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Stories

Come learn what it’s like to be a Benefits Counselor

Do you want to help others in your community? You might consider becoming a volunteer Benefits Counselor! Benefits Counselors set their own schedules and help local elders with applications for weatherization, fuel assistance, utility discounts, and food stamps and work with agencies that provide grants and 0% interest loans for small and large home repairs and disability modifications.

benefits counselorsJoin other current and potential Benefits Counselors for the Open House on January 13, and learn what makes this volunteer work so rewarding!Attend the Benefits Counseling Open House for Volunteers on January 13 at 4 p.m. at LifePath, 101 Munson St., Suite 201, Greenfield, MA 01301. (Directions here.) Learn about the most commonly used applications and services. No commitment required: just come and learn!

“As a Benefits Counselor you will learn a lot and meet many interesting people,” says Gretchen Smith, Benefits Counseling Program Coordinator, who supervises all Benefits Counseling volunteers. “All that’s needed is a desire to help, a willingness to learn, and an ability to be organized. The work is low key although the help provided is essential.”

Nancy Graton of Wendell experienced the benefit of the program firsthand. “Being on the receiving end of Benefits Counseling, I learned about a variety of programs available to people sixty years and older—in other words, programs available to me, my family, friends, and neighbors. They are also available to people with disabilities,” says Graton, reflecting on her experience, which inspired her to volunteer her own time to help her neighbors. “I was so grateful I became a Benefits Counselor!”

The Open House kicks off a volunteer training program. Participants will meet every five weeks through June to learn about Rural Development and Community Block Grants, MassSave, home modification loans, Veteran’s Services, TRIAD, the Western Mass Food Bank, and other non-profit agencies and services.

Volunteers are needed in communities across Franklin County and especially in the North Quabbin towns of Athol, Petersham, Philipston, and Royalston in Worcester County.

For more information, contact Gretchen Smith, Benefits Counseling Program Coordinator, at 413-773-5555 x2258, 978-544-2259 x2258, or send us an email.

Read more about the Benefits Counseling Program here.