Haven Volunteers Receive Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Community Service

The Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Community Service honors individuals groups, and businesses that best exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and community service in Vermont. Laura Shelton, Volunteer Services Coordinator at the Upper valley Haven, and Sara Demont, former Board member and active volunteer, traveled to the State House this past Saturday to receive this distinguished group honor on behalf of over 400 people who donate their time to the Haven. Governor Peter Shumlin, and the Vermont Commission on National and Community Service, were present to acknowledge award recipients in the volunteer categories of adult, group, family, national, business/corporate, service learning and lifetime achievement.

“While we are delighted with this award to our organization, most important is the recognition of the over 400 people who sustain our programs and mission. It’s their personal choice to make a difference in the lives of those most in need; this is what makes the Upper Valley community a special place. The impact of volunteers is immense.” – Sara Kobylenski, Executive Director

In 2010, 413 community members volunteered their time at the Haven. Of those, 287 have regular weekly, bi-weekly or monthly shifts; and the other 126 have joined the Haven for special one-time projects. Volunteers never report or count all of their hours in service to the Haven, but still over 25,700 hours were documented in 2010. Using the nationally identified figure of $20.85 per hour, it would have cost the Haven $548,952 to pay for this time. Volunteers guide visitors through a respectful shopping experience in the Food Shelf; cook and host daily Healthy Eating demonstrations; sort clothing for the Clothing Room; support Children’s Advocates in the After School and Enrichment Programs; pick up donated food; maintain the Haven’s edible landscape under the leadership of volunteer Vermont Master Gardeners; work in teams to create dinner meals for adult shelter guests four nights a week; and on an as-needed basis help with child care, maintenance, transportation, education and skill building. Volunteers have sustained the Haven’s services for 30 years in support of the organization’s vision “to create a community where people find hope and discover possibility”.

If you’d like to volunteer your time and skills to support the Haven and those most in need in the Upper Valley community please contact Laura Shelton, Volunteer Services Coordinator at lshelton@uppervalleyhaven.org or (802) 295-6500.

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