RSVP: A clearinghouse for those with time to give

You may be thinking about volunteering but not know where to start.  RSVP of Addison County is a volunteer management program which connects individuals who would like to volunteer with local non-profit organizations in need of support. RSVP is part of Senior Corps, the largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over, with more than 300,000 volunteers serving nationwide.  RSVP gives clients the opportunity to choose how and where they want to serve, the amount of time they want to give, and whether or not they want to draw on their skills or develop new ones.  It’s a rewarding process for individuals who find their match and for agencies who greatly value their contributions.
RSVP of Addison County works with over 80 local non-profit agencies, each with a different set of volunteer needs. Volunteers meet needs in critical areas including human services, eldercare, healthcare and education. Last year RSVP’s volunteer contributions equaled $1.6 million dollars in donated labor.
RSVP also provides special programs that support healthy aging.  One of RSVP’s most popular programs is the RSVP Bone Builders Program.  The Bone Builders Program relies upon weight training and balance exercises to protect against fractures by increasing muscular strength, balance, and bone density. RSVP began two pilot classes in July of 2000 based on research at Tufts University. Since that time, we have become a model for hundreds of programs throughout the United States.  Bone Builders is free and offered at many locations throughout Addison County. 
Volunteers who join and are active with RSVP stay connected to the needs of the community in numerous ways, and are recognized for their contributions every year. Volunteers benefit from the many rewards that come from staying involved, including providing a sense of purpose, building relationships, learning new skills, reducing stress and having fun.  Moreover, it provides the opportunity to learn about and shape the community on a day to day basis.  Interested in volunteering on an on-call basis?  We are designing RSVP teams to meet one-time needs too.  For more information on available opportunities visit www.volunteermatch.com.  To schedule an appointment or learn more about our organization, please contact RSVP at 388-7044 or [email protected] or visit our website at www.volunteersinvt.org. 
There are many ways you can become involved in our community. Here is a small sampling of RSVP’s spring volunteer opportunities.
Gardening Volunteers Needed
If you enjoy gardening, there is much planting to do in the spring! The Charter House Coalition is looking for several dedicated community volunteers to help with their gardens from mid-April through the end of September. Tasks would include planning, watering, weeding, weighing, processing and harvesting the Charter House and Porter gardens. During the summer and fall, some tender loving care and help with the harvest, preservation and food distribution is needed.  This volunteer opportunity is well suited for individuals, groups or families. 
Classroom Aides
A handful of local elementary schools, childcare centers and after school programs are seeking classroom aides for the 2018-2019 school year. The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a federally funded program that has successfully placed thousands of volunteers in schools nationwide.  Individuals must be at least 55 and willing to work a minimum of 15 hours/week.  Participants receive travel reimbursement, fifty paid vacation/sick days and a tax free hourly stipend if they qualify.  Sign up this spring to begin in the fall. 
Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed
Age Well’s Meals on Wheels Program is looking for volunteers to deliver hot, nutritious meals to elder neighbors, allowing them to remain independent and in their homes.  This is a vital and very rewarding volunteer opportunity.  Please tell your friends! Routes are available throughout Addison County.  Full training and support will be provided. 
Visitor Center Volunteers
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce operates a Visitors Center located at 93 Court Street, Middlebury.  Volunteers are needed to assist the full-time staff with administrative duties and to help direct visitors.  Volunteers need to be personable, have basic computer skills and enjoy talking to visitors about how wonderful Addison County is!
Volunteer Drivers
ACTR is seeking volunteer drivers to safely transport residents of Addison County to necessary services.  Volunteers will be helping vulnerable populations such as the elderly and the disabled, as well as disadvantaged families who require medical transports.  ACTR also transports critical care patients for dialysis, radiation and chemotherapy. Volunteers must have at least five years driving experience and have clean background checks.  Volunteer drivers are provided with an orientation, ongoing training and supervision and receive mileage reimbursement for travel. 
