Volunteers in Action (ViA) provides services that allow many individuals to stay in their homes and maintain independence as they age. ViA empowers people to help each other, while maintaining dignity and bolstering a sense of community and belonging.
Over the years, some of our volunteers have transitioned to receiving services rather than providing them, and we are honored to help them as they once helped others.
Benefits of volunteering
ViA not only benefits the recipients of services, but also the individuals providing those services. Research has shown that volunteering can:
- Decrease the risk of depression
- Give a sense of purpose and teach valuable skills
- Help people stay physically and mentally active
- Reduce stress levels
- Help individuals meet others and develop new relationships
Volunteering may even help you live longer.
ViA's mission statement is simple: Connecting and supporting neighbors helping neighbors.
Serving the neighbors of Mt. Ascutney Hospital
We seek to increase the health, wellness, and independence of our neighbors, particularly as it relates to food insecurity, medical transportation, and quality of life services, in the seven towns surrounding Mt. Ascutney Hospital:
- Windsor, VT
- Hartland, VT
- West Windsor, VT
- Reading, VT
- Weathersfield, VT
- Cornish, NH
- Plainfield, NH
ViA is proud to offer many services, including:
- Transportation, such as to medical appointments, shopping, hairdressing, and the pharmacy
- Friendly visits
- Telephone check-in
- Minor home repair
- Shopping assistance
- Meals on Wheels
- Reading aloud
- Walking companion
- Snow shoveling
- Yard work
- Referral to community resources
Volunteers in Action
P.O. Box 707
54 Main Street
Windsor, VT 05089
Our office is located in the historic Windsor House. Download and print our brochure (PDF) for future reference.
History of ViA
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 (MAHHC). 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 ViA and MAHHC emphasize personal and local service and have a strong base in Windsor and the surrounding towns.
ViA works on an independent basis. The ViA office is located in the community, in the historic Windsor House across the street from the post office. The ViA office is adjacent to Stoughton House, where Meals on Wheels meals are bagged and delivered by ViA volunteers.
Amanda Jordan Smith, ViA Coordinator
Amanda grew up in Brownsville, VT, graduated from Windsor High School in 2008, and later completed her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College. Amanda is an experienced project manager and community organizer committed to: justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
Amanda often draws on her international experience from living, traveling, and volunteering in 23 different countries. Whether through her experience as a teacher, activist, or elected official, Amanda’s leadership helps to galvanize others into action. She is very excited to expand recruiting and support existing groups of volunteers, while also partnering with local organizations to address the needs of the Upper Valley in creative and innovative ways. Amanda prides herself on her ability to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life, and she looks forward to speaking with any neighbors who could benefit from services or would like to provide them!
Suzanne Enser, Program Assistant
Originally from Rhode Island, Suzanne has called Vermont - and more recently, Hartland - home for nearly 10 years. Throughout her career, Suzanne has managed community outreach projects aimed at protecting shared resources for future generations. A conservation biologist by training, Suzanne worked with the White River Conservation District and the US Forest Service here in Vermont to develop and implement community based conservation education programs and land protection projects.
Through her consulting business, Suzanne has provided comprehensive land management assistance to land trusts and has worked with elementary schools and university students to design and install biodiversity gardens and to identify and control non-native invasive plants. In addition to working toward the greater good, a common thread throughout her career has always been working with and alongside volunteers. Indeed, volunteers have played a critical role in the success of many of the community based projects Suzanne has managed.
Suzanne enjoys working on projects that aim to lift up communities and looks forward to serving the greater Mount Ascutney community in her role as Program Assistant with Volunteers in Action.
Suzanne lives with her husband and son in Hartland, VT, where they have begun to establish a native plants farm amongst an assortment of barnyard critters.