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It’s National Volunteer Week: Read about local heroes

Across the nation, The Corporation for National and Community Service is engaging millions of Americans in service through Senior Corps and other programs. Senior Corps programs operate right here in Addison County. Both Addison County RSVP and the Green Mountain Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) are Senior Corps programs designed for volunteers age 55 and older.
RSVP and FGP volunteers make a difference in the lives of people, animals, and organizations right here in our community. Each year volunteers donate approximately $2 million in service to Addison County.
During National Volunteer Week we celebrate the power of volunteerism and recognize extraordinary individuals willing to donate their time and skills to making a positive difference. We would also like to shine the spotlight on our RSVP and FGP volunteers and thank them for their commitment to the Addison County community. We are inspired daily by your dedication and enthusiasm for helping others. Volunteers highlight the best part of the human spirit — people working together to support their communities and find solutions to problems.
Congratulations from RSVP and FGP!
2019 National Volunteer Week Spotlights
Carol Doran of Weybridge and Suzanne Hardison of Waltham volunteer for The Horse’s Touch, an organization that provides Equine Therapy Services to adults and children of all ages and abilities.  Carol has a background as a special educator and is a passionate horse lover and owner.  She has both experienced and observed the multi-level benefits of connecting with horses.  During lessons Carol works as a leader, where her role is to compassionately guide the horse through the lesson while serving the students’ needs according to the instructor’s guidance.  She also generously offers her time and knowledge to assist in tending to the overall health and care of the horses. Suzanne has a background as a Registered Nurse working with infants and children with developmental needs.  Having seen firsthand the benefits of interacting with pet therapy animals, she is enthusiastic about the benefits of Equine Therapy. Suzanne’s role during lessons is to support the student as a side walker, keeping him/her safe, assisting with fine and gross motor skills during games and activities and providing overall assistance to the instructor in supporting the student’s participation.  Outside of helping with lessons, Suzanne graciously and thoughtfully provides technical support with tools to enhance a uniquely specialized lesson plan.
 
Perry Lessing of Weybridge started volunteering with Dinners with Love one year ago.  Dinners with Love partners hospice agencies with local restaurants to care for hospice patients and their families by providing free, delivered meals. Perry volunteers as a delivery driver bringing meals from the restaurants to the patients and their families.  Perry enjoys volunteering because “It is nice to be able to help out, even if only a few minutes a week.” Sarah Audet, Executive Director, says “I can always count on Perry to get the job done.  He’s flexible, easy-going, and willing to lend a hand in any way he can.”  Thank you, Perry, for supporting your community! 
 
Gina Ciancia Jackson of Brandon has volunteered with Dinners with Love for two years.  She assists with large mailings, data entry and helps the planning committee organize special events, including Dinners with EXTRA love and Comfort Food for a Cause.  Gina also volunteers at the Boilermaker Road Race in Utica, NY.  Gina enjoys volunteering because “It is simply nice to be able to do something for someone else knowing it is lifting some burden, regardless of how small, from them.”  Sarah Audet, Executive Director, says “Gina has a broad range of skills and is always willing to learn new things.  By helping with mailings and data entry, she frees up my time to focus on other things, like increasing the capacity of our program to serve more communities and people.  And by helping out with event planning she makes the experience more fun! She’s also a great ambassador in our community, telling people about Dinners with Love and getting them involved, too.”  Thank you, Gina, for all that you do!
 
Janice Zhang, a junior at Middlebury College from Minnesota, has volunteered with Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring (DREAM) for two years. Janice leads a group of mentors from the college along with children in the Middlebury community in weekly Friday afternoon activities. She has also participated in the Wellspring Choir with Hospice Volunteer Services for the past two years. Janice shares, “I enjoy supporting a cause I am passionate about because it makes my heart warm.”
 
Mayher Patel, a Middlebury College senior from California, has volunteered with the Charter House Coalition for over one year. Mayher helps cook community dinners at Charter House on Thursdays. Mayher appreciates cooking and “being able to talk with the individuals at Charter House over a warm plate of food.”
 
Beth Neal, a Middlebury College junior from Massachusetts, has volunteered with American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for two years. Beth shares, “Middlebury College students are all extremely fortunate to be learning here, so I think it’s so important to reach out to community members and make meaningful connections with different individuals and groups. I love seeing the reaction and appreciation people have when we help!”
 
Madeline Maloney, a Middlebury College senior from Massachusetts, has led a program called Nutrition Outreach and Mentoring (NOM) for two years. In the past, Madeline also volunteered with the Aurora School and Habitat for Humanity. Madeline creates, plans and coordinates “taste tests” of healthy foods and cooking workshops at local schools to expose youth to healthy foods and promote healthy eating habits and cooking skills. Madeline shares, “I most enjoy volunteering when I can see the tangible, meaningful impact that our volunteer work has on the students we are interacting with. For example, last year we had a maple syrup taste test at Mary Hogan Elementary, and the fabulous team at Mary Hogan found a way to make even that month’s harvest healthy by cooking maple-roasted turnips, which were a hit! Plus, the students never fail to brighten my day — they have so much energy and excitement. Volunteering really is a two-way street!”
 
