Green Mountain United Way Launches Volunteer of the Month!

Does your organization have an incredible volunteer? Nominate them to be a Volunteer of the Month with Green Mountain United Way!

Every month we feature a local volunteer at Green Mountain United Way or one of our agency partners to feature on our blog and an article in the Times Argus. Do you have a new volunteer who you appreciate, a long-time volunteer who deserves some recognition, an individual who has made an exceptional difference for the work your organization does?

Nominate them by emailing Carrie Stahler at cstahler@gmunitedway.org with the following information:

  • Your Name & contact information
  • Agency
  • Agency Mission
  • Volunteer’s Name, email, and phone number
  • A brief description of their contribution to the agency
  • Length of their volunteer work with the agency
  • A photo of your volunteer in action!

Example:

Jane Dillon, jd@cvcoa.org, 802-622-2262
Central Vermont Council on Aging
John Doe, jd@mail.com, 802-222-2222
John helps our seniors stack wood every year, this year he stacked more than 200 cords!
He’s been working with us since 2001.

Carrie will contact your volunteer, interview them, and then let you and your volunteer know when the article will be published.

Thank you to all of the incredible volunteers that make our community a better place!

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Setting Goals For A Healthier 2018!

 

Happy New Year!

As 2018 dawns, we are happy to provide a newsletter full of tips to help your colleagues and clients stick to their resolutions and work toward a healthier lifestyle.

One way to encourage healthy behaviors is through 3-4-50. We have tip sheets and sign-on sheets for worksites, schools, early childhood programs, communities and new this month, faith communities. Consider bringing the 3-4-50 message to the organizations you are close to, and ask them to sign on. Your Office of Local Health can assist, by meeting with your organization and explaining how 3-4-50 can work for them and people they reach.

To date we have over 40 organizations signed on to 3-4-50. Join them in working toward a healthier Vermont.

 

 

Setting Goals for a Healthier

2018!

It seems that each January brings a flood of well-intended resolutions. “This year, I am going to lose weight.” “This year I’m going to exercise more.” It’s no surprise that gym attendance and health related Google searches spike in the month of January and then rapidly decline. Let’s face it, there‘s nothing like an indulgent season of holiday food and drink accompanied by a hearty dose of stress to fuel the desire to make a change for health’s sake. In that sense, January is a great time to start down the road toward better health. The challenge becomes, how do we help our clients and staff implement lifestyle changes that are sustainable and might actually lead to better health? More…
Worksite Wellness Conference Banner

2018 Worksite Wellness Conference

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018, DoubleTree by Hilton in Burlington, VT (formerly the Sheraton)

Registration for the 2018 Worksite Wellness Conference is open! The conference will take place on Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Burlington, VT (previously the Sheraton). We invite you to join hundreds of Vermont business owners, human resources professionals and wellness experts to learn strategies and best practices in worksite wellness, share your experiences and expand your professional network. This year we will have a keynote speaker from the leading worksite wellness organization WELCOA, twelve breakout session options, presentation of the 2018 Worksite Wellness Awards and an all new Ask-the-Expert session! We are also pleased to announce that we are now an approved re-certification provider for the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). Register before March 1st, 2018 to get an early bird rate.

Looking to start a worksite wellness initiative or integrate new strategies for 2018? Check out our website for tips and tools on getting started with a comprehensive worksite wellness program and recommended wellness strategies. You can also find sample policies, templates and other resources to help you develop or expand your program.
Group of children walking and rolling to school in the winter.

