Green Mountain United Way Launches Volunteer of the Month!

Does your organization have an incredible volunteer? Nominate them to be a Volunteer of the Month with Green Mountain United Way!

Every month we feature a local volunteer at Green Mountain United Way or one of our agency partners to feature on our blog and an article in the Times Argus. Do you have a new volunteer who you appreciate, a long-time volunteer who deserves some recognition, an individual who has made an exceptional difference for the work your organization does?

Nominate them by emailing Carrie Stahler at cstahler@gmunitedway.org with the following information:

  • Your Name & contact information
  • Agency
  • Agency Mission
  • Volunteer’s Name, email, and phone number
  • A brief description of their contribution to the agency
  • Length of their volunteer work with the agency
  • A photo of your volunteer in action!

Example:

Jane Dillon, jd@cvcoa.org, 802-622-2262
Central Vermont Council on Aging
John Doe, jd@mail.com, 802-222-2222
John helps our seniors stack wood every year, this year he stacked more than 200 cords!
He’s been working with us since 2001.

Carrie will contact your volunteer, interview them, and then let you and your volunteer know when the article will be published.

Thank you to all of the incredible volunteers that make our community a better place!

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Updated FamilyWize App Is Now Available!

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Seasons Greetings

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very festive, healthy and relaxing holiday season.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Joe Sanginiti
Joe Sanginiti
 

 

 

Updated FamilyWize App Is Now Available!

What’s New?

Pharmacy location notifications! You can now opt in to be reminded to use FamilyWize when you walk into your selected pharmacy.

Download and use the brand new FamilyWize app today!

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Did You Know?

You can use the FamilyWize card and app for all of your
REFILLS, too?

Every time you go to the pharmacy, make sure you bring along your card or app and show it to the pharmacist. This will ensure you get the lowest possible price on your meds!

 

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Are You Looking for a Way to Help YOUR Community This Holiday Season?

Try giving to the Green Mountain United Way!

Our mission, simply put, is “Mobilizing communities to create lasting changes in local conditions that will improve lives“.

This goes a long way with your support!

There are lots of ways to give and make your donation count!

Check out our Ways to Give page for complete details and how you can choose the options that fit your needs!

Methods of giving include:

  • Direct Giving
  • Leadership Giving
  • Planned Giving

If you are shopping online this holiday season, why not give through Amazon Smile?  Simply choose Green Mountain United Way as your donation organization and a portion of your purchase goes toward GMUW!  What do you have to loose?

Come on…choose Amazon Smile when you make your online purchases today…

This is OUR community, we ALL Live United, and together we can help make a change that does last.

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Teaching the Importance of Gratitude

 

Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl


Winter has definitely arrived and the rise in November’s contact volume remains a true harbinger of our cold weather season. The 5,030 contacts received at the 2-1-1 contact center make November’s total the fourth highest since March of this year. Falling temperatures during the month of November each year means the beginning of the winter spike in calls for Emergency Housing and Utility Assistance! Referrals to resources for help with emergency housing and utility assistance are the highest since February. This is an annual trend that we here at 2-1-1 have come to expect and to prepare for each fall.  All of our emergency housing partners know well that the numbers will continue to rise as winter settles in and temperatures continue to fall. The After-Hours Emergency Housing Program Report is available for your review through the link below.

Vermont’s Seasonal Fuel Assistance program, a supplemental benefit that offers assistance with payment for a portion of eligible Vermonters’ winter heating bills, undeniably makes a difference – sometimes large, sometimes small – in the lives of thousands of Vermonters who struggle under the seasonal burden of keeping their homes adequately heated.  Still, the most vulnerable of our community members are often left with the very real and often impossible challenge of keeping their heads above water through the cold winter months, and our contact center referrals will continue to reflect the difficult choices these Vermonters must make.

Another sure sign of the onset of the winter season and the anxieties it brings for many is reflected in the number of calls received for information about holiday programs. Seventy five percent of the calls for Individual and Family Support Programs this month were from Vermonters looking for assistance that would allow their families to participate in the traditions that make the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays a time of celebration. Historically, November calls begin to reflect the anxiety that the upcoming holidays provoke for many Vermonters, and it is with certainty that 2-1-1 contact specialists can state that these calls will continue to grow both in number and in desperation right up through December 24th. This November’s call volume in this sub-category shows a twenty-five percent increase over last November, and the number of referrals made to holiday programs in November has grown threefold over October.

