Volunteers in Action

Covers: Windsor, West Windsor, Hartland, Weathersfield and Reading Vt and Cornish and Plainfield NH

Start Date: 1997

Mission, Vision & Goals

Mission: Connecting neighbors with needs and people who care.

Although simple, the meaning is quite profound. It invokes a sense of responsibility to include all members of the community to each member in the community. Volunteers in Action supports our neighbors in need by improving health and wellness, increasing independence, and strengthening community connections.

Volunteers in Action Windsor VT from WOA on Vimeo.

Broad Overview

Volunteers in Action is a community program that brings together caring volunteers with neighbors in need of a helping hand.  We seek to increase the health, wellness and independence of our neighbors, especially frail elders, in the seven towns surrounding Mount Ascutney: Windsor, Weathersfield, Hartland, West Windsor and Reading, Vermont; as well as Cornish and Plainfield, New Hampshire. By providing one-to-one service, ViA helps people remain at home and have access to needed services.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

We have 2 part time employees -29 and 30 hours. We are employees of Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. We do have an advisory council made up of representatives of our 7 towns.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

We share volunteers with RSVP, under umbrella of Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, Work with Senior Solutions and SASH as well as the Aging in Place groups in our towns.

What is the role of volunteers?

Transportation drivers for MOW and elders and disabled or those without a car, hospital volunteers, meal preparers, council members.
Volunteers are recruited through word of mouth and the media, background check are done and personal connections are made and training is done in when necessary by staff or other volunteers.

Strategies that have contributed to your success? Barriers you have encountered?

Resource booklets, encouraging an Aging in Place group in each town.
There is always a challenge getting enough volunteers and reaching the elders in isolated areas that may need help but haven't heard of us.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

ViA received start-up funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but is now supported entirely by contributions from Mt. Ascutney Hospital, Senior Solutions, area towns, churches, businesses, grants and individuals.

Community Initiatives

Transportation

Volunteers in Action receives more requests for transportation assistance than any other services we offer. Volunteers are available to drive elders to any number of destinations such as: medical appointments, shopping, hairdressing and pharmacy.

People who need transportation either call us or are referred by an agency. Volunteers in Action meets the prospective rider and finds an appropriate volunteer who is available.

Chores, Handyman & Upkeep

Volunteers who work with Volunteers in Action provide snow shoveling/yard work and just about any need a ‘neighbor’ may have.

Health & Wellness

Volunteers in Action coordinates all the volunteer activity at Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. We offer Matter of Balance classes and many other educational opportunities.

Outreach & Resource Information

Volunteers in Action provides information and referral to other community resources and publishes a resource guide that it shares with neighboring communities.

Social, Educational & Recreational

Volunteers provide friendly visitation, telephone contact, walking companion, and just about any need a ‘neighbor’ may have. Our current volunteer and neighbor groups include: Knitting Group and Mailing Group.

Food, Gardening & Cooking

Volunteers in Action coordinates the community Meals on Wheels program in seven surrounding communities and hosts three Community Meals each month in Hartland, Windsor, and Ascutney.

Communication

Media and word of mouth, MOW and Community Meals. We share information with older adults about trusted sources of workers available to do home repair, odd jobs/chores, provide respite, provide home care, etc.

Region

Contact

Martha Zoerheide
P.O.Box 707, Windsor VT
martha.zoerheide@mahhc.orgl
802-674-5971