Winter Walk to School Day
February 7, 2018

Children spend a large part of their day at school, and it is important for them to have ample opportunities for physical activity while they are there. It’s also important to consider out of school time and active transportation, like walking and biking to and from school. Winter has arrived, but that doesn’t mean an end to children walking to school. With the right preparation, walking to school in the winter can be fun. This is Vermont after all, the land of cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and fat biking – so why not consider hosting a Walk (and Bike) to School Day celebration in the middle of the winter? Dig out your hats and gloves, organize your volunteers and get stepping for Winter Walk to School Day 


SMART Goals at School
New Year’s resolutions are in full effect and this month’s newsletter is all about setting goals. Goals are not just for individuals though, schools across Vermont are actively working on addressing goals through their Local School Wellness Policies.
Setting goals does require some thought about your school’s vision for a culture of wellness. Consider setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound. The SMART criteria help ensure that the goals are within reason and attainable. A detailed, well-stated goal has the best chance of being achieved. It provides direction for schools and supervisory unions in meeting health and wellness objectives. Check out the Vermont Wellness Policy Implementation Tool to help organize your School Wellness Policy Goals.
Winter hiking.
Get Active and Eat Well Throughout the Winter Months

 

January is when many people decide to make changes to be healthier, yet winter in Vermont can be a very challenging time to be physically active and to eat healthy. Here are free or low cost ways to help people stick to those resolutions this time of year. Share these with partners, on social media sites, or in newsletters. Make the information specific to your local resources with dates, times and directions to locations. Consider offering informal events or outings for the community to encourage people to take advantage of what is available: family skating, fort building, winter walks in the woods, (healthy) winter soup or chili contest! More…

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Tax Filling Season Is Here!

Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl


Another very busy December has come to a close with contact specialists responding to 5,795 calls.This one month total is only 100 calls shy of the total call volume for the entire third quarter of 2017 and is a twenty-five percent increase in calls over the month of November. The onset of winter traditionally begins a busier time of year for the 2-1-1 Contact Center, and this trend is reflected, once again, in this month’s report. The types of requests for information and referral represent the heightened day-to-day struggles that some Vermont families annually face during the cold weather season. The annual upward trend of requests for shelter from the cold and financial assistance with utility costs were in full swing as we closed out 2017.

Year-end totals show that Information and Referral Specialists provided direct personal responses to 28,948 calls in 2017. During those same twelve months, Vermont 2-1-1 received close to 34,351 visitors to our website. In addition, 9,895 calls were received from Vermonters inquiring specifically about the State’s Emergency Housing Adverse Weather Conditions (formerly known as the Cold Weather Exception), periods when temperatures drop and the General Assistance Emergency Housing rules are relaxed in order to keep our most vulnerable warm and dry on the coldest Vermont winter nights.

This winter, there were nine cold weather shelters in place to help respond to the increased need and two extreme cold weather emergency shelters opened for the first time over the last weekend in 2017, providing  additional shelter space in Rutland and Burlington where motel vacancies were scarce and requests for motel vouchers continued to rise due to sub-zero temperatures. The collaborative efforts of state and non-profit organizations in response to winter housing emergencies exemplify successful system coordination, and our collective efforts on many fronts will continue to improve the health and well-being of every member of our Vermont communities. Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral Specialists made more referrals to housing/shelter related resources in 2017 than in any other year.

Referrals to public assistance programs peaked in December. The majority of the referrals were to General Relief, an income maintenance program administered and funded by the State of Vermont that provides basic financial assistance for individuals and families to meet their emergency basic needs.

In 2018, Vermont 2-1-1 will continue to fulfill its founding mission of connecting all people in Vermont to the agencies, organizations, services, and resources that provide the help they need. Our Information and Referral Specialists, trained to respond with compassion, are answering calls 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. As always, the Vermont 2-1-1 database is available at vermont211.org. Look for a new and improved way to search for resources coming in 2018!

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.

Supporting Baby’s Brain Development


Did you know when a baby cries or babbles and the adult caring for them consistently responds with eye contact, words, appropriate facial expression and touch, they are helping to build the baby’s brain? It’s called serve and return, and these everyday back-and-forth interactions are essential experiences that affect a baby’s development.

Infants and young children reach out for social interaction by “serving” an attempt at attention, (like babbling). When caregivers “return” consistently in a direct and meaningful way (like eye contact and smiling), they provide an environment for the baby’s healthy emotional, social and cognitive development. These interactions help to build what is called “brain architecture”; they help to create neural connections in the brain.  These interactions become more complex as the child grows and they begin to use serve and return with adults to develop language and literacy skills.

