Bill Talentino has been a dedicated volunteer at ReSOURCE for the past eight years—working at our Burlington store. A retired Public Library Director, Bill relocated from Massachusetts after his wife came to Burlington for a position at St. Michael’s College. On a regular basis, Bill frees up our staff so they can focus on keeping material out of the landfill and providing job skills training. He remembers how incredibly important it was for him to have volunteers to do similar work at the library, so he enjoys helping in any small way he can.
Bill discussed his start in volunteering saying, “volunteering was extremely important to the libraries I was associated with, so I decided that was going to be the focus of my retirement activities.”
He began volunteering in his new community at the Committee on Temporary Shelter Serving Vermont (COTS), where he still runs the reception desk two days a week. At COTS, Bill learned about ReSOURCE. When he decided to invest more time in volunteering, Bill reached out.
Over the years, Bill has helped our students by participating in practice interviews. He explains, “I think it’s a real compliment to ReSOURCE that they emphasize that aspect—it’s very holistic in that you can certainly train people, but if they don’t have a lot of experience with job searching or interviewing, it’s going to be very difficult for them to follow through with what they’ve learned and how they’ve enhanced their skills.” Bill has lots of experience interviewing candidates from his time as a library director and he enjoys helping and getting to know our students.
Bill remembered one student he worked with who was having trouble opening up during their practice interview. “To really put themselves out there and say this is an ability I have, this is an experience that I’ve had, that’s important. And for this particular person, it was very difficult.” After forming a good relationship over some hot cocoa, Bill recalls arriving “at a method where he would draw and we eased into discussing through that. It was particularly rewarding for both of us and an extremely pleasant surprise.”
Overall, Bill says he just enjoys working with staff. “I find the people here are hardworking. They definitely express their appreciation for the small contributions I make and they’re interested in what your opinion is as opposed to telling you what to do.”
When people come to Bill asking about donating or volunteering with ReSOURCE, he tells them “it’s a nonprofit with a really worthwhile mission that has three prongs, but they’re really cohesive in terms of supporting one another—which is sort of unusual for nonprofits. They do a really good job integrating all the aspects of the mission.”
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for ReSOURCE, please visit our volunteer page!