A noteworthy increase this month is in the area of Public Assistance Programs sub-category. The total of 215 referrals is the highest amount of referrals for this category all year. Primarily, referrals were made to General Relief, an income maintenance program administered and funded entirely by each county that provides basic financial assistance for people who are indigent. Services available through the program may include cash allowances for qualifying individuals who have targeted special needs, emergency assistance in the form of temporary housing for people who are homeless, and the means to return to the state of legal residence for people who are stranded. This sub-category also includes referrals to Reach Up, 3SquaresVT, WIC and other State and Federal public assistance programs.

As we enter the “giving season” let’s do our best to remember that we grow by giving of ourselves. If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to reach out a helping hand, consider doing so today. Our data shows that Vermont’s community food shelves, local emergency financial assistance programs, and holiday giving programs are responding to the needs of our neighbors as best they can.  You can make a difference! As this year’s November statistics show, the need continues to be great!  Consider contacting Vermont 2-1-1 for suggestions about holiday donations and volunteer opportunities in your region.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month


January has been proclaimed as the Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a title that underscores the need to destigmatize important discussions about human trafficking and call attention to key facts and realities about human slavery. Following the start of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in 2010 and in collaboration with multiple national non-profit organizations, National Human Trafficking Day was established and is observed annually on January 11th.

At Vermont 2-1-1, we believe it matters that our nation directs time, energy, and resources to responding to the problem of human trafficking. We have therefore agreed to be the designated number to call to access Vermont’s Rapid Response Support System (RRSS) that works to ensure that actual and potential victims of human trafficking receive support tailored to their needs from first responders such as law enforcement and emergency medical providers.

2-1-1 also actively participates in efforts to raise public awareness about the issue of human trafficking, and we hope that our commitment assists with mobilizing our fellow Vermonters to work to end what is essentially modern day slavery that exploits people’s dreams, robs them of their dignity, and violates their basic human rights.
Victims of human trafficking can be any age, gender, race, or immigration status; they live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Human traffickers relentlessly canvass ways to take advantage of people who face extreme adversity, violence, discrimination, or economic vulnerability and dependence.

Dial 2-1-1 to contact Vermont’s Rapid Response Service System. You can also visit vermont211.org to learn more about services and resources available to victims or to learn more about ways to get involved with efforts to end human trafficking. Use the following terms in our database to locate resources and agencies related to human trafficking prevention/intervention.

Terms: 

– Human Trafficking Hotlines
– Human Trafficking Prevention

Agencies:

Give Way to Freedom
Polaris
Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services


Vermont 2-1-1 Web Statistics


In addition to the contact statistics, the following data is from the 2-1-1 website and shows how the public used the database search engine during the month of November:

Top Services: Thanksgiving Programs (695 searches);
Christmas Programs (524 searches); Holiday Toys/Gifts (482 searches); Homeless Motel Vouchers (329 searches); Clothing Donation Programs (222 searches)

Top Agencies: Salvation Army (Rutland); United Ways of Northwest Vermont; Salvation Army (Burlington); Chances for Christmas; HOPE

Top Search by City: Burlington; Hancock; Middlebury; Saint Albans City; Rutland

Total Site Visits: 6302

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 2898


Emergency Housing in Vermont


Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 759 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for November here.


Teaching the Importance of Gratitude


The holiday season is the perfect time to think about the importance of gratitude. Most parents teach their children to say thank you, but being thankful and appreciative of the good things you have goes beyond manners and etiquette. Children who express and understand  what they are thankful for have less stress, a sense of belonging and are able to relate to other people’s feelings.

It’s natural for kids to be materialistic and self-serving at times. It takes time for small children to learn how to control impulsiveness, learn to share and handle strong emotions. But toddlers and preschoolers are great at modeling the behavior of the adults in their life. So start by setting a good example; show your gratitude for big and small things from gifts to a warm sunny day.