Hal Juster, a Middlebury College senior from Ohio, has been involved with the Community Friends mentoring program since his first year at Middlebury. He has been matched with a youth mentee since then in addition to serving on the Board. Hal has also volunteered with Camp Lanakila in Fairlee, Vermont for the past six years. Hal shares, “Volunteering is an incredible chance to get out of your normal routine and do something new. What I’ve loved about volunteering around Middlebury is the opportunity to meet new people and form meaningful connections with others in the community beyond simply the college campus. It helps me feel more grounded in this environment, even if I’m only here for four years.”
 
Kira Waldman, a Middlebury College junior, has been involved with Community Friends for three years.  She now helps coordinate the program in addition to serving as a mentor. Kira also volunteers with STRIDE Mentors and was a runner-up for the Vermont Mentor of the Year award. Kira shares, “I love seeing the unique ways in which Midd students connect through the community around us. For some people the best way to do this is through working with young people. Community Friends allows them to create personal and deep connections with kids and families in the community and spread the span of their reach outside the confines of campus.”
 
Margo Reigle, a Middlebury College senior from New Jersey, has been an involved with many volunteer opportunities during her time at the college.  Margo has been an EMT at Middlebury Regional EMS for two years, leads a Middlebury College student first responders organization, volunteers as an EMT at the Open Door Clinic, serves meals at the Charter House Coalition, and coordinates Red Cross Blood Drives at Middlebury College. Margo shares, “I meet a wide range of people through the different places I volunteer and enjoy all of the stories I’ve heard and conversations I’ve had.”
 
Maddie McKean, a Middlebury College first year student from Pennsylvania, is a mentor with the Community Friends program.  Maddie spends two hours a week with her mentee, “playing sports together, baking things, making slime, walking into town, or having long meals at the dining hall.” Maddie shares, “Most of the volunteer work I do is with children and it’s so rewarding to watch them grow and become comfortable around me and others. The time I spend with them is a refreshing reminder about not taking oneself or life too seriously.”
 
Julia Keith, a Middlebury College junior from Massachusetts, has volunteered with various Special Olympics programs including the Special Olympic Unified Sport program and leading the Special Olympics club at Middlebury College. Julia appreciates how Special Olympics creates an inclusive environment through athletics, and brings together community members in a team environment.
 
Luna Shen, a Middlebury College senior from China and the United States, has volunteered with the Charter House Coalition for three years including cooking and serving meals, and leading other college student volunteers. Luna also served as a summer intern with HOPE. Luna shares, “I enjoy getting to know the guests/clients at various organizations and having fun and engaging conversations with these folks. As a Sociology student, it can be easy to slip into pessimism when analyzing society’s issues. It is valuable and encouraging to see the work and commitment of our local community leaders who are enabling positive change!”
 
Seamus Nolan, a Middlebury College senior from Willison, Vermont, has volunteered with Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure, and Mentoring (DREAM) for one and a half years. Seamus facilitates weekly Friday afternoon activities with local youth. Seamus shares, “I am happy that I am able to connect with the community and engage with those outside of the College in a fun and impactful way.”
 
Caroline Harrison, a Middlebury College senior from Florida, has volunteered with Page 1 Literacy Program where she coordinates weekly reading programs at elementary schools in Addison County. Caroline also volunteers with the Sister to Sister program. Caroline shares, “The world we live in is so fast-paced these days, so volunteering with Page 1 and Sister to Sister gives me a much-needed opportunity to slow down and enjoy time with the kids. I always leave our programs in a better mood than when I came in.”
 
Yihe (Moti) Jiang, a Middlebury College junior from China, has volunteered with Middlebury College Refugee Outreach Club where she supports a tutoring program of refugee students in Winooski. Moti enjoys, “helping both the tutors and tutees to establish connections.”
 
Dr. Chris Grace, MD started volunteering at the Open Door Clinic in the fall of 2016 and has accumulated over 120 volunteer hours since then. He sees many of our patients, but as the former medical director of infectious disease at UVMMC, his expertise has been particularly helpful in caring for patients with significant infections. Having him at clinic helps patients avoid trips to a specialist in Burlington, allowing them to receive their care locally. Since 2015, Dr. Grace also volunteers with a group called Cape Cares, which runs medical and dental clinics in rural Honduras. “Volunteering gives me an opportunity to give back for the many advantages I have had throughout my life. The patients have been uniformly kind, appreciative and enjoyable to work with, and the staff has been a privilege to work with.” With his cheerful, “Sure, I can do that!”, he has become a welcomed “regular”, filling in when we are short staffed. “Our patients ask to see him when they schedule their follow up appointments. He cares about them and they can tell that”, adds Jody Brakeley, RN. “We always look forward to having you at clinic, Dr. Grace! Thank you!”
 