On the other hand, if a caregiver’s responses are unreliable, inappropriate or absent, this disrupts the brain’s development and how the child processes information.  The negative effects can include an increased risk for emotional, behavioral and cognitive disorders. It can also alter the brain’s stress response system, creating greater risk of developing anxiety, depression and other chronic health problems. A breakdown in serve and return interaction is often due to the caregiver experiencing significant stresses, such as financial problems, chronic health and/or mental health issues and a lack of supportive social connections.

Genes and experiences play a part in the developing brain, and input from a child’s senses is the foundation the brain depends on. These serve and return interactions set the stage by providing positive stimulation and social interaction and reduce stress when the baby knows their need will be met. Building these neural pathways affects different areas of growth in the brain at a time when a child’s brain is experiencing the biggest amount of development. According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second in the first few years of a child’s life.

Help Me Grow VT Child Development Specialists can help you learn ways to support your child’s development and find community resources to support your family in stressful times. Visit our website or contact a Child Development Specialist by dialing 2-1-1 ext. 6 or by texting HMGVT to 898211.


Emergency Housing in Vermont


Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 877 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for December here.


Vermont 2-1-1 Web Statistics


In addition to the contact statistics, the following data is from the 2-1-1 website and shows how the public used the database search engine during the month of December:

Top Services: Holiday Gifts/Toys (569 searches); Christmas Programs (409 searches); Homeless Motel Vouchers (380 searches); Community Meals (153 searches); Clothing Donation Programs (148 searches)

Top Agencies: United Way of Northwest Vermont; Salvation Army (Rutland); Salvation (Burlington); Chances for Christmas; Vermont Department for Children and Families – Economic Services Division

Top Search by City: Burlington; Hancock; Brattleboro; New Haven; East Fairfield

Total Site Visits: 5126

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 2069


Tax Filling Season Is Here!


Vermont 2-1-1 partners with our local United Ways, many Community Action Agencies, and private non-profits to help connect Vermonters to free tax preparation across the state. Individuals must meet income eligibility guidelines to access the services offered by the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which serves thousands of Vermonters annually, but there are resources for everyone in the 2-1-1 database.

Whether you need information about Vermont Renters Rebate, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Federal IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers in VT, or where to find online tax preparation programs, simply dial 2-1-1, text your zip code to 898211, or search our database using the following terms:


Winter Warm Up Concerns


From Department of Public Safety – Division of Fire Safety

The National Weather has forecast a considerable warm-up through the first part of this weekend.

Recent extreme cold temperatures with snow accumulation has contributed to ice and snow buildup on roofs. With warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast- falling ice and heavy snow loads on roofs may present a hazard.

Please follow the safety tips below:

1. Keep all chimneys and fuel fired appliance vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building. Some vents, such as gas, oil, and pellet stove vents, may vent directly out of the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup on the outside of the building.

2. Keep all exits clear of snow, so that occupants can escape quickly if a fire, or other emergency should occur. Keep in mind windows should be cleared to allow a secondary means of escape in case the primary means of escape is blocked by fire. Keeping exits clear also allows emergency workers quick and easy access to your building.

3. Be alert when approaching buildings for overhanging ice and snow, with the warming weather and forecast of rain, the ice and snow could fall from the roofs at any time.

4. Monitor your roof drainage systems for blockage to ensure that your roofs are displacing the water as designed. Clear any ice, snow or debris as needed to assist with proper drainage.

5. Please check on your neighbors and assist them when you can, especially our most vulnerable, the elderly and those with restricted mobility.

6. Ensure your home is equipped with working smoke and CO alarms.


From Vermont 2-1-1’s New Staff Member, Stacy!