By grade school, children have a greater ability to think more deeply and can reflect on their day. Ask your child what they are grateful for each day at dinner or bedtime and share what you were grateful for today and why.
Some other ideas for teaching gratitude are; focus on the positives in your day, help children write thank you notes, make giving or volunteering a habit, have your child help you set aside toys and clothes to be donated to local charities and teach children to thank those who serve.

Most of all, remember to be patient. Kids can’t be forced into showing appreciation, but being a role model and using everyday gentle efforts can teach your child gratitude as a way of life.

 

 

 

Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA

 

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Working Bridges Lunch & Learns

Does your business struggle with employee retention, productivity, and advancement?

Is your HR team challenged by employees whose life issues impact their work-life?

Does your HR team struggle to keep up with employees’ changing needs?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes and your business has 25 or more employees, we invite you to join us to hear about how the innovative Working Bridges program and your local United Way can help you meet your business goals through employee support by bringing human service resources to the workplace. We welcome Human Resource professionals, managers, and directors to attend.

  • December 12, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at the NVDA Conference Room- 36 Eastern Ave, St Johnsbury, VT 05819 – Lunch & Learn and networking
  • December 14, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at The Gateway Center, 84 Fyfe Drive, Newport, VT  – Lunch & Learn and networking

Register Now

This unique program has been available in Chittenden County for a decade and has been helping employers large and small to reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity and now it is available to businesses in Caledonia, Orleans, Essex, Orange and Washington Counties. Discover how this low-cost, high-value program can help your business succeed.

We’ll discuss how bringing existing community resources to employees can help them move from a crisis to a place of stability and increased productivity at work. We will demonstrate how the Income Advance Loans help employees avoid predatory lending and build credit, resulting in increased savings and assets. And we’ll talk about how the four employee-facing program elements work to increase retention at your business.

A light lunch will be served at both events. Please RSVP for the date and location of your choice. Space is limited. If you are unable to attend after you RSVP, please contact Carrie Stahler at Green Mountain United Way (cstahler@gmunitedway.org) to open your seat up for someone else. More than one person from each business is welcome to attend.

This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through a partnership with the United Way Worldwide and is generously supported by NVDA and the Northen Border Regional Commission.

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Community Screening – RESILIENCE: THE BIOLOGY OF STRESS & THE SCIENCE OF HOPE

Join us and the Northfield Promise Community for the latest showing of this ground-breaking film.

Tuesday, December 5
at Northfield Middle High School Auditorium
6:30PM – 8:00PM
FREE Admission and Open to the Public
Following the film will be a facilitated panel discussion.

Resilience chronicles the birth of a new movement among pediatricians, therapists, educators and communities, who are using cutting-edge brain science to disrupt cycles of violence, addiction, and disease.

“The child may not remember, but the body remembers.”

The original research was controversial, but the findings revealed the most important public health findings of a generation. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behavior. However, as experts and practitioners profiled in RESILIENCE are proving, what’s predictable is preventable. These physicians, educators, social workers, and communities are daring to talk about the effects of divorce, abuse, and neglect. And they’re using cutting edge science to help the next generation break the cycles of adversity and disease.

NEW DATE: May 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Montpelier High School.

 Watch the Trailer for Resilience:

Resilience Trailer – KPJR Films from KPJR FILMS LLC on Vimeo.

Interested in learning more about this important film?
https://kpjrfilms.co/resilience/

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Kids and Screen Time

 

 

Vermont 2-1-1

The staff and volunteers at Vermont 2-1-1 send you wishes for a happy holiday season and a reminder that you can dial 2-1-1 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl


October’s call volume of 2,540 is indicative of the changing season and 2-1-1 Contact Specialists are hunkering down for another very busy season helping those in need escape the often life-threatening cold nights. This month’s housing-related calls continue the historical trend of a significant uptick in the requests for referrals to housing resources. The Adverse Weather Conditions set forth by the Department for Children and Families started on November 1st , but the race to escape the cold weather had already begun during October. The number of referrals in the Housing/Shelter sub-category shows an 18% increase over September. This month these referrals make up 77% of the total in the Basic Needs category. October’s prelude to Vermont’s winter weather has local non-profits actively planning and preparing for the opening of their warming shelters. These mostly volunteer-run, cold weather shelters will serve the most vulnerable members of our Vermont communities and most will fill to capacity each night.

