Author Archives: elennon

Summer is here…And so are new ways to get involved in the community!

For more information about these or other volunteer opportunities, contact Community Engagement Coordinator Ashley Calkins at

This Week’s Features:

Volunteer at the Charter House!

The Charter House is a winter housing facility that serves as an emergency home for up to five families from November through April. It is staffed 24/7 by trained volunteers who provide a warm, welcoming environment for families in stress.  MCCC works closely with HOPE,  the Parent Child Center, Mary Johnson Children’s Center, Women Safe and Counseling Services of Addison County to assist residents in finding appropriate jobs, housing, counseling, educational opportunities and childcare.

With the end of the Charter House season now behind us, if you have some spare time, are in town, and might be willing to do a different type of volunteering over the summer, the MCCC Farm-to-Table program that supplies fresh produce for the Community Lunches, Community Suppers, food shelves, and food insecure families is in need of volunteers to help with the maintenance and harvesting of produce!  The garden is expected to produce several thousand pounds of vegetables. It is located in New Haven, and work hours are of your choosing. Help is needed from now until late September.

Coordinator Courtney Devoid will work with you to schedule work time and show you the ropes. Contact her at for more information.


Got an hour? Be a friend!

Join an over 50 year tradition of Midd students sustaining a special relationship with  Butch Varno! Watch this brief and very inspirational video clip of “Picking Up Butch” for a great overview.

During the academic year, Butch keeps busy going to football and basketball games.  During the summer, things get much slower with fewer students around. Do you have an hour to spare once in a while? It could be after work, on a weekend, during the day—whenever works for you!

Butch loves to go for walks, come on campus, talk politics, current events, sports, College, and more. He has lots of interests and loves socializing, despite limitations due to cerebral palsy and confinement to a wheel chair.

Volunteers can serve as a friendly visitor or even help keep Butch limber by practicing his physical therapy with him. It makes a huge difference to his health and wellbeing—physical and mental—when Butch engages in regular exercise and social interactions.

Tiffany Sargent, EIA Civic Engagement (Adirondack House, x5082,, is happy to introduce you to Butch.  Help make a real difference—thanks!


June 28th: Sheldon Museum’s Pops Concert!                         

The Henry Sheldon Museum in downtown Middlebury is looking for volunteers for the evening of June 28th to work as ushers, ticket takers, parking attendants, and perimeter walkers.

Who:                     Georgia Brass Band, benefit the Henry Sheldon Museum
When:                   June 28, 2012   (2 shifts:  5:15-7:00  and  6:45-8:15)
Where:                 College field adjacent to the Mahaney Center for the Arts  (rain site Kenyon)

 Dinner will be provided for the volunteers.  Following your shift you can relax and enjoy the concert and fireworks!

Those who are interested should contact Joyce Heath directly at



The Willowell Foundation’s mission is “To cultivate healthy communities by connecting people with the arts, education, agriculture, the environment, and each other.”  Volunteers for Peace, a Burlington-based nonprofit, has promoted international voluntary service since 1982.

 This summer, from August 11th to 25th, seven volunteers from Taiwan, Turkey, Korea, Japan, and Spain will spend two weeks at the Willowell Foundation in Monkton, serving the community by improving the trail system. 

 You can help welcome the volunteers to Vermont!

- Volunteer on the trail building project for a day and get to know the group.
- Bring the volunteers lunch at the worksite.
- Donate fresh produce from your garden.
- Join us at the Welcome Dinner
                         Sunday, August 12, 5:00 PM
                         Location TBA

 For more information and to get involved, please contact: Hannah Mueller, Willowell AmeriCorps member:

What is Americorps?

AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 people in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps’ efforts are focused on 6 key areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.

There are opportunities to serve all over the U.S!  This is what one grad, Mikaela Lefrak ’10, had to say about her Americorps Position with C.E.O. Women in California:             

