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.
Volunteers in Action’s mission statement is simple:
“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.
To this end, volunteers provide a number of services. Transportation is our most requested service as volunteers drive elders to their destinations such as: medical appointments, shopping, hairdressing and pharmacy. Volunteers provide these additional services in the community: friendly visitation, telephone contact, walking companion, snow shoveling/yard work and just about any need a ‘neighbor’ may have. Our current volunteer and neighbor groups include: Knitting Group and Mailing Group.
Volunteers in Action coordinates all the volunteer activity at Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center, the community Meals on Wheels program in seven surrounding communities and hosts three Community Meals each month in Hartland, Windsor, and Ascutney. We create healthy group situations for our neighbors and honor our volunteers with constant connections and a yearly ‘Grateful Gathering’ in the fall. It is our goal to meet the needs of all our neighbors through vigilance to the ever-changing needs at Mt Ascutney Hospital and Health Center and the community at large.
Brief history of Volunteers in Action:
In 1996, representatives from several community agencies and the Town of Windsor began meeting to discuss the need for a neighbor-helping-neighbor volunteer program. This steering committee applied for a Robert Wood Johnson grant. ViA was awarded a grant for January 1, 1997 - June 30, 1998. In November 2001, ViA affiliated with Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. VIA initiated this partnership because the missions of both organizations were a "good fit" and ViA had a history of service to the Hospital. Both emphasize personal and local service and have a strong base in Windsor and the surrounding towns. ViA works on an independent basis with its own Advisory Council. Our office is located in the community, in the ‘Historic Windsor House’ near the post office, bank, pharmacy and adjacent to Stoughton House where the Meals On Wheels meals are prepared, then ViA volunteers package and deliver to our neighbors in the seven surrounding communities.
Meet our staff:
Martha Zoerheide, ViA Program Director. Martha has lived most of her life in Cornish, NH. She graduated from Windsor High School and attended William Penn College in Iowa. Martha has worked at Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center for 17 years and received her LPN license from NHTC in Claremont, NH. She firmly believes that improving the lives for all of us begins with neighbor helping neighbor.
Scottie Shattuck, ViA Program Assistant. Scottie lives in Acworth, NH, where she is restoring an antique home with her husband. She moved here from Newton, Massachusetts, where she was the administrative assistant to the Assistant Superintendent of Schools. She has extensive experience with human resources in companies in the USA as well as in Germany. Scottie provides the glue that holds together the myriad issues facing ViA and Mt. Ascutney Hospital on any given day!