Another noteworthy increase in requests for assistance this month can be seen in the Public Assistance Programs sub-category.  These types of calls are clearly in line with the numbers we saw this past winter in January of 2017. Primarily, referrals were made to General Relief, an income maintenance program administered and funded entirely by each county, that provides basic financial assistance for people who are “indigent” – a term that should be understood as describing individuals in need who are truly down and out. This sub-category also includes referrals to Reach Up, 3SquaresVT, WIC and other State and Federal public assistance programs.

October’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day proved to be another successful, single-day push to remove unused prescription drugs from medicine cabinets as a preventive measure against misuse of leftover medications. Once again Vermonters were encouraged to participate by turning in unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs at specified, local collection sites. This nationwide collection effort is held twice a year, but Vermonters can drop off their prescription drugs any day of the year at numerous local sites. Governor Phil Scott is promoting Vermont 2-1-1 as the number to call for a list of collection sites and Vermont 2-1-1 is working closely with the Vermont Department of Health to keep the medication drop-off information accurate and up-to-date. Contact Specialists responded to more than 60 calls and the Vermont 2-1-1 website showed 100 hits for this information in October alone, a good sign that Vermonters are interested in properly disposing of their unused medications.

Finally, October’s data reveals 67 referrals to the Disaster Services sub-category. The referrals were in response to sheltering information requests due to the worst recorded wind storm to hit Vermont. This powerful windstorm moved into regions of Vermont during the early morning hours on Monday, October 30th, downing trees, cutting power to thousands of homes and shuttering dozens of roads. While responding to requests for storm-related information and assistance, 2-1-1 Contact Specialists were also tracking Vermonters’ needs and sharing that with Vermont Emergency Management, the Agency of Human Services, American Red Cross, and other state and local partners. The information collected at the 2-1-1 Contact Center helped to identify the regions where community emergency shelters might be needed.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.


Emergency Housing in Vermont


Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 203 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for October here.

Did You Know…?


You can reach us by phone 4 ways by:

  1. Simply dialing 2-1-1 – a local call from anywhere in Vermont
  2. Dialing 1-866-652-4636 – toll free in Vermont
  3. Dialing (802) 652-4636 – from outside of Vermont
  4. Texting your zip code – to 898211

The Vermont 2-1-1 Contact Center is available 24/7. Texting is only available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Vermont 2-1-1 Web Statistics


In addition to the contact statistics, the following data is from the 2-1-1 website and shows how the public used the database search engine during the month of October:

Top Services: Homeless Motel Vouchers (310 searches); Christmas Programs (166 searches); Clothing Donation Programs (153 searches); Community Meals (144 searches); Pet Care Services (140 searches)

Top Agencies: Salvation Army (Rutland); Champlain Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO); Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA); Salvation Army (Burlington); Vermont Department for Children and Families – Economic Services Division

Top Search by City: Burlington; Essex Junction; Hancock; New Haven; Rutland

Total Site Visits: 4609

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 2013

Kids and Screen Time


Smartphones, computers and other media devices are a part of our every day lives. But research has shown that when it comes to kids, too much tech and too little face-to-face time with family and friends can delay the development of communication, language and social skills.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children 18 months and younger should not use screen media other than video-chatting with family and loved ones. For children 18 months to 5 years, parents should choose high-quality programming and apps that they view with their children and limit screen use to 1 hour or less per day. Parents should avoid letting children use media by themselves.

Here are some helpful tips for managing your family’s media use:

  • Make a family media use plan. This can help parents think about how to use media thoughtfully and make sure other important activities like sleep, outdoor-play, reading and family activities get priority. The AAP has a useful link to help families get started.
  • Set limits. In addition to limiting the amount of time your child uses media, know what platforms and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online.
  • Make unplugged playtime a daily priority. Unstructured play stimulates creativity and engaging in back-and-forth “talk time” is critical for language development and improves language skills much more than one-way interaction with a screen.
  • Be a good role model. Limiting your own media use means you will be more engaged with your child and be able to give them your full attention while setting a good example.
  • Create tech-free zones. Keep meal times and children’s bedrooms screen free. This encourages healthier eating habits and better sleep, which are critical for children’s wellness.
  • Don’t use technology as an emotional pacifier. Children need to be taught how to identify and handle strong emotions, learn how to come up with activities to manage boredom and ways to calm down and solve problems.  These are important skills for the healthy development of your child.

