SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Each year, Green Mountain RSVP sponsors a project to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Successful food drives have been done for many years, helping local food pantries restock their shelves. With the current pandemic GMRSVP wanted a safer activity and pivoted their programming to help address social isolation. Volunteers brightened the day of many older Vermonters by participating in the MLK Day of Service Sunshine Project.
Over 135 volunteers filled postcards remotely provided by GMRSVP with kind words, colorful drawings, and bright stickers. More than 2,500 postcards were lovingly made and now are being shared with 26 agencies that are mailing, leaving at the door of, or delivering with a meal from Meals on Wheels to isolated seniors throughout Bennington, Windham, Windsor, and Rutland counties.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been isolating for all,” said Cathy Aliberti, GMRSVP program director. “We miss daily human interactions and are grateful for phone calls, letters, and emails we receive. We wanted to send cheerful notes from caring volunteers to brighten the day of individuals who are isolated.”
This has been a warm and rewarding experience for all who got involved in this effort. Bennington GMRSVP volunteer Ruth Emaish sent at thank you card to GMRSVP staff along with her completed postcards. “Just a note to thank you for arranging this to happen so the folks receiving these cards know that they truly are being thought of and valued,” said Emaish.
MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Sunshine Project sponsored by GMRSVP showed heartwarming kindness within our communities in southern Vermont. An unexpected handwritten note meant so much to those who are receiving them. It also provided happiness and satisfaction to the volunteer making them. GMRSVP would like to thank all involved in the successful sunshine outreach.