“When I graduated from Midd, I really only knew a few things about what I wanted to do. I wanted to: A) help people, B) live somewhere new and cool, and C) use my writing skills I got from my English major. That’s it, seriously.  Through my job at Midd I had gotten to know a recent college grad who did AmeriCorps VISTA, and she told me to check it out, which I did…I specifically chose VISTA because I wanted to see how nonprofits are run, and because I wanted to gain really tangible, useful, and unique skills that would help me get a job after my VISTA year.  Plus, VISTA makes it really easy for you to find open positions in the type of nonprofit you want to work at in whatever location you want to be in.  I really wanted to move to the Bay Area, and I really wanted to work with immigrants or with women, so those are the types of jobs I applied for through the online VISTA job database.
From August 2010 to August 2011, I worked at C.E.O. Women, an Oakland, CA-based nonprofit that provided entrepreneurship training to low-income immigrant and refugee women.  The job was totally awesome – not only did I get to know really inspiring women from all over the world who wanted to start businesses, follow their dreams, and support their families, but I got to share their stories with skills I gained in the fields of nonprofit fundraising and communications…After a year at C.E.O. Women, I knew how to run donor campaigns, manage databases, plan major events and galas, write grants, manage volunteers, create a social media strategy, use design programs to make high-quality collateral, edit a website, and so much more.  C.E.O. Women hired me on as their Development Manager after my VISTA year ended.  Once I decided to move on from that position, it was surprisingly easy to get offers from other nonprofits, since there aren’t a ton of young people who know how to do (or, frankly, are interested in) fundraising work.  Fundraising is cool because even though your daily jobs aren’t super flashy, you get to write a lot, if that’s your thing, and you have a pretty easy in to a lot of super awesome organizations.  After I moved on from C.E.O. Women, I worked briefly as a consultant for Fair Trade USA (also in Oakland).  Then, when I decided to move to DC to be closer to home, I quickly found a job at an education policy organization.  They were impressed by the experience I’ve had in fundraising and grant writing, and how much I knew about how nonprofits function on a structural level.  Again, it doesn’t sound exciting, but it got me into a place that’s doing work I believe in: reforming the public school system in the U.S. on a national level.”

For more information, feel free to visit Civic Engagement in the EIA.  We’re hiring for an Americorps*VISTA position next year!  As Mentoring and Youth Programs Coordinator, the VISTA would work closely with student organizations such as Community Friends, Xiao Pengyou, DMC Mentoring, DREAM, and NOM, as well as other student initiatives focused on youth development.  Contact Emma Lennon ’11 at elennon@middlebury for more information about this position or others in Americorps!



Want to spend another year in Middlebury but don’t know how? Join our office through Americorps!

 The Center for Education in Action seeks an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a one-year position as Mentoring and Youth Programs Coordinator from mid-August 2012 through mid-August 2013.

We seek a dedicated individual to engage both the campus and community to support students’ involvement with the College’s mentoring and youth programs. The primary goal of this VISTA position is to build capacity in programs that improve college aspirations for children from low-income and minority backgrounds in Addison County. The ideal candidate will be familiar with campus- and community-connected work, have experience planning events and recruiting volunteers, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal), and have a mentoring background or experience working with youth. 

For more information on responsibilities and benefits, contact Emma Lennon, current Americorps*VISTA member, at  Applications are due May 18th.

Learn more general information about Americorps here.

Seniors, learn about doing Americorps post-graduation!

Want to make a difference while paying off student loans? Looking for a way to transition into the working world after graduation? Or just want to spend a summer doing service? AmeriCorps is an option! AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 men and women in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Opportunities exist all over the U.S., and each targets one of these major impact areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. Join two Middlebury grads and past and present AmeriCorps members for an informal luncheon panel to learn more about AmeriCorps opportunities during your time at Middlebury or for that first job straight out of college!

Wednesday, March 14th
12:15 pm
Coltrane Lounge
*Lunch will be provided!*

Sponsored by the Center for Education in Action.  Contact Emma Lennon at for more information!

Just Food Conference 2012, NYC!

Four Middlebury College Students, Katie Willis ’12, Kate Strangfeld ’12, Emma Burke ’12, and Lauren Honican ’15, took advantage of a Civic Engagement Mini-Grant to fund their trip to the Just Food Conference in New York City, where they spent two days attending workshops, learning about food issues and achievements, and meeting other like-minded people, all over good food and conversation!  They plan to keep what they learned in mind in their work with food-related initiatives on campus, as well as share ideas and information with others.  For example, check out Kate’s blog post about the event here

Some of the students will be volunteering to prepare apples for freezer kits to donate to the Addison County Food Shelf, today Friday 3/2, from 3-5 pm at Weybridge House.  Come to give back to the community, and learn more about the Conference!

For more ways to get your service projects funded, or to learn more about Civic Engagement in the EIA, click here.