 

 

Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA

 

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It’s #GIVINGTUESDAY – Help us raise $2500 to create financial stability for families in our communities!


It’s #GIVINGTUESDAY – Help us raise $2500 to create financial stability for families in our communities!



Dear Supporter,

It’s GIVING TUESDAY! Your support throughout the year means everything to the people in our communities who need your help, so today we are asking you to help raise $2500 toward our K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching initiative to helps families in our five counties become financially stable.

We know that when a family is financially stable they are less likely to face food insecurity, they have the ability to weather life’s storms better, and their children have better access to educational opportunities that can offer a chance for a better future. This work is so important to the families in our communities and your gift could give them the help they need!

A gift of just $25 can help families in our communities get on the road to a more stable future. Give today and be of the solution our communities need!

In gratitude,
Tawnya Kristen

Executive Director

P.S. Simply donate online through our secure giving link, or send your check to Green Mountain United Way, 73 Main Street #33, Montpelier, VT 05602 and remember to put Giving Tuesday in the memo line!

Green Mountain United Way Events

 

WORKING BRIDGES LUNCH & LEARNS
Does your business struggle with employee retention and productivity, or with employees’ changing needs and have 25 or more employees? If so, join us for a Lunch & Learn to hear about how the innovative Working Bridges program could help you meet your business goals by bringing human service resources to employees at their workplace. Learn more…

  • December 12, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at NVDA in St. Johnsbury or
  • December 14, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at the Gateway Center in Newport, VT  
 

RESILIENCE COMING TO NORTHFIELD
Join Green Mountain United Way and the Northfield Promise Community for the latest showing of this ground-breaking film on Tuesday, December 5th at Northfield Middle High School Auditorium, 6:30PM – 8:00PM. Admission is FREE and open to the public. There will be a facilitated panel discussion following the film. Read more…

Volunteer Opportunities in our Communities

Check out our up-to-date listings for Volunteer Opportunities in your area on our website and give the Gift of Time this year!

Community Notes

 

FAMILYWIZE DRUG PRICE LOOKUP TOOL

Compare drug prices before you get to the pharmacy or send one of your clients or patients for a new medication. This tool can help save money and understand your options. Try it NOW!

 

Vermont 211 Resources:
SEASONAL RESOURCES

Vermont 2-1-1 has just updated their Seasonal Resources page including information about Fuel Assistance, VITA Tax Prep, and Flu Season resources for all vermonters. Learn more…

Join the #GIVINGTUESDAY Movement today!
Help us raise $2500 to help families in our community become financially stable!

 

Copyright © 2017 Green Mountain United Way, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Green Mountain United Way

73 Main Street, #33

Montpelier, VT 05602

Phone: 802-613-3989

 


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New Blood Pressure Treatment Guidelines to Follow

 

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Health and Wellness Newsletter – November, 2017

Blood Pressure Treatment Guidelines

New Blood Pressure Treatment Guidelines to Follow

Our partners at the American Heart Association have shared new blood pressure treatment guidelines that will change the way high blood pressure is diagnosed and managed in America

They are now defining high blood pressure as a systolic measurement of 130 and higher, or a diastolic measure of 80 and higher. Previously the blood pressure definition was set at 140 and 90 respectively. By lowering the definition of high blood pressure, the guidelines recommend earlier intervention to prevent further increases in blood pressure and the complications of hypertension.

They also eliminated the “pre-hypertension” category for blood pressure ranging from 120 to 139 systolic, and 80 to 89 diastolic. The team of experts who wrote the guidelines determined that people needed to understand their increasing risk to take swift action.

High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths, second only to smoking. It’s known as the “silent killer” because often there are no symptoms, despite its role in significantly increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke.

The guidelines will replace the 2003 guidelines published by the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure. In 2013, the National Institutes of Health entrusted the AHA and ACC to produce the first comprehensive guideline update in 14 years.

