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Review for Committee on Temporary Shelter, Burlington, VT, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

COTS provides both food and shelter, sustanence and safety to many folks who live in Burlington,VT. It is so easy to become a volunteer for this organization and then to stay with it because of all of the wonderful things it does for this community's needy. In addition to housing and warmth, it provides ways for people to stay in their current housing situation by providing financial help and counselling, it helps provide clothing and food as well. Our caseworkers are the best. Each week I see extreme kindness being shown to COTS clients along with genuine respect for each individual coming through the door. COTS has wonderful fund raisers throughout the year that volunteers can help out and become an integral part of the process such as a huge annual springtime walk involving thousands of Burlington's residents, taking them on a guided tour of all of the shelters around the city. We also hold a phonathon contacting COTS supporters by phone asking for pledges. This raises a great deal of money for the organization. Currently, a local store, City Market, is selling Christmas trees with the proceeds going to COTS. Coming up is a now annual event called The Coolest Lunch in Town, with local restaurants providing food for a noontime meal and the proceeds also go to COTS. The clincher in this one is that the meals must be eaten outside, in the same conditions that many homeless people bear all winter long unless they come to COTS.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing clients come through the door week after week and seeing a change in their attitude, their happiness level and even to watch their children grow!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find some way to finance projects without having to work so hard to fund raise every moment of the year. It always comes down to dollars and usually lack of them

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Personally, it is the COTS staff that keeps me very happy in my volunteer experience. Every single person employed by COTS is a warm, caring, knowledgeable individual who offers their talents to the folks who need them. They show respect to the clients.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, considerate, welcoming now only to the clients but to new staff members and volunteers entering the organization.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build shelters around the city so no one would have to suffer cold, hunger, lonliness, disgrace, censure from anyone, and the needy would truly have homes to call their own.

Ways to make it better...

I could volunteer there full time!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Again, back to the funds available. The economy now is producing many,many more people who are being forced to come to COTS out of financial hardships. Only one little circumstance, like losing a job or losing your car can cause homelessness.

One thing I'd also say is that...

COTS has a super Administrator and administrative staff as well as the caseworkers. Everyone works in harmony there. It is all overseen by a wonderful group of caring people who are on the Board.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Volunteer & My usual position is as a front desk receptionist answering the telephone, greeting clietns and visitors taking donations that supporters give such as gifts, clothing, bedding and recording that gift, writing out thank you notes to our many,many donors .