112 Exchange Street
P.O. Box 581
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-3983

Project Independence
Helping Hands
"Who is a Helping Hand?"

A Helping Hand Volunteer can be any friendly, warm-hearted, patient, understanding individual. Anyone from 6 to 96 can contribute to a brighter day for our frail elderly guests. Students are always welcome. No special talents are needed. Just talking, one on one is very therapeutic.

"Where is Project Independence?"

Project Independence is part of Elderly Services, Inc., located at 112 Exchange St. in Middlebury just past Greg's Market on the opposite side of the street. Project Independence serves elders from all corners of Addison County.

"When would I volunteer?"

The Center is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m.- 7 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. A Helping Hand Volunteer can come in as frequently or occasionally as the individual wishes. Some volunteer weekly, others monthly, and others only occasionally.

"Would I enjoy volunteering?"

We believe volunteering should be fun! Our staff wants to know you and together decide how you can most enjoy yourself while also contributing to our elders' good day. We serve meals to our volunteers, include you in celebrations, invite you to special events, and consider you part of our caring community.

 Interested in volunteering?

Call Dana at 388-3983

Beeman Elementary Students
Volunteer at Project Independence

Every Friday for two school years, students from Mrs. Arnelle Paquette's third and fourth grade mixed class at Beeman Elementary School in New Haven, Vermont volunteered at Project Independence. The age of the Beeman students is 8 or 9, while the age of most of the folks they are helping ranges from 70 years old up to 99.

What can an eight or nine year old do to help older people? Lots! The students help out with activities, which can be anything from table top bowling to bingo to Sudoku and Pictionary. The students are very willing to jump in and work on whatever activity is going on. Everyone in the class has had the opportunity and experience of volunteering at Project. For Project participants, just the presence of young people makes them feel good.

When the students were asked what they wanted to say about going to Project there were many hands raised. Autumn said "Project is fun because you are meeting new people'. Jamie said that "Project is a good place for people to get to talk to people." Jakub and Lydia both said Project was a good place to get taken care of.

The students think it is important to volunteer because the participants at Project don't always get to see children. They like helping the staff with activities. On a recent Friday, eight year old Brooke Perlee and nine year old Paige Myrick were on hand to assist in keeping score for tabletop shuffleboard. They also got to join in and enjoyed the game playing with the older players.

Some of the things that impress the children about Project are the vans that bring elders to and from Project Independence. Two of the students have close relatives who drive vans for the center. The children are also very aware that the food is quite good and one commented that "Project is a good place to gain weight!" The students also thought Project was a good place for elders to get outside and sit on the porch or in the sunroom, because many of them don't get out much.

When asked what they liked best about coming to Project, one young man summed it up by saying "everything". They reported that elders at Project like to talk with them and often ask them their age and what they are learning in school. The kids like the good feeling that comes from helping out and seeing other people have fun.

Having students volunteer is a great learning experience for the kids and the elders. It requires a strong commitment from the school and from the parents who volunteer to drive them to Project Independence. The staff and participants at Project are grateful for their help.

Volunteers at Project Independence are of all ages from 6-96, and they come from all walks of life. We all can use the good feelings that come from helping others, and at Project Independence, they are always happy to have more volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about Addison County's adult day center, located at 112 Exchange Street in Middlebury, call 388-3983.



"What can I do?"

A partial list of activities performed by Helping Hand volunteers includes:

Visiting one to one
Greeting elderly guests
Helping with vans
Playing games
Writing letters
Play musical instruments
Showing slides
Bringing a child to visit
Bringing a pet to visit
Serve meals
Read to people
Bake bread or goodies
Hair brushing/nail care
Help in kitchen
Take people for walks
Serve on a committee
Lead discussions
Help with sewing groups
Assist on field trips
Help fundraise
Find community talent
Discuss or play sports
Bring in old photos or objects to share

Volunteer with a friend and double your fun!

Call Dana at 388-3983

Project Independence Adult Day Center
Elderly Services, Inc.

Let us be your partner in aging positively or providing eldercare to a loved one!

Call 802-388-3983 and ask for Joanne or Pat
e-mail: mail@elderlyservices.org


Elderly Services, Inc. | 112 Exchange Street | P.O. Box 581 | Middlebury, Vermont 05753 | (802) 388-3983