The new guidelines also stress the importance of using proper technique to measure blood pressure. Blood pressure levels should be based on an average of two to three readings on at least two different occasions.

You can find updated resources for patients at www.heart.org/hbp. Clinical tools have also been updated on www.targetbp.org.

&nbps;


Quick Tips

Drug Price Lookup Tool

 

 

 

While at your doctor’s office, use the Drug Price Look-up Tool in the FamilyWize mobile app to see which pharmacy will have the lowest price for your prescription. Then ask your doctor to send your prescription to that pharmacy.

It’s that easy!

START SAVING NOW!

 

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UW Volunteer of the Month: Robert Harvey of Wash. Co. Mental Health

If you were to play a word association game, when you hear, “I have a background in engineering and business at a Fortune 500 company,” you might not think, “volunteer at the local mental health agency.” And if you did that, you would miss the incredible volunteer contributions Robert Harvey has made to our partners at Washington County Mental Health.

Harvey was recently recognized at WCMH’s 50th-anniversary celebration for his contribution to the organization over the past 17 years. His volunteer contribution on the board of directors there is a career in itself. He is the treasurer of the board, a role requiring an engineer’s meticulous attention to detail because of both the size of the organization — WCMH employs nearly 700 people in our region and serves many more community members — and also because the breadth of their funding sources and services.

Harvey is also on several volunteer committees at WCMH and regularly meets with the executive director, the director of finance, staff and management regarding health insurance benefits structure, financial performance, service delivery and staff workplace issues, and acts as a link to the board of directors. His enthusiasm for administrative and logistical topics is contagious and demonstrates the immense value of the volunteer work he does. It is also, likely, one of the reasons WCMH nominated him for Volunteer of the Month. His enthusiasm, focus, and attention to detail translates to a job well done: Harvey is not your average volunteer and he is just as dedicated to his work as someone hired for the job. His career prepared him well for his retirement volunteer “job.” As an engineer, his career contributions even include a part in the creation of the lunar module in 1967-68. He is an engineer at heart with the ability to focus on the details while keeping in mind the larger goal.

Harvey’s introduction to Washington County Mental Health’s services started when he and his family moved back to his wife’s home here in central Vermont after his retirement from that Fortune 500 company and decades as an engineer and businessman. His family’s move was not without challenges. His son is on the autistic spectrum and struggled with the changes of moving to a new, unfamiliar place. After his son had several crises, Harvey’s family was connected with WCMH to work with a case manager. He and his family were so grateful for the support and resources offered by the agency that helped their son transition into his new home. In particular, the case manager assigned to their son made a huge impact on Harvey. He described her effort as “really going the extra mile. She was so effective at getting our son into a support program and getting him everything she could to help him better transition into the community.”

It was she who suggested that Harvey consider joining the board of directors, so he wrote a letter and was invited to join. That was 17 years ago.

“Bob is an absolute gem. We just presented him with our Community Support Award for 17 years of dedication to our staff and clients through service on our Board of Directors as well as numerous committees. This is an award given for keeping the flames of hope and support alive. We are incredibly fortunate to have Bob on our team,” said Washington County Mental Health Executive Director Mary Moulton. When asked what the award means to him, he spoke about WCMH’s “staff and their commitment to the community. They live their work every day.” Harvey is proud that his volunteer contributions support the staff and the work the agency does, allowing more people to focus on the people in the community who they are helping. He said, “All the little details make the whole thing work.”

Harvey plans to continue to dig into all of the details at WCMH, and to continue to support the work they do, as well as honor their hard work by matching that with his effort as a volunteer. And after 17 years, he’s just getting started.

If you are interested in learning more about WCMH’swork, go to www.wcmhs.org.

The Volunteer of the Month is a feature compiled by the Green Mountain United Way, focusing on the contributions of local volunteers whose work benefits local nonprofit organizations in Green Mountain United Way’s service territory. For more information, or to nominate a volunteer, go to www.gmunitedway.org/volunteer-of-the-month.

Originally published by the Times Argus through their partnership with Green Mountain United Way to support Volunteerism in the community.

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