Upper Valley Haven Volunteers Receive Hometown Hero Award from the United Way

413 volunteers at the Upper Valley Haven won the United Way Hometown Hero Volunteer Award. 

The United Way, News Channel 5 and People’s United Bank have partnered to honor Hometown Hero Volunteers every month.  The month of April they selected the 413 Haven Volunteers to received this award because of their outstanding volunteer service to help others in the community.  Representatives from Granite United Way, News Channel 5, and People’s United Bank presented the Hometown Heroes Award to a group of Haven Volunteers and Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Shelton, on April 15, 2011 at the Upper Valley Haven. View the Channel 5 newscast!

Last year, volunteers gave at least 25,700 hours in service to the Haven.  Using the nationally identified figure of $20.85 per hour, it would have cost $535,845 had this work been done by paid staff.  Of the 413 community members that volunteer at the Haven, 287 have regular blocks of time that they come, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The other 126 joined us for special one-time projects.

Volunteers at the Haven guide visitors through a respectful shopping experience in the Food Shelf; cook at and host the daily Healthy Eating demonstration; sort clothing and maintain the Clothing Room; support our teacher at the After School and Enrichment Program for children who are currently or have ever been in the Shelter; pick up donated food; implement the edible landscape of the grounds under the leadership of volunteer Vermont Master Gardeners; and work in teams to create dinner meals for and with adult shelter guests four nights a week.  Additionally, they help with child care, maintenance, transportation, education and skill building, such as resume writing and GED tutoring, haircuts, and many other activities.

As Executive Director, Sara Kobylenski comments “Volunteers support every program at the Haven and are essential to our ability to meet the needs of our community on a daily basis. Their support is a true gift not just to the Haven but to the whole community. We are very grateful.”

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