In the midst of this election season, it’s easy to focus on what a given candidate will or won’t do to make things better. This is a plea to take matters into your own hands. The people of central Vermont have an immediate opportunity to make things better in our community by volunteering at the Good Samaritan Haven in Barre.
I spent two years-worth of Saturday nights as an overnight volunteer at the Haven, and am glad I did. I met people from all walks of life and am grateful to have had a chance to help in my community.
You can volunteer as often or as seldom as you choose; even one night a month would be a great help in ensuring that the Haven can keep its doors open to those in need. This need is especially great as the weather turns colder and having shelter becomes a life-or-death proposition.
The Haven not only provides a warm, safe place to sleep, it also provides case management services, skill-building workshops, showers, a hot supper, washers and dryers, and, as available, clothing and personal hygiene products. These are all provided free of charge. All this is given in the spirit of brotherhood and good will, and is made possible largely through donations from the community and support from area faith congregations.
I know most people’s time and budget are quite spoken for already, but please consider whether you have a spare night now and then, or extra dollar, to put toward this work. The Haven offers a $20 per night stipend in appreciation, which is in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you stepped forward and made a tangible, positive difference for someone at one of the most difficult times in his or her life.
The Good Samaritan Haven is located at 105 N. Seminary St. Barre, VT 05641, and can be contacted at (802) 479 2294, as well as at goodsamaritanhaven.org.