Music Center Volunteers
Middlebury Community Music Center (MCMC) is looking for volunteers to provide support to the organization in various capacities.  MCMC is a non-profit music school offering private lessons, group classes, campsand workshops to students of all ages.  MCMC is seeking volunteers who can provide assistance in the following areas: Event Usher/Greeter, Production Assistance at Salons, Weekly Greeter, After-school Mentor, Event Ambassador, Audio Tech Support, Videographer, Accompaniment Support, Household Organizer and Flier Distributors. 
Rokeby Museum Guides
Four generations of the Robinson family lived in the house that is now central to Rokeby Museum, a National Historic Landmark comprised of nine historic buildings, miles of walking trails and a new gallery and education center. Robinson family members, generation by generation, made significant contributions as Abolitionists, farmers, writers, artists and active members of their community.  Today their stories are being told – via exhibits, programs and guided tours – to inspire respect for human potential and the environment.  Volunteers can make a difference too, by helping to tell the Robinson family stories.  The museum is now accepting new volunteers to conduct guided tours for the 2018 season with training beginning on April 28th.
Early Literacy Advocacy
Addison County Readers, Inc. (ACR) is a volunteer organization that promotes childhood literacy through its mailing of free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to young children, ages 0-5.  Children who are registered for the program receive a new, age-appropriate book each month at no cost to the family.  ACR is looking for volunteers to assist with the following: Recruiting children from Addison County, fund raising, serving as a liaison between ACR and your town, creating and distributing promotional materials, assisting with public relations events.
Addison Central Teens
Addison Central Teens (ACT) is looking for volunteers to help prepare and serve snacks for students after school. This is a great way to get to know teens, have fun and contribute to the Teen Center. During the summer, ACT serves breakfast every morning and is always looking for food preparers. If you enjoy laughing, have lots of patience, and a willingness to learn from others, you may want to learn more!
Administrative Support
The Turning Point Center is a peer-to-peer recovery center that provides a welcoming, safe, sober space for anyone in or seeking recovery from addiction, as well as the family members and friends of those struggling with addiction.  The center is looking for caring, friendly volunteers to greet visitors when they enter, keep track of attendance for meetings, and do some light cleaning and organizing. The ability to come to a regular, 2-4 hour shift each week is important, and good communication with the volunteer coordinator is essential.  Visitors to the center may be at any point in their journey to recovery, and they may be on which ever path is right for them, so it is essential that volunteers are able to suspend judgment and listen compassionately.  Volunteers must also be able to abide by confidentiality guidelines so that all visitors feel safe and comfortable coming to the center. 
Field Days Volunteers
Every year RSVP provides volunteers for Addison County Fair and Field Days. Each volunteer receives a Free Entry in exchange for working a shift. When you’re not on duty, you are free to enjoy all that Field Days has to offer! In the past, volunteers have served as timers for hand mowing competitions and in the Paquette Building, where they assist vendors by staffing their booths during the lunch and dinner hours.
Helping Hand Volunteers Needed 
Project Independence, a part of Elderly Services in Middlebury, is seeking volunteers to participate in activities with their guests.  These are simple, fun activities such as playing scrabble, helping with table bowling, ring toss or indoor nerf tennis, and taking residents on daily walks.  There are many other opportunities from which to choose, such as reading, playing cards or arts and crafts.  A Helping Hand Volunteer can come in as frequently or occasionally as the individual wishes. 
Medical Interpreters Needed
The Open Door Clinic is currently looking for individuals fluent in Spanish and English to become volunteer medical interpreters. The Open Door Clinic is a free, non-profit health clinic providing quality healthcare to uninsured residents of Addison County. All volunteer medical interpreters must complete an application process, pass a reference check and a language evaluation, and attend Open Door Clinic interpreter training offered twice a year. 
Condo Cat Companions, Wagging Dog Walkers and Super Scrubbers Needed!
Homeward Bound is seeking volunteers to provide the following:
Condo Cat Companions- daily socialization, exercise, and enrichment for cats residing in cat condos.   Regular weekly 1-5 hour commitment during 12-5pm window.
Wagging Dog Walkers- provide shelter dogs with regular exercise and social interaction.  Must be available 8-10am, 11-1pm, or 3-5pm.
Super Scrubbers- provide support to shelter staff in the daily cleaning chores that accompany caring for the animals.  Must be available from 11am-1pm.

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