Volunteers in Action (ViA) is a community program that brings together caring volunteers with neighbors in need of a helping hand.
Volunteers in Action's mission statement is simple:
Connecting neighbors with needs and people who care.
We seek to increase the health, wellness, and independence of our neighbors, especially frail elders, in the seven towns surrounding Mount Ascutney:
- Cornish, NH
- Hartland, VT
- Plainfield, NH
- Reading, VT
- Weathersfield, VT
- West Windsor, VT
- Windsor, VT
By providing one-to-one service, ViA helps people remain at home and have access to needed services.
Although simple, the meaning is quite profound. It invokes a sense of responsibility to include all members of the community to each member of the community.
- Transportation: Our most requested service as volunteers drive elders to their destinations, such as medical appointments, shopping, hairdressing, and pharmacy.
- 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 the Knitting group and the 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.
The 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, to 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
Anna Caputo, ViA Coordinator: Originally from New Jersey, Anna graduated from Green Mountain College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 2017. In the fall of that year she moved to the Upper Valley, spending 2 years working in Quechee as an environmental educator. She gained her experience in volunteer stewardship and community organizing while serving 3 consecutive Americorps terms in both Vermont and her home state of New Jersey. Anna is always looking for opportunities to merge her passion for environmental work with her desire to make communities better. As the ViA Coordinator, Anna is looking forward to working with volunteers and partnering with local organizations to address the needs of the Upper Valley in creative and innovative ways.
Scottie Shattuck, ViA Program Assistant: Scottie lives in Acworth, NH, where she is restoring an antique home. 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!