Vermont has always been my home. I earned a degree in Education, Human Services, and Professional Studies all at Vermont State Colleges. I have worked for the State of Vermont for the past 4 years, and before that I ran an after school program at Meeting Waters YMCA for 7. I love all that my tiny state has to offer. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling, dirt biking, camping, and all of the wonderful outdoor activities I can do in the area. I also am a powerlifter, dancer, and traveler, and I play volleyball year-round. I currently serve on the Meeting Waters YMCA Board of Directors, and I also am the Community College of Vermont Representative on the Vermont State Colleges Alumni Council. I am happy that I am able to still serve in a Human Services position, and I am excited about my new venture as Outreach Specialist with Vermont 2-1-1!

 

 

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Division of Fire Safety Press Release – Winter Warm Up Concerns

STATE OF VERMONT

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

DIVISION OF FIRE SAFETY

PRESS RELEASE

 

For Immediate Release:

 

Release Date:

January 9th, 2018

Time: 12:30 p.m.

CONTACTS:

Michael Desrochers, Executive Director – 802-479-7561

Division of Fire Safety – 1-800-640-2106 – or firesafety.vermont.gov

 

 

Winter Warm Up Concerns

 

The National Weather has forecast a considerable warm-up through the first part of this weekend.

 

Recent extreme cold temperatures with snow accumulation has contributed to ice and snow buildup on roofs. With warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast- falling ice and heavy snow loads on roofs may present a hazard.

 

Please follow the safety tips below:

 

1.     Keep all chimneys and fuel fired appliance vents clear to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the building. Some vents, such as gas, oil, and pellet stove vents, may vent directly out of the building through a wall and are susceptible to being blocked by excessive snow buildup on the outside of the building.

 

2.    Keep all exits clear of snow, so that occupants can escape quickly if a fire, or other emergency should occur. Keep in mind windows should be cleared to allow a secondary means of escape in case the primary means of escape is blocked by fire. Keeping exits clear also allows emergency workers quick and easy access to your building.

 

3.     Be alert when approaching buildings for overhanging ice and snow, with the warming weather and forecast of rain, the ice and snow could fall from the roofs at any time.

 

4.     Monitor your roof drainage systems for blockage to ensure that your roofs are displacing the water as designed. Clear any ice, snow or debris as needed to assist with proper drainage.

 

5.     Please check on your neighbors and assist them when you can, especially our most vulnerable, the elderly and those with restricted mobility.

 

6.     Ensure your home is equipped with working smoke and CO alarms.

 

About Vermont Division of Fire Safety

Vermont Division of Fire Safety’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders with coordinated efforts in code enforcement, fire service training, public education, hazardous materials and incident investigation to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the devastating effects of fires and other disasters and emergencies in the state. 

 

# # #

 

Update VT-Alert Profile – Click Here.  For info on VT-Alert, E-Mail: dps.vtalert@vermont.gov

 

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2018 Worksite Wellness Conference

2018 Worksite Wellness Conference

2018 Worksite Wellness Conference

2018 Worksite Wellness Conference: Worksite Wellness Essentials for a Thriving Workplace

Wednesday March 21, 2018
Burlington Hotel & Conference Center
870 Williston Road
Burlington, VT 05403
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Join hundreds of Vermont business owners, human resources professionals and wellness experts to learn strategies and best practices in worksite wellness, share your experiences, and expand your professional network. This year we will have a keynote speaker from leading Worksite Wellness Organization WELCOA, twelve breakout session options, and an all new Ask-the-Expert session!

register now (link is external)

Registration fees and deadlines

Deadline to register: March 10th

$78.00 for award winners
$104.00 per person before March 1st
$128.00 per person after March 1st
Information on Exhibiting

Green up your commute!

The Department of Health is partnering with Go! Vermont (link is external) to provide greener commuting options for the 2018 Worksite Wellness Conference. Any worksite sending six or more employees to the conference is eligible to rent a van at their local Enterprise car rental for only $25.00! Any adult employee can pick up the van the night before the conference and return it the evening after the conference. If you are sending fewer than six employees, or some of your employees commute a significant distance to work, please let us know and we can do a match with employers in your area for a vanpool from your town or region! Please email ashwinee.kulkarni@vermont.gov if you are interested in a vanpool.

