Generosity through compassionate action in the world is an integral part of personal and spiritual development and is a fundamental teaching and practice of Buddhism. Listed here are opportunities for “giving back” while truly getting more than you give: through feeling good about yourself, building community with other sangha members and those we help, and making a positive difference in the world.
Dharma Movie Volunteer Opportunity at the Cheshire Correctional Facility
Volunteer to show movies related to meditation and/or Buddhism to male inmates at the Cheshire County Correctional Facility near Keene, NH on Saturday nights, usually starting at 7:00 pm. An optional discussion and/or guided meditation can follow the movie. Volunteers usually pair up to show the movies, and you can choose what dates you want to volunteer. Vermont Insight teachers offer a weekly meditation class to inmates which supports the movie night.
There is an orientation process of meeting with Betsey Huffman, Kate Wylie and other volunteers to talk about the program, followed by a tour of the facility and a background (CORI) check. Those of us who have done this have found it richly rewarding; the inmates (and often guards) always appreciate our presence and are grateful for the opportunity to do something different and enriching. Sometimes the discussions are animated, and several times men have expressed an interest in learning more and developing or deepening their practice.
Volunteers should have an established commitment to meditation practice in the Buddhist tradition. For more information please contact Kate Wylie at (802) 579-1330 or Betsey Huffman at (802) 874-8262.
Dinners for the Winter Overflow Shelter
Every year the Brattleboro Winter Overflow Shelter provides a warm place to sleep for our area’s homeless from mid-November through April. For many years the First Baptist Church has graciously provided the shelter site. Vermont Insight Meditation Center joins thirty other faith and community groups in serving dinners once a month at the shelter.
Vermont Insight covers the 2nd Tuesday of each month; volunteers deliver food between 5:30 and 5:45pm so that the meal is ready to serve around 6:00. Clean up should be finished by 7:00.
Volunteers from the sangha are needed to prepare dishes for the meals and bring them to the shelter. A few people are also needed to help serve and clean up each time.
For each of our 5 dates, we are seeking the following:
- 3 people to make the main (meat) dish (recipe provided)
- 1 person to provide a vegetarian main dish
- 1 person to make a side vegetable dish
- 2 people to bring a salad and dressing
- 1 person to provide bread, butter
- 2 people to bring dessert
- 1 person to bring one gallon milk
- 1 person to provide one gallon juice or cider1 person to bring a breakfast item for the guests to take when they leave the shelter in the morning, and
- 2 or 3 people to stay and help set up, serve, and clean up
The food should be cooked in advance, but can be reheated in the kitchen at the church.
If you would like to help provide dinners during the upcoming season, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- “Shelter Meals” in the email subject line
- which date/s you can help
- which part of the meal you would like to provide
- whether you will be able to stay and help serve
- your phone number
About a week before each of the dinners, you will receive an email confirming details and provide a recipe for the main course dish. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate contact us.