Faith In Action – Northern Communities Partnership
Neighbors Helping Neighbors + Strengthening Our Communities + Senior Adventure and Respite Care + Food Distribution + Transportation, Socialization, Home Repairs and More + All Volunteer Services
The Community Need, which we innovatively address, is community itself. In this deteriorating landscape of economic contraction and increasing mobility, the need for community reinvigoration through cooperative volunteerism is critical. Historically, families and small communities have been the cornerstone of human civilization and have as well become Vermont’s most prized legacy.
Today’s challenges provide us with the opportunity to rethink old ways, to realize that everyone has something to give, and that all of us need each other to create the kind of community we all want to live in.
We believe Vermont’s and rural America’s rich community character of closeness, honesty and diversity built upon intergenerational trust and caring for one another can only be sustained by our rediscovering the joys of helpful, creative engagement of aging, disabled and other neighbors in need. We bring volunteers together to care for their neighbors who may be isolated, living with chronic health conditions or disabilities, or having difficulty meeting their needs for transportation, socialization, adequate healthy food, winter heating, home repairs or other basic needs.
We are intentionally responsive to local and community needs as well as individual requests for assistance as good neighbors seek to meet individual needs as they arise, no matter how unusual. We have learned that in small, rural communities there is no room for over-specialization, thus we seek to help and/or effectively refer all who call on us. When a need is presented, even if outside our so-far established services or area, we nevertheless do all we can to marshal our own or find other resources to meet that need. New services bring new volunteers!
We are dedicated in our mission to help our rapidly increasing numbers of needy, elderly and disabled neighbors enjoy safe, healthy, active and independent lives in their own homes and communities. We do this by creating groups of local volunteers in each community led by a local volunteer coordinator to deliver a holistic mix of free, trust building, life enhancing services to their elderly and disabled neighbors.
We have visited folks on a regular basis, transported people to medical and other appointments, repaired and painted homes, taken folks for country and memory lane rides, planted and replanted gardens, phoned daily during illness and regularly checked in after recovery, fetched prescriptions and groceries, delivered meals and helped neighbors obtain grants or 1% long term financing for major home repairs. Our volunteers help dispel loneliness and the feeling that no one cares. we have played games, helped people assemble scrapbooks, enjoyed lively music, laughed and joked together and some have even danced at our monthly Senior Adventure and Respite Care Programs while others rode on our Fourth of July parade float.
We have repaired animal pens, cut up cords of winter firewood, delivered free emergency wood, given respite care, torn out and replaced walls, insulated, moved appliances, fixed, cleaned, tackled old plumbing problems and we have listened.
Best of all, we have developed close, trusting relationships between our needy, elderly and disabled neighbors and our caring volunteers. We help all neighbors in need by establishing local volunteer coordinators and individual volunteers as well as community collaborators and coalitions.These new local Volunteer Coordinators will be pivotal in our efforts to build stronger community bonds and to develop and manage local volunteer groups to meet the ever-growing need for the free, locally responsive services and programs we offer.
YOU CAN HELP! Please join our volunteer effort. Together we can strengthen our communities and allow our neighbors in need, elders and disabled to remain independent in their own homes.
“The secret of happy people is not professional or financial success. Instead, it’s community involvement, healthy relationships and helping others.” – According to a 25-year study published online by the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in October 2010.