Rather take the bus? Every attendee that takes a vanpool or commutes to the venue by bus will enter a raffle to win one of five free gas cards!

Conference Agenda

7:30 a.m. – Registration

8:30 a.m. Welcome

Janet Franz – Chair, Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
Mark Levine, MD – Commissioner, Vermont Department of Health
Governor Phil Scott (invited)
Worksite Wellness Awards and Poster Session

10:00 – Keynote Address with Q&A

Sara Rauch – WELCOA

11:00 a.m. – Break

Exhibits & Networking

11:15 a.m. – Concurrent Workshops

  1. Engaging Management and Wellness Teams in the Creation of Supportive Environments – Judd Allen, Human Resources Institute, LLC
  2. Improving Productivity, Profits, and Opportunity Through an Innovative Co-Generational Workplace–  Liz Vogel, Dots, Inc.
  3. Advancing Your Employee Wellness Program: Strategies and tools for evaluation (part 1) – Lindsay Simpson, The Richards Group
  4. Working Recovery :Supporting Vermont’s Vulnerable Workforce – Multiple Speakers, Chittenden County Opioid Alliance
  5. Health and Emotional Wellbeing in the Workplace: Behavior Screening and Intervention as an Effective Approach to Wellness – Steven Dickens, InvestEAP
  6. Successful Program Planning: Meeting Employees at their Level of Readiness Multiple – Speakers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont

12:15 p.m. – Lunch

Exhibits & Networking

1:30 p.m. – Concurrent Workshops

  1. Aligning People, Place and Purpose for Meaningful Wellness Interventions – Sara Rauch, WELCOA
  2. Harness the Power of Play – Lizzy Pope, University of Vermont & Marguerite Dibble, Game Theory
  3. Advancing Your Employee Wellness Program: Strategies and tools for evaluation (part 2) –Lindsay Simpson, The Richards Group
  4. Best Practices When Launching a Continuous Incentive Wellness Challenge –Nick Patel, Wellable, Inc.
  5. Physical Activity in the Workplace for  Strength, Vitality and Injury Prevention –Michael Hughes, Injury & Health Management Solutions, Inc., Seth Rebeor, Injury & Health Management Solutions, Inc. & Heather Main, Main Wellness
  6. Promising Practices in Population Health – Speakers, Rise VT & Central Vermont Medical Center

2:35 p.m. – Fitness Intermission

3:00 p.m.

 – Ask the Experts Session

4:00 p.m. – Adjourn

View Session Descriptions

View Speaker Bios

View The Flyer Here

The 2018 Worksite Wellness Conference is sponsored by:

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Lift Up! Fundraiser is January 20th

Event rescheduled for Saturday, January 20 due to weather! Don’t miss it!

Join Green Mountain CrossFit and Green Mountain United Way for a day of weightlifting to raise funds for Green Mountain United Way on Saturday, January 20. Fifty percent of all proceeds go straight to Green Mountain United Way to support the fantastic work they do in and around our local community. Come try for a new personal record and support a great cause. Green Mountain United Way supports communities in Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans, and Washington Counties through work in the areas of health, education and financial stability.

“Green Mountain CrossFit is clearly committed to a healthy community, both through their work to help people become fit, but also in their dedication to supporting Green Mountain United Way’s work in our region” says Tawnya Kristen, Executive Director of Green Mountain United Way. “This event provides the opportunity to share the load in lifting up the health, education and financial stability of all in our communities through the joy of lifting your personal best!” Tawnya Kristen is also a participant in the Lift Up! Benefit.

Format will be a single registration at $50. Registration allows you to establish a one rep max in any or all of six lifts: Shoulder Press, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift, Snatch, and Clean & Jerk. This is a non-sanctioned, family-friendly lifting event and is open to all ages and abilities. During last year’s event many personal bests were reached, and we expect more of the same this year with support from an enthusiastic crowd of lifters, CrossFit athletes, and the local community. Lifting is not required to attend, and we encourage the general public to show up and cheer on regular folks from the local community doing extraordinary lifts for a great cause.