Susan Stone of Brandon has been supporting the Open Door Clinic as a volunteer medical interpreter since 2013. When she isn’t enjoying the best parts of life by traveling and spending quality time with friends and family, she is one of our most prolific volunteers, having accrued nearly 300 hours of volunteering with the ODC. Always incredibly generous with her time, she uses her well-nurtured Spanish skills to facilitate communication between providers and patients. She is one of our stalwarts in allowing for this communication to occur at dozens of medical offices throughout Addison County. She approaches every task with an infectious smile and good nature. Susan still finds time to volunteer in multiple roles in Brandon, helping at the library, the little museum and welcome center, and the two-day Independence Day Celebration. “After spending 20 years running a school in Honduras, I feel a sort of kinship with the Mexican farm workers here in Vermont. They have made such enormous sacrifices to be here, and play such an important role in our agricultural economy, they certainly deserve any help I can offer, as little as it is. At the same time, they allow me to make some use of what I have learned in those 20 years, and continue to learn even more from them”, says Susan about volunteering at the ODC. Susan, you are truly a treasure, and we couldn’t do it without you! Thank you!
 
Paola Meza, a fourth year student at Middlebury College, has been volunteering as a medical interpreter with the Open Door Clinic since November, 2015. She has also been our January term intern and our summer intern. Originally from Carson, CA, and having parents who are immigrants to this country, Paola feels that the work we do is very important to her on a personal level and feels very connected to many of our patients, given their shared experiences. “I enjoy working with driven people and giving back to organizations that have helped me so much. Volunteering is a nice way to stay involved in my community”, she says. Paola enjoys helping in whatever capacity she can and has been integral in helping us serve patients in a linguistic and culturally competent manner. Since 2015, she also volunteers as a mentor to rising college students with the Harmony Project and South Central Scholars, two arts and college access nonprofit programs in Los Angeles that provide free music education and lessons to youth in the greater Los Angeles underserved areas. Paola will be graduating from Middlebury in May with a major in neuroscience and a minor in Portuguese and global health; and she continues to explore the possibility of becoming some type of healthcare professional. We are thrilled to share that Paola will stay with us as a part-time employee for a post-graduate year! We are grateful for your quiet resolve, amazing organizational skills and the authenticity you bring to our organization. Thank you, Paola!
 
Maisie Anrodof Chicago, Illinois, by way of Middlebury College, has been volunteering at the Open Door Clinic for a little over one year. She has become an integral part of our team as she comes every week to prepare charts for the clinic, which helps our volunteer medical providers do their jobs in a more organized and efficient manner. When asked what she likes best about volunteering at the ODC, Maisie says, “I really enjoy getting to talk to the people here. They’re wonderful and invested and I feel like I’m contributing towards helping those who seek ODC’s services, even though I’m not involved in direct patient care.” Maisie will be graduating from Middlebury in May with a major in biology. She has studied conservation and ecology and wrote a thesis on pollination ecology in conservation, which she presented last December. Interested in environmental education and social justice, Maisie is excited to have just landed a new job at Shelburne Farms, where she will work as a farmyard educator. “I am thrilled to work in a place where you can work with people and care for the land at the same time.” Maisie’s playfulness and zeal for life is contagious – we are grateful for your help and will really miss you. Thank you, Maisie!
 
Dorothy Pundersonof Middlebury has been supporting the Open Door Clinic as a volunteer medical interpreter since her freshman year at Middlebury College in 2015. Through her time at Middlebury College, Dorothy has been one of our most consistent and reliable volunteers. It is worth noting that reliability and consistency are some of the qualities of a consummate volunteer. Despite being a full time student, she’s volunteered well over 100 hours of her time at our clinic! A model of professionalism, Dorothy does everything asked of her with a contagious passion. In addition to medical interpreting, she underwent a mental health interpreter certification course, allowing her to further assist our patients in receiving necessary care. One of the staples of our weekly clinics in Middlebury, Dorothy is a highly skilled interpreter and lights up the room with her easy-going personality. She says that she enjoys volunteering because she gets to know people from all over. We love that Dorothy enjoys volunteering at the Open Door Clinic, because it wouldn’t be the same place without her! Thank you, Dorothy!
 
