River Arts, “is a desire to help out a busy local nonprofit, meet some new people and have fun.” Call 888-1261 or email: info@RiverArtsVT.org
You can make a difference in the lives of area seniors through Central Vermont Council on Aging and Lamoille County Home Health.Tasks could include friendly visits, helping people read mail/write letters or snow shoveling. Call the Morrisville office at 888-2504 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lamoille Mentoring Partnership matches caring and committed adults with children who are in need of a positive role model in their lives. Throughout Lamoille Valley, children from pre-K through grade 12 need of mentors to help with reading or developing life skills such as communication, goal setting, conflict resolution and decision making. Call 888-0548 or email: email@example.com
For additional opportunities and information, call the Volunteer Center of Central Vermont at 802-888-2190.
Giving of one’s time is a unique way to discover the heart of a community. It brings one face to face with human vulnerability and with the power of actions that, though simple, surpass our greatest abilities. After all, in spite of all the fighting, we are very warm and generous creatures by nature.
(Notice: If you are not familiar with volunteering, be aware that there is generally a screening process. This is nothing personal. It simply ensures good matches and everyone’s well-being)