For more information about the competition go to www.facebook.com/greenmountaincrossfit. Register online at www.greenmountaincrossfit.com. For more information about the event, contact Green Mountain CrossFit at their Berlin location at 802-229-4131 or at nick@greenmountaincrossfit.com

About Green Mountain United Way: Green Mountain United Way is a Vermont not-for-profit organization in operation since 1976. They work to improve the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community in Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans and Washington Counties by mobilizing the caring power of communities around our region to advance the common good. No other single organization has the scope and influence to bring together human service agencies, government, businesses, private foundations and dedicated volunteers around a common vision of creating maximum impact and achieving long-lasting results.

Contact Green Mountain United Way, 73 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 802-613-3989 or info@gmunitedway.org

About Green Mountain CrossFit: GMCF is community fitness facility with locations at 645 Granger Road in Berlin, VT and at 735 Brooklyn Street in Morrisville, VT. Green Mountain CrossFit hosts a variety of movement classes every day in their multi-use spaces including CrossFit, yoga, kettlebells, personal fitness instruction and more in partnership with local and in-house instructors. Their goal is to change the lives of members through the constant pursuit of quality movement within a supportive community. They believe that the key to a healthy population is a multi-dimensional fitness environment that provides opportunities for a social and family experience, skill building through sports, and sustainable pursuit of fitness or athletic performance goals and tailor their programs to support this vision.
Contact Green Mountain CrossFit, 645 Granger Road, Berlin, Vermont, 802-229-4131 or nick@greenmountaincrossfit.com

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Updated FamilyWize App Is Now Available!

FamilyWize Logo
Seasons Greetings

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very festive, healthy and relaxing holiday season.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Joe Sanginiti
Joe Sanginiti
 

 

 

Updated FamilyWize App Is Now Available!

What’s New?

Pharmacy location notifications! You can now opt in to be reminded to use FamilyWize when you walk into your selected pharmacy.

Download and use the brand new FamilyWize app today!

FamilyWize App
Apple Store Google Play

 

Did You Know?

You can use the FamilyWize card and app for all of your
REFILLS, too?

Every time you go to the pharmacy, make sure you bring along your card or app and show it to the pharmacist. This will ensure you get the lowest possible price on your meds!

 

FamilyWize Card
Download a Free Card
December Newsletter
Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin Pinterest You Tube

 

 

 


FamilyWize/UW Logo
 

© Copyright 2017 FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, Inc.

 

 

 

 

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Are You Looking for a Way to Help YOUR Community This Holiday Season?

Try giving to the Green Mountain United Way!

Our mission, simply put, is “Mobilizing communities to create lasting changes in local conditions that will improve lives“.

This goes a long way with your support!

There are lots of ways to give and make your donation count!

Check out our Ways to Give page for complete details and how you can choose the options that fit your needs!

Methods of giving include:

  • Direct Giving
  • Leadership Giving
  • Planned Giving

If you are shopping online this holiday season, why not give through Amazon Smile?  Simply choose Green Mountain United Way as your donation organization and a portion of your purchase goes toward GMUW!  What do you have to loose?

Come on…choose Amazon Smile when you make your online purchases today…

This is OUR community, we ALL Live United, and together we can help make a change that does last.

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Teaching the Importance of Gratitude

 

Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Contact Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl


Winter has definitely arrived and the rise in November’s contact volume remains a true harbinger of our cold weather season. The 5,030 contacts received at the 2-1-1 contact center make November’s total the fourth highest since March of this year. Falling temperatures during the month of November each year means the beginning of the winter spike in calls for Emergency Housing and Utility Assistance! Referrals to resources for help with emergency housing and utility assistance are the highest since February. This is an annual trend that we here at 2-1-1 have come to expect and to prepare for each fall.  All of our emergency housing partners know well that the numbers will continue to rise as winter settles in and temperatures continue to fall. The After-Hours Emergency Housing Program Report is available for your review through the link below.