Margo Reigleof Summit, New Jersey is a senior at Middlebury College and has been volunteering at the Open Door Clinic as an EMT since April 2018. We have come to rely on her at both our Middlebury and Vergennes clinics and we will miss her quiet confidence and ready smile when she graduates in May. For the past two years, she has also volunteered as an EMT with Middlebury Regional EMS, taking care of patients in the back of the ambulance on 911 calls. Despite being a full time student, she finds time to also volunteer at the Charter House preparing and serving meals for guests staying at the warming shelter. Margo is also the Red Cross Blood Drive Coordinator for the Middlebury College Campus, organizing and advertising the campus blood drives to potential donors. “Engaging with the local Middlebury community and getting to meet so many wonderful people, whether for a quick conversation or a long friendship” is what she enjoys the most about volunteering. You are an absolute gem, Margo! Thank you for all you do!
 
Ron Browne of Bristol began volunteering with HOPE two years ago.  Ron volunteers his time in HOPE’s warehouse checking if items are in good, safe, working order.  He also repairs items and even disassembles items that need to be recycled.  Ron enjoys helping others and volunteers with military organizations, including the Veteran’s Hospital, for over 30 years.  Thank you, Ron, for all you do!
 
Mary-Ruth Crawford of Middlebury has volunteered with HOPE for nine years. She is known affectionately as the “Book Lady”.  Mary-Ruth is responsible for sorting, processing and pricing donated books. She also volunteers at the Ilsley Public Library as an organizer for their monthly book sales and she serves on the Friends of the Ilsley Library Board.  Mary-Ruth says she has been in the “book world” since 1979, when she was employed at the Middlebury College Library.  She worked at the library for 30 years.  Mary-Ruth says her favorite thing about volunteering is the “people, helping HOPE, and of course promoting reading by making books accessible to all”.  Thank you, Mary-Ruth, for contributing so much to your community!
 
Dan Dale of Leicester volunteers with HOPE. He has volunteered there for three years and says he enjoys the variety that volunteering provides. HOPE’s mission is to improve the lives of low-income people in Addison County by working with individuals to identify and secure the resources needed to meet their basic needs.  Thank you for your time, Dan!
 
Margaret “Meg” Crosby of Middlebury volunteers in HOPE’s jewelry department.  Meg sorts, organizes, and cleans jewelry and prepares it for HOPE’s resale store.  Meg enjoys “helping the mission of HOPE and being a part of a team of wonderful people.” Meg also volunteers with the VFW and at the Ilsley Library.  Thank you, Meg, for your contributions to the Middlebury community!
 
Daniel Currier of Vergennes volunteers with HOPE.  He has served as a helper in the HOPE warehouse for the past five years. HOPE provides essential programs to low-income community members.  Daniel enjoys his volunteer work especially “meeting people and working on different things.”  Thank you, Daniel!
 
John Fallon of Weybridge volunteers as the Food Shelf Coordinator at HOPE. John has volunteered with HOPE for six years.  HOPE runs the largest food shelf in the county, serving over 600 people each month.  John maintains inventory, orders items from the Vermont Food Bank, and trains and supervises Food Shelf volunteers.  He finds “being able to assist those that are temporarily food insecure” meaningful. John is also a “5 gallon plus” blood donor for the Red Cross.  Thank you, John, for supporting your community!
 
Rita Glidden of Cornwall volunteers at the HOPE food shelf.  She assists the HOPE staff and the clients who come through the food shelf.  What Rita most enjoys about volunteering is feeling like she is making a difference.  Thank you, Rita, for helping your community!
 
Rick Miller of Middlebury volunteers in the HOPE food shelf.  Rick stocks shelves, picks up donations, and takes clients through the food shelf.  Rick likes working with the clients and other volunteers and staff and says it “feels good to give back to the community”.  Thank you, Rick!
 
Kathy Palmer of Vergennes has volunteered with HOPE for six years.  She volunteers in the resale store and helping to sort and price items. The resale shop at HOPE is one of the largest resale stores in Vermont, offering a wide selection of new and used items.  The profits from the store help support HOPE’s poverty relief work. What Kathy most appreciates about volunteering at HOPE is working with the clients and giving back to the community.  Thank you, Kathy, for all you do!
 
Thomas W. Smith of Ripton has volunteered in HOPE’s food shelf for the past three years.  Thomas assists clients as they make their way through the food shelf.  Thomas also volunteers as a board member for the Addison Community Athletics Foundation (ACAF) which supports tennis and other health education programs for youth and adults. Thank you for your service, Thomas!
 
Linda Wakefield of Middlebury has been a volunteer with HOPE for four years.  Linda’s responsibilities include sorting through all incoming children’s books and maintaining the children’s book section in HOPE’s resale shop.  Linda enjoys helping to connect customers with the books they are searching for.  Linda shares, “I hope this encourages early literacy in our community, while also raising funds to help some of our neighbors in need.” Linda recently joined the board of the Midd Summer Lunch and Recreation Program.  Thank you, Linda!
 
Marilynn Langis a gift to John Graham Housing and Services. She volunteers her time answering the phone and spends time with residents at the main shelter in Vergennes. This allows staff to attend staff meetings and in-service trainings.  Marilynn’s kindness, warmth, and wonderful sense of humor make her a favorite with residents and staff.  We cannot express how grateful we are that Marilynn chose to volunteer at JGHS.
Marita Schine has been a member of the Addison County Readers’ Board for over nine years and is an inspiration to all who work with her.  Marita believes deeply in the power of literature to impact children’s lives.  She is an effective advocate for Addison County Readers and its Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program which mails a free book each month to the homes of registered children under five years of age. Whether helping with fund raising or setting up special children’s author events, Marita has helped ACR grow in its ability to reach and serve county children.  Marita shares, “As an all-volunteer board, we raise funding from multiple sources within our county, run regular board meetings, do outreach/tabling events to make the program known in the county and enroll young families in the program starting at birth to age 5. It keeps me well connected to the community! I enjoy working on special projects for young families.”  Marita is the Children’s Librarian at Lawrence Memorial Library in Bristol where she helps to match books with the loving hands of young readers. In addition to her volunteer work with ACR, Marita sings with Wellspring, Addison County’s Hospice singing group, assists with Hospice Volunteer Services and is a board member of the One World Library Project, a program that promotes a deeper understanding of world cultures. Always positive and encouraging of others, she keeps the ACR Board thinking with her creative ideas.  Thank you, Marita, for all you do to promote ACR, literacy and our understanding of others! 
Mikey O’dell of Middlebury has been a volunteer with Middlebury Parks & Recreation since January.  Mikey helps in many ways including sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, setting up and taking down tables and chairs, washing windows, organizing equipment and assisting with the landscaping.  The staff share, “Mikey’s attitude towards work and volunteering is nothing short of enthusiastic. He is constantly smiling and willing to help with anything.  He is an absolute joy to have in our building. Our recreation center is a very busy place and, almost to a person, the feelings toward him are ones of appreciation and respect.  Mikey’s personality just draws people to him. This is just a tiny part of what makes Mikey so special.”  Thank you for all your help, Mikey!
Owen Heminway of Shoreham has been a volunteer custodian with Middlebury Parks & Recreation for several months.  Owen helps with sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, setting up for games, landscaping and delivering activity guides. What Owen most enjoys about volunteering “is helping out, shooting hoops and heckling the staff.” His supervisor describes, “Owen is amazing an incredibly hard worker. He knows exactly what needs to be done and completes his work without hesitation. He works very well with his partner, Mikey, as he does need some physical support. He always shows him kindness and patience when they work on projects together. Owen also has a fun and playful personality which makes their time here wonderful.”  Thank you for all you do, Owen!
Dianne Lawson of Middlebury has been a volunteer with the Charter House since the fall of 2018. Dianne volunteers every Friday evening to make sandwiches for folks who have missed supper. She most enjoys “visiting and chatting with the guests.” Dianne has been volunteering in the local community for many years, supporting Speak Up! Addison County, Age Well’s Meals on Wheels program and HOPE. Thank you for your contributions, Dianne!
Emily Carfiof Middlebury has been a volunteer with the Charter House Coalition for the past year. Emily makes dinner and dessert for the Charter House guests every Saturday night.  It’s a great volunteer opportunity for Emily, who loves to cook and contribute to the community.  Emily shares, “Helping out at Charter House has been one of the best volunteer opportunities I have found. It is an amazing organization that helps so many wonderful individuals. I am happy that I get to be a part of the volunteer team.” Emily also volunteers at a local library and farmers market in her home town in NY.  Thank you for your support, Emily!
Donna Fraser-Leary of Charlotte has been the Pie and Ice Cream Social Coordinator with the Rokeby Museum for the past 34 years.  She collaborates with the Museum’s director to plan and run the annual fundraiser. Donna shares, “A few weeks before the Pie and Ice Cream Social, you will find me picking berries and rounding up supplies. Depending on the pie count of promised pies, I make and bake 12 to 15 pies for the event. My goal is to have 50 delicious pies to serve at the Social. PICS posters are put up in neighboring towns, event signs are put at the bottom of Rokeby’s driveway, and then I nervously watch the weather forecast. The day before is pie making day at my house. It sure smells heavenly. At the Pie and Ice Cream Social, there are many people who come back year after year because they enjoy it so much. It’s wonderful seeing all of those familiar faces along with all of the new ones. We’ve had a bike tour group take a detour up the driveway for pie, and one year a couple told me they planned their vacation to line up with the date of the Pie and Ice Cream Social. This event draws people to Rokeby who have been driving by for years, and only stopped to discover it when there was pie.”  Donna adds, “Rokeby is a remarkable place with an important legacy to carry on, and this is my small way of doing that.” Catherine Brooks, Director of the Rokeby Museum describes, “Donna is a wonderful, dedicated volunteer.  Rokeby’s Pie and Ice Cream festival – and the funds that it has raised over the years – would never have happened without the commitment of the Leary family. We are so grateful. Donna is well organized and a self-starter. She always follows through on her promises, and motivates other to join in as fellow volunteers. She’s an incredibly hard worker, and her commitment to helping Rokeby shines through in her every action. And talk about longevity! Thirty-four years is remarkable, and very much appreciated.”
Ted Janeway of Middlebury has been volunteering with UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center for the past two years.  Ted works at the Information Desk welcoming and helping visitors navigate the hospital. “I enjoy helping someone who otherwise would be a little lost or confused. I also appreciate the family atmosphere at the hospital,” describes Ted.  Karen Herrmann, Director of Volunteer Services, shares “Ted is a great asset to our Volunteer Department.  He has a very welcoming, kind presence, is always extremely helpful and makes sure all are treated with respect and patience.  He makes a great connection with our patients and families entering the hospital.” Ted also recently began volunteering with Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing. Thank you for your support, Ted!
Linda S. Andrews of Bristol has been a volunteer with UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center for the past one and a half years.  Linda is a Care Support Volunteer, a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Group and a participant in the Patient Experience Committee. When asked what she likes best about volunteering Linda says: “As a retired nurse, volunteering in the Emergency Department provides me with the opportunity to continue my love for supporting patients. I feel that I am able to help patients relax through both conversation and listening.” Karen Herrmann, Director of Volunteer Services, adds “Linda offers an amazing, kind spirit to her volunteer duties. She joined our Volunteer Department with a wealth of knowledge regarding best practices in healthcare.  She’s a gem!”  Linda is also a member of the Addison County Committee on Substance Use and Prevention and chair of the Bristol Democratic Committee.  Thank you for your many contributions, Linda!
As the hands-on owner of a busy health club, Middlebury Fitness, Jerrod Rushton has gotten to know a lot of people in Addison County.  His connections to local residents and commitment to philanthropy make him an ideal board member for United Way of Addison County, where he has served for the past three and a half years.  “Jerrod is tremendous asset to UWAC,” says Helena Van Voorst, UWAC’s Executive Director.  “He is not afraid to roll up his sleeves, which became especially evident this winter when he helped lead our strategic planning efforts.  Jerrod has the unique ability to consider the big-picture while never losing sight of smaller-but-important details.”  Jerrod lives in Cornwall with his wife and two daughters.  Thank you for helping to keep our community healthy and for your involvement with Addison County, Jerrod!
Abby Blumhas been on the Board of Directors for United Way of Addison County for three and a half years and was an active UWAC volunteer prior to her board service.  “Abby is the kind of board member nonprofits dream of having,” says UWAC’s Executive Director, Helena Van Voorst.  “She is smart, passionate, and approaches her volunteer work with the same level of excellence she brings to her ‘real job’.”  Abby’s experience as a Senior Development Officer at Middlebury College serves her well as a member of UWAC’s Development Committee, where she provides invaluable fundraising assistance to staff.  Abby also gives back to her community by volunteering for the Middlebury Office of International Student & Scholar Services, and serving as an International Student Host.  “My volunteer work is a way for me to build deeper connections in the Addison County community, while finding ways to support organizations and causes I care about,” says the Vergennes resident.  Thank you for your dedication to Addison County, Abby!
Harold Strassner has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity construction projects for the past seven years.  As Site Supervisor, Harold prepares building sites, orders construction materials, makes daily construction plans, coordinates all sub-contractors and organizes and supervises volunteer builders during all phases of construction. Harold enjoys working with a variety of volunteers who bring much diversity to the Habitat volunteer group. Prior to Harold’s volunteer work for the chapter, Habitat was budgeting and spending $20,000 in order to have a qualified site supervisor. Harold had previous experience building homes and when asked by the chapter to be the supervisor, he readily agreed to take on the responsibilities, but only on a pro-bono basis. “This makes a huge impact on our chapter’s ability to fund our projects, since all construction is funded by donations,” says Michael Heineken, President of Habitat for Humanity of Addison County. “Harold has made amazing contributions in his time and dedication. He has been responsible for the completion of five Habitat homes and he is still volunteering in the same capacity as we start construction on our 11th home.”  Thank you for your dedication, Harold.
Gabriel Antonucci of Middlebury is a volunteer dog walker at Homeward Bound.  Gabriel walks dogs, helping them improve their socialization skills and giving them one on one play time.  He enjoys “getting to meet and work with so many different dogs, learning their individual personalities and brightening their day with the chance to get out and play in the neighborhood.  I enjoy getting to know the people at the shelter too.”  Gabriel also works on a goat farm that has 120 milking goats.  Homeward Bound says, “The dogs love Gabriel!  He is patient and kind with the dogs, helping them to build their confidence and trust in people.  He’s able to meet them where they are and get them to be just a little bit braver.  Gabriel has a wonderful fun spirit that brings a smile to everyone’s face both human and canine!  He is a real treasure.”  Thank you, Gabriel for all that you do!
Amy Hoffman of Vergennes is a volunteer transportation assistant for Homeward Bound.  Amy transports the shelter animals to and from their appointments at the vet and keeps them calm during the car ride.  She also volunteers as a “Pets Eat, too!” volunteer and delivers pet food to families that participate in the program.  Amy says, “My parents raised us to do what we could for those less fortunate.  They were both generous with their time and assets and taught us to do the same.  Now that I am retired, I have time to give, in addition to giving money.  So volunteering in any capacity helps me be the person I am.  That I am also helping animals is an added bonus!”  Amy also provides volunteer website work for the Vergennes Partnership, The Pear Foundation, and the Jewish Study Center in Washington, DC.  Homeward Bound says, “We can always count on Amy to help whenever we need her.  She is a wonderful volunteer and we are so lucky to have her support!” Thank you, Amy!
Barbara Whitney of North Ferrisburgh has volunteered at the UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center for the past 19 years!  Barbara assists at the Registration Desk, greeting and directing patients and making them comfortable.  She enjoys the patient contact and making visits to the hospital as pleasant as it can be. Karen Herrmann, Director of Volunteer Services, shares “As a longtime volunteer with our organization, Barbara has great insight into the needs of our patients.  She shows great professionalism and compassion to our customers.” Barbara also volunteers her time at the North Ferrisburgh United Methodist Church. Thank you for your help, Barbara!
Tammy Coburnof Salisbury has been volunteering at the UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center and Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing since 2017.  At the Information and Volunteer Registration Desks, Tammy greets and directs patients and helps keep the desk and waiting area clean and organized. “Tammy is always eager to provide the best possible customer service to our patients and families,” says Director of Volunteer Services, Karen Herrmann. “She works with great heart to provide a welcoming environment.”  Tammy enjoys seeing and socializing with clients and trying to make their visit a pleasure, “The best part is delivering flowers to patients and seeing their faces light up!”  Tammy also donates her time at Homeward Bound.  Thank you for all you do, Tammy!
Khan Kim, a student at Middlebury College, has been a volunteer with the UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center for the past two years.  Khan assists in Surgical Services and with the Support Team.  He has volunteered with Helen Porter Rehabilitation and Nursing for the past three years.  His responsibilities include stocking rooms, preparing eye kits, cleaning and making beds, transporting patients and spending time conversing with patients.  Khan shares, “I really enjoy the conversations I have when I transport patients during discharge, they are always so unique.  I also appreciate how friendly the team is at the hospital.  It’s no wonder patients always leave smiling!”  Khan shows a great commitment to his three volunteer positions.  “He is reliable, shows up with a positive attitude, is compassionate and a wonderful person to be around.  We are very lucky to have him,” says Karen Herrmann, Director of Volunteer Services. Thank you for making a difference, Khan!
Sue Audy of New Haven has been volunteering with UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center and Round Robin for the past two years. Sue helps at the Volunteer Registration Desk, assisting people with registration and with finding their way.  “Sue is such a pleasure to have as a volunteer,” says Volunteer Services Director, Karen Herrmann. “She brings a bright smile and kind presence when greeting our patients and families.”  Sue enjoys the opportunity to help others as a volunteer, “We are so lucky to have PMC and Round Robin. All the people are amazing and it’s great to be involved with both.  Sue also volunteers with the American Red Cross.  We appreciate your contributions, Sue!
Janet Bishop of Goshen has been a volunteer with ACTR for the past year.  Janet is a volunteer driver for the Dial-A-Ride program which provides transportation to services and events for area community members.  Janet appreciates the opportunity it gives her to meet new people and help others.  “Janet has been volunteering with us for about a year on a part time basis,” says Volunteer Coordinator, Pam Spatafora.  “She is a valued member of our volunteer team and really enjoys working with our clients.”  Thank you, Janet!
David Bishop of Goshen has been volunteering as a Dial-A-Ride volunteer driver for the past three years. Pam Spatafora, ACTR’s Volunteer Coordinator, appreciates his support, “David can frequently be counted on in a pinch, and is always pleasant and accommodating.” David enjoys meeting and conversing with his clients and working with the ACTR team. David has served on the Goshen School Board for the past 18 years and the Goshen Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for the past 20 years. Thank you for your many contributions, David!
Katina Brown of Sudbury has been volunteering her time as a Dial-A-Ride driver with ACTR for the past eight months.  Katina volunteers because she likes helping others, meeting new people, and driving to new places.  “Katina is an asset to Addison County Transit with her friendliness and eagerness to help,” says ACTR Volunteer Coordinator, Pam Spatafora.  Thank you for your time, Katina!
Lynn Finch of Addison has been a volunteer driver with ACTR for the past six years. ACTR’s Dial-A-Ride program provides transportation alternatives for residents of Addison County.  “Lynn loves meeting new people as a driver and is happy to help whenever she can,” shares ACTR Volunteer Coordinator, Pam Spatafora.  Thank you, Lynn, for all you do!
Sandy Tebbetts of Leicester has been a Dial-A-Ride driver for ACTR for six years.  Many residents need to access healthcare and services, but do not have transportation. “As a volunteer driver, Sandy takes clients to medical appointments and on other necessary errands. She enjoys meeting the riders and hearing their stories,” says Volunteer Coordinator Pam Spatafora.  Thank you for all you give, Sandy!
Caroline Delisle of Bristol has volunteered with ACTR for the past 15 years.  Caroline enjoysmeeting the clients and driving them to appointments and shopping.  “Caroline has been driving for ACTR for a long time and is always willing to jump in and help out whenever needed,” describes her supervisor, Pat Spatafora. “She is very loyal to her riders.” Thank you, Caroline, for your time and commitment!
Clem Bourgon of Vergennes has been a volunteer driver for ACTR for the past three years. Volunteer drivers are crucial to the success of the Dial-A-Ride program.  “Clem is always cheerful and happy to help our riders,” says Volunteer Coordinator Pam Spatafora. Thank you for helping, Clem!
Ed Whitney of Bristol has been volunteering as a driver with ACTR for the past six month. He provides transportation services to community members.  “Ed just recently started driving for ACTR,” describes Volunteer Coordinator Pam Spatafora. “He is enjoying meeting new people, and has been a pleasure to work with.”  Many thanks, Ed!
Judy Clark of Lincoln has been serving as a Dial-A-Ride driver with ACTR for the past three years. Judy enjoys helping others and always has a warm smile to brighten everyone’s day.  Judy also volunteers to cook for the Hinesburg and Starksboro Senior Meals.  We appreciate your support, Judy!
Corie Dematties of Vergennes has been a volunteer driver with ACTR’s Dial-A-Ride program for the past seven years.  Corie enjoys making clients happy by providing rides. Her calm and cheerful demeanor make her riders feel comfortable.  She also volunteers her time at Planned Parenthood.  Thank you, Corie!
Emma Bergeron of Middlebury has been providing rides as a volunteer driver with ACTR for the past year.  Emma loves being able to help people get to their destinations safely and on time.  While fairly new to ACTR, she has been a volunteer driver for the past 20 years through Rutland Regional Transit.  Thank you for your support, Emma!
Dorothy Mammen of Middlebury has been volunteering with ACTR as a Dial-A-Ride driver for the past five months.  She helps drive community members to medical appointments, shopping and social events. Dorothy believes, “Transportation is so important to reducing isolation and therefore to health.” Volunteer Coordinator, Pam Spatafora, says “Dorothy is one of our newer drivers, but she has been eager to help as often as she possibly can. She is making a difference in many of our client’s lives.”  Dorothy also volunteers by making baby blankets for the Milk & Honey Quilting Guild.  Thank you, Dorothy!
Stuart McAninch of Middlebury has been volunteering at HOPE for the past five years. Stuart helps hundreds of clients each month as the Food Pantry Assistant. Stuart also supports Hannaford’s Help Fight Hunger program by delivering donated food from Hannaford’s to local pantries during the holiday season. Stuart supports RSVP of Addison County by delivering warm clothing and blankets to local schools, health care organizations and social service agencies. Thank you, Stuart, for all your many contributions to the community!
Samantha Enriquez, a Middlebury College student from California, has volunteered with Butch’s Team for the last three months. Samantha shares, “I organize visits to Butch, a member of the Middlebury Community with cerebral palsy. Our team gives him company and takes him on trips to get out of the usual scene.” Samantha enjoys taking part in Butch’s Team and the opportunity to get involved with the community around her.
Munyaradzi Munyati, a Middlebury College student from Zimbabwe, has been volunteering with the Charter House Coalition for the past two years.  Munyaradzi shares, “After volunteering there over the course of my freshman summer, I was the Sunday Grille Coordinator with the Charter House Coalition for the duration of my sophomore year. I have enjoyed meeting the many people who come in and getting to be a bit closer to the community. It’s important to me to give back to the community that has hosted me thus far.”

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