Quechee Club members have always taken an active role in supporting the non-profits in the Upper Valley. Below are three members that embrace the spirit of community giving.
My original contact with David's House came as a result of Susan Sample talking with Aloyse of the possibility of Aloyse volunteering at David's House. Susan is a long time volunteer.
I had heard a lot about David's House and I inquired if I might join the tour that Susan was going to give Aloyse. I did take the tour and there was just something about the relaxed and comforting air that the House exuded that had me saying to myself that this would be a great place to give a little time to. That tour was approximately five years ago.
As a volunteer I handle things such as registering and settling guests in David's House when they first arrive, answering the phones, stuffing envelopes and providing help to guests while they are in residence (such as locating cooking supplies, arranging rides for guests to the Hospital with the Hospitals security force). The volunteer time allows the professional staff (only four in number) at David's House to concentrate on their professional responsibilities as the executive director, comptroller, development director and volunteer coordinator. For the past four plus years I have been a member of the Board.
Some events/activities that Quecheeites may want to attend include Sundae at the House, on July 24th. The House will play host to former residents and friends and neighbors who have never stayed at the House but who might wish to see "what it's all about"; it's a make your own sundae(s) affair with a $5.00 entry fee...no limits on number of sundaes.
On August 20th and Sept 12th. Margarita's Restaurant at Centerra Plaza in Lebanon will be donating a percentage of all meal revenue from the Lounge seating area to David's House. The day prior, the Hanover Street Fest will take place and a portion of proceeds of sale there will go to the House. The House conducts a one-day golf tournament every September at the Hanover Country Club. We can always use another foursome. Entry fee is $125, prizes awarded to winner, and a bag lunch and buffet dinner are all covered by the entry fee.
You may want to take a look at the most current newsletter (go to http://www.davids-house.org to view) ...it is full of activities that will benefit the House and it will also give you a much better picture of just what the House does and what it means to an awful lot of people
Currently, while in Vermont, I volunteer with the Friends of Veterans organization in White River Junction. The main mission of Friends of Veterans is to prevent veteran homelessness in Vermont and New Hampshire.
I am a strong believer that we have a responsibility to help others in our community who may need our help or could grow from our life experiences; this is why I have taken every opportunity to work with kids through coaching, to work with United Way, the Urban League of Massachusetts and with the Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation, among others.
Living in Quechee must be somewhat like working for Microsoft. We have so many volunteers here and there is such a strong sense of community commitment - you just get swept up in the enthusiasm to assist others.
After five years in the United States Air Force, and after witnessing how veterans of that era have been let down by our society, I have always wanted to find a way to help our veterans. That opportunity arose in a unique manner. One cold November night we were attending a church supper in Hartland and sat next to a gentleman who was one of the initial founders of Friends of Veterans- over twenty years ago. A veteran himself, he took time to explain some of the current issues facing our veterans- particularly those returning from Iraq. I was amazed at some of the issues facing these veterans; I was disappointed that I was not more aware of the situation. He gave me contact information and I finally called and talked with Larry Daigle, president of Friends of Veterans. Larry invited me to the office and explained how FOV operated; he indicated that they really needed caseworkers because the caseload was increasing due to the economy and because of returning troops who had serious issues such as lack of employment opportunities, issues with Veterans Affairs backlog, etc. Larry indicated that FOV would train new caseworkers and that no previous caseworker experience was required - only a deep sense of commitment to help needy veterans. After working and learning from several FOV volunteers, Larry asked me to ďgo it aloneĒ one day a week. After volunteering with FOV for a couple of years, I have felt a sense of pride that we have helped so many veterans avoid homelessness, foreclosure or eviction. There is also a great sense of purpose to partner with other New Hampshire or Vermont agencies to jointly assist a needy veteran family.
Friends of Veterans is currently undergoing many changes through a new Strategic Plan that should be totally implemented by this coming Veteransí Day. As a result, FOV will be looking for more volunteers starting this summer. The key positions to be filled will be caseworkers trained by FOV. However, additional volunteers will be sought to help administratively and to support fundraising activities. A person can volunteer for any amount of time. If someone is interested they should call the FOV office (802 296-8368) or call me (802 295-7075).
Since moving to Quechee, I have had the opportunity to volunteer my time at several local organizations, but for the past six years I have really focused my efforts and energy on working at Davidís House. As soon as I walked in and did a tour of the house, I felt that here was the place where I could best contribute and where I wanted to spend my time. Davidís House is a place for families who need somewhere to stay while their children are injured, ill or receiving treatment through Childrenís Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, but itís more than just a place to hang their hat. Itís a house that feels like home. At Davidís House, we try to alleviate the stress on those families and create a haven for them to be themselves and provide an opportunity for them to unwind if possible. Not only is it a safe place for families and siblings but the caring staff is there to lend an ear or a hand as necessary. From that first moment six years ago, Davidís House has felt like home to me and I want to share that comforting feeling with those who need it most.
Davidís House is a place where parents and families of those in the hospital can sit around the kitchen table and commiserate, sympathize, and empathize with others who are in similar situations. They can wear their pajamas and talk over a cup of coffee. They donít have to try to explain how they are feeling because everyone there is going through something similar. As a staff, we try to keep a low profile and help in subtle ways. Sometimes we just listen. Other times we take a more active role and can serve as a liaison between the families and the hospital or the community. Mostly we try to surround those families with a loving environment and people who care about them. Those families have to be strong for their hospitalized loved ones; we are glad to provide a place where they can let their guard down and just be themselves.
Davidís House is an independent non-profit organization that operates exclusively from charitable donations. Because we have a very small paid staff, we rely on the generosity of community members to help us continue our mission. In addition to financial contributions and volunteering time at the house, supporters can help us by supplying items on our Grocery List (see the website, www.davids-house.org), by donating specific talents such as graphic design skills, and by helping to spread the word about who we are and what we do to others. Davidís House has helped over 11,000 families from around the world, especially New England, so chances are that someone you know has been touched by Davidís House. Sharing stories about us with your friends, co-workers, family members, members of your religious congregation or civic group helps us to garner essential support so we can continue to remain open 365 days a year.