Vermont’s Seasonal Fuel Assistance program, a supplemental benefit that offers assistance with payment for a portion of eligible Vermonters’ winter heating bills, undeniably makes a difference – sometimes large, sometimes small – in the lives of thousands of Vermonters who struggle under the seasonal burden of keeping their homes adequately heated.  Still, the most vulnerable of our community members are often left with the very real and often impossible challenge of keeping their heads above water through the cold winter months, and our contact center referrals will continue to reflect the difficult choices these Vermonters must make.

Another sure sign of the onset of the winter season and the anxieties it brings for many is reflected in the number of calls received for information about holiday programs. Seventy five percent of the calls for Individual and Family Support Programs this month were from Vermonters looking for assistance that would allow their families to participate in the traditions that make the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays a time of celebration. Historically, November calls begin to reflect the anxiety that the upcoming holidays provoke for many Vermonters, and it is with certainty that 2-1-1 contact specialists can state that these calls will continue to grow both in number and in desperation right up through December 24th. This November’s call volume in this sub-category shows a twenty-five percent increase over last November, and the number of referrals made to holiday programs in November has grown threefold over October.

A noteworthy increase this month is in the area of Public Assistance Programs sub-category. The total of 215 referrals is the highest amount of referrals for this category all year. Primarily, referrals were made to General Relief, an income maintenance program administered and funded entirely by each county that provides basic financial assistance for people who are indigent. Services available through the program may include cash allowances for qualifying individuals who have targeted special needs, emergency assistance in the form of temporary housing for people who are homeless, and the means to return to the state of legal residence for people who are stranded. This sub-category also includes referrals to Reach Up, 3SquaresVT, WIC and other State and Federal public assistance programs.

As we enter the “giving season” let’s do our best to remember that we grow by giving of ourselves. If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to reach out a helping hand, consider doing so today. Our data shows that Vermont’s community food shelves, local emergency financial assistance programs, and holiday giving programs are responding to the needs of our neighbors as best they can.  You can make a difference! As this year’s November statistics show, the need continues to be great!  Consider contacting Vermont 2-1-1 for suggestions about holiday donations and volunteer opportunities in your region.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly contact volume report here.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month


January has been proclaimed as the Human Trafficking Awareness Month, a title that underscores the need to destigmatize important discussions about human trafficking and call attention to key facts and realities about human slavery. Following the start of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in 2010 and in collaboration with multiple national non-profit organizations, National Human Trafficking Day was established and is observed annually on January 11th.

At Vermont 2-1-1, we believe it matters that our nation directs time, energy, and resources to responding to the problem of human trafficking. We have therefore agreed to be the designated number to call to access Vermont’s Rapid Response Support System (RRSS) that works to ensure that actual and potential victims of human trafficking receive support tailored to their needs from first responders such as law enforcement and emergency medical providers.

2-1-1 also actively participates in efforts to raise public awareness about the issue of human trafficking, and we hope that our commitment assists with mobilizing our fellow Vermonters to work to end what is essentially modern day slavery that exploits people’s dreams, robs them of their dignity, and violates their basic human rights.
Victims of human trafficking can be any age, gender, race, or immigration status; they live in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Human traffickers relentlessly canvass ways to take advantage of people who face extreme adversity, violence, discrimination, or economic vulnerability and dependence.

Dial 2-1-1 to contact Vermont’s Rapid Response Service System. You can also visit vermont211.org to learn more about services and resources available to victims or to learn more about ways to get involved with efforts to end human trafficking. Use the following terms in our database to locate resources and agencies related to human trafficking prevention/intervention.

Terms: 

– Human Trafficking Hotlines
– Human Trafficking Prevention

Agencies:

Give Way to Freedom
Polaris
Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services


Vermont 2-1-1 Web Statistics


In addition to the contact statistics, the following data is from the 2-1-1 website and shows how the public used the database search engine during the month of November:

Top Services: Thanksgiving Programs (695 searches);
Christmas Programs (524 searches); Holiday Toys/Gifts (482 searches); Homeless Motel Vouchers (329 searches); