YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Time and again people ask, "what can we do that would make a difference in a blind person's life?" Or, "is there anything we can do that would help?" The answer to both of these questions is an unequivocal "yes”. There are many ways you can make a difference, and "yes" you can help.
The Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired operates under the simple premise that client's needs come first. In conjunction with that, all training and support services at VABVI are provided without charge, so that no one is denied access to necessary training, or services, due to financial constraints.
Volunteers make a world of difference in the lives of our 1,400+ clients, who come from all 14 counties in the state. The inability to drive is the most significant limiting aspect for a person with a visual impairment, but with the help of a crew of dedicated volunteers, VABVI is able to provide transportation to our clients.
If you, or someone you know, would like to receive great rewards beyond financial compensation, please consider volunteering your time to serve blind and visually impaired Vermonters. VABVI is always looking for drivers, typists, readers, persons willing to provide companionship, or able to stuff envelopes. Perhaps you like to file or provide office support. Ways that you can volunteer are:
Driver: Transports individuals to and from appointments. Drivers must have a valid driver’s license, an automobile in good working condition and automobile insurance. Drivers will receive reimbursement for the use of the automobile per mile basis. Assistance to and from vehicle may be required.
Shopping Assistant: Assists individuals within stores (usually for groceries).
Reading: Reading of mail, books, newspapers and other printed material, or just make "friendly visits". Mileage stipend is available on a per mile basis to and from the volunteer home or reading site.
Companion: Companions visit or talk by telephone on a regular basis with individuals. Visits might include reading, assistance in daily living responsibilities, guiding individuals to places within walking distance and/or providing assistance for walks on a regular basis. These volunteers are trained in sighted guide techniques.
Resource Person: Volunteers are always encouraged to share a particular skill or technique. Skills might include crafts, recreational activities, group discussions, etc.
Helping at Meetings: We also have a number of volunteers who help with PALS groups, or children's programming.
Office Support: We have volunteers who help us convert printed material into large print, Braille and audiotapes. And many come to our offices and help with mailings and other administrative duties.
Special Events: These volunteers provide help with our special events such as fundraisers and programs for clients. Duties vary according to the needs of each event and the abilities of each volunteer.
If you can spare time, doing any (or all!) of these activities, please contact one of our volunteer coordinators for more information:
Brattleboro: De Haskell at 877- 350-8840, firstname.lastname@example.org
Montpelier: Cathie Peller at 877-350-8838, email@example.com
Rutland: Tina Pelkey at 877-350-8839, firstname.lastname@example.org
South Burlington: Laurie VasQuenza at 800- 639-5861, extension 211, email@example.com
Coordinator of Volunteer Services: Vicki Vest at 877-350-8839, firstname.lastname@example.org
"VABVI and my driver have been crucial in my journey of not seeing well"