Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor...

Ok, not really, but I want to step back from my ruminations about the Peace Corps for a moment and talk about another group that I've volunteered with and believe very strongly in.

Tonight was my last meeting as a Trustee of Windsor County Partners, and I would like to mark this occasion by asking you all to give a little something to this wonderful organization.

In December of 2009, I was approached by a member of the Windsor County Democratic Committee, which I was involved with at the time, to see if I would be interested in serving on the board of a local nonprofit. The gentleman who approached me was on the board of this group, and said they were interested in inviting me because I was much younger than their typical board members, and because I am an attorney. He thought that, for those reasons, I would be able to lend a valuable perspective to the board.

I met with him and WCP's Executive Director over breakfast a few weeks later, and was really excited about what I learned. See, WCP is a 35 year old non-profit with its headquarters located in Windsor, Vermont. WCP's mission is to provide volunteer mentors to the children of Windsor County. We focus on high quality matches, which means that our Executive Director makes sure, through detailed applications and interviews, to match a Senior Partner--a volunteer from the community--with a Junior Partner--a kid from a local school--who has similar interests and is in geographic proximity with the SP. This last part is important, because WCP expects the partners to meet two hours a week. WCP also does a lot to support the partnerships by keeping in contact with both partners to make sure everything is running smoothly.

During my tenure as a Trustee and then as Treasurer, WCP significantly expanded its mission by adopting a school-based mentoring organization in Springfield, Vermont that was in danger of going out of business. This group, called "Let's Do Lunch" matches a child in the Springfield schools with a community member for a one-hour lunch meeting once a week. This adoption was big for both WCP and mentoring in Vermont, and the program has been wildly successful there.

I did a lot while volunteering with WCP. Our board is a working board, and we spend hours each month doing everything we can to make sure this group remains healthy so it can continue to serve the children of Windsor County for another 35 years, and beyond. Over my year and a half working with the group, I came to deeply respect each and every board member and staff person for the level of dedication and love they have for this organization and its goals. Their work was unparalleled, and I was proud to work with them.

WCP is fortunate in that it recently received a matching grant from the Permanent Fund of Vermont. Through that fund, donations to WCP are being matched dollar-for-dollar until the end of June.

As my last act as a Trustee of this organization that I have come to love and believe in over my short time working with it, I want to ask you, dear reader, to give a few dollars--whatever you can spare--to help insure that the kids of Windsor County will continue to have this awesome resource for years to come. Again, this is a perfect time to give because of our matching grant.

Donations can be made out to Windsor County Partners and sent to PO Box 101, Windsor, VT 05089.

Thank you for any help you can give, and I will now return you to my regularly scheduled ramblings about the Peace Corps, already in progress.

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