AARP VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: For the past six years, AARP Tax-Aide volunteers in Bellows Falls and the surrounding communities have helped residents prepare their federal and state tax returns. New volunteers are being recruited for the coming tax season. People are needed to work in Bellows Falls at the Senior Center or Rockingham Library as well as at positions in Brattleboro.
It is not necessary to be an AARP member or a retiree. Experience doing basic tax returns and familiarity with computers are both helpful. Training is provided and ongoing support is offered at each site.
Anyone who has four hours per week between Feb. 1 and April 15, can be provided with the skills necessary to assist people with their taxes and the opportunity to give back to the community. Last year more than 130 volunteers helped more than 5,000 Vermont taxpayers across the state. This year the need will be even greater.
For more information about becoming an AARP Tax-Aide volunteer, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jean Cornish at 802-365-7222.
MERRY MULCH PROGRAM: The Brattleboro Union High School Music Department is once again offering the Merry Mulch Christmas tree collection service to Brattleboro residents. This program, in its 22nd year, is endorsed by the Vermont Department of Agriculture, as well as the New Hampshire/Vermont Christmas Tree Association. For a $10 donation, members of the band and chorus will transport undecorated trees from homes to a community garden in West Brattleboro where they will be chipped into mulch to be used by the community.
Three Saturday pick-up dates are being offered: Jan. 5, 12 and 19. All pick-ups must be arranged by calling one of the following numbers at least two days prior to the desired date: 802-579-1577, 802-387-3794, or 802-254-3360. Proceeds will benefit a planned trip to New York in May, 2013.
LIFE SKILLS WORKSHOPS: Turning Point of Windham County and the Phoenix House are collaborating on a series of Life Skills workshops designed to help people get ready for job hunting. Anyone who is looking for work or who needs help with resume writing or interviewing may benefit from these workshops. The two-hour, twice-weekly sessions are facilitated by a Phoenix House counselor and a Turning Point recovery coach. People are welcome to attend any or all of the sessions. The four-topic series will be repeated several times over the coming months. The specific topics covered will be:
Session 1: Employment Readiness and Community Resources.
Session 2: Developing a Resume, Cover Letter and List of References.
Session 3: Employment Application; Scheduling Interviewing.
Session 4: Interviewing; Practice Questions; Mock Interviews.
The life skills workshops will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 8, 10, 15, and 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Turning Point, 112 Hardwood Way, off Putney Road, near exit 3 behind Taco Bell and KFC. Guests may use the center computers to work on their resumes and cover letters, and to do online job searches.
SENIOR LUNCH: Senior Solutions will sponsor its senior lunch on Wednesday, Jan. 9, beginning at noon at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Center.
The menu will include meatloaf, mashed potatoes, lima bean casserole, buttered carrots, and bread pudding for dessert. The meal will be prepared by Linda Hellus.
Takeouts are available by calling 802-254-1138. A donation of $3 is suggested for those over 60, and $4 for guests under that age. Information the morning of the meal is available at the above number. Books from the Lydia Taft Pratt Library will be available for borrowing until the next meal. In case of bad weather, the snowdate is Thursday, Jan. 10.
In Hinsdale, N.H. ...
SAND FOR SENIORS: The Hinsdale Lions Club will provide sand for senior citizens living in Hinsdale. Seniors interested should call either 603-256-6133 or 603-336-5804 and leave their name and street address to receive a delivery. A phone number would also be helpful so they may contacted if there are any questions.
Containers, five-gallon buckets or smaller, should be placed so that they are visible from the main road. Members of the club will make deliveries on Saturday, Jan. 12.
In Saxtons River ...
HISTORICAL CHAT: The Grand Homes of Saxtons River is the topic of the first in another series of historical fireside chats that begins Monday, Jan. 7, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the parlor of the Saxtons River Inn.
Hosted by Main Street Arts and the Saxtons River Historical Society, the series will also explore Civil War soldiers and former ski areas. There is no charge, and attendees are encouraged to bring photographs and memorabilia to share in the informal setting. Speakers for the first session on some of the village’s old homes are Nancy and Ron Tompkins, owners of the former Alexander house, Bob Campbell of Pleasant Street, and David Moore, who lives in the Starks Edson house.
Others sessions are Jan. 14, Saxtons River Soldiers in the Civil War with Richard Anderson, and Jan. 21, Lost Ski Areas in Southeastern Vermont with Jeremy Davis, founder of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project.
Information and updates on postponements due to bad weather are available by calling Main Street Arts at 802-869-2960. Dinner at the inn is available after the chats, with reservations welcome at 802-869-2110.
TRAIL BREAKERS: The Vernon Trail Breakers will meet Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. at Nesbitt’s Portside Tavern on Governor Hunt Road. Club events and workbees will be planned.
In Walpole, N.H. ...
FRUIT/VEGETABLE WORKSHOP: The Cheshire Conservation District is hosting a free workshop for fruit and vegetable growers at Alyson’s Orchard on Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Topics will include: Marketing and packing produce; harvest, postharvest handling, and safe food handling practices; food safety self-assessments and food safety plans; and packing shed tours.
A free manual and a free lunch will be provided. To register or for more information, e-mail email@example.com or call the Conservation District office 603-756-2988, ext. 116.
In West Dummerston...
WINTER BIRDS: The Dummerston Conservation Commission will sponsor a presentation by Chris Petrak, "When the Snow Flies -- Winter Birds in Windham County," on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Drawing on the records of the Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count (the first count was in 1903), Petrak will take a photographic look at the changes in the birds that have been, and are being seen, in southeastern Vermont during the winter months. This illustrated program will take place at 7 p.m. at the Dummerston Community Center, 166 West St., in West Dummerston.
Petrak has been writing about birds for local newspapers for over 12 years. For further information: www.dummerstonconservation.com.