United Way of Northwest Vermont
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National Volunteer Week spotlight: Margot Vanscoy helps locals build healthy bones at the Swanton Library

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The Messenger is doing a series of stories on volunteers who have served with United Way of Northwest Vermont in honor of National Volunteer Week.

Margot Vanscoy is a Bone Builders instructor, helping people exercise to combat the negative effects of osteoporosis and social isolation. She teaches classes at the Swanton Library.

“It is energizing to be part of the community, filling a need and seeing interest in our class grow,” Vanscoy said.

Q: Why did you decide to volunteer with Bone Builders?

A:  I was looking for an exercise class prior to COVID. When the Bone Builders opportunity arose, I connected with the Swanton Library (where I was volunteering) to lead a class for an already robust and engaged group. 

My background in resource development with United Way of Greater Cincinnati was key to knowing the mission and values of the United Way network. I know and trust the UW to deliver excellent programming in our community.

Q: What are some of the challenges you have overcome as a volunteer and how have they impacted you?

A:  Swanton BB is an active and committed group. The only challenge has been the Vermont winter.

Q: What lessons have you learned or benefits have you discovered from being a volunteer?

A:  I benefit from being a volunteer by engaging with a group of like-minded people. It is energizing to be part of the community filling a need and seeing interest in our class grow.

Q: What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at your organization?

A:  Jump in! There is wonderful UW staff support a phone call or email away. Bone Builders is one of many volunteer opportunities that can be matched to your talents and time. 

I am also a past volunteer member of Women United working with a diverse and talented group of women to create change in Northwest Vermont. I believe the UW has something for everyone.

Q: How has being a volunteer shaped your life? Is there anything you do or think about differently?

A:  Volunteering has always given me great personal satisfaction. It allows me to connect with my community on a meaningful level and make new friends. Bone Builders is a close and supportive group of caring individuals and I am thrilled to be part of that circle.

My family has only been in Vermont for 10 winters so we are still considered the “new people.” We have been warmly welcomed and are pleased to reciprocate that warmth by benefiting our community with our time and talent.