Reflections on Serving ReSOURCE

This year, due to outside circumstances, our VHCB AmeriCorps Orientation was mostly online. For two days, members met via Zoom to learn about the program and get ready for a great service year! Thankfully, the last day was in person in Barre, and we were able to bond as a team through service to the community. We served at ReSOURCE, a non-profit organization with locations throughout Vermont, which has been providing affordable goods to people, keeping used items out of landfills, as well aiding in poverty relief and skill-building for decades.

The store in Barre was hit hard by the July flooding and has been working to rebuild since. As AmeriCorps members, we partnered with staff and volunteers for a morning of service to help in the effort to reopen. In addition to making visible improvements to the state of the store, we learned about the important niche they fill in the community. ReSOURCE has been a great option for low-cost items and has provided to low-income communities in many ways through both products and job opportunities for low-income and at-risk people and youth. The organization achieves this through multiple means, including its own AmeriCorps program!

People carry boxes into warehouse and load them onto shelves. Seeing the long-term impacts of the flood and how much effort cleanup takes was eye-opening. We were able to see how passionate the staff were about the mission of their organization and how much our service meant to them. The project also led to natural conversations between members and a better connection with our peers.

It was a great opportunity for us to get to know other members of the program and get a sense of the type of impact we will be making over our year of service. Personally, it made me really excited to get started with service and spend time with fellow members at future VHCB AmeriCorps events. As a relatively new Vermonter, it also made me feel closer to my community since I am based in Montpelier, and inspired me to get involved with organizations outside of my host site as I can see how beneficial our service can and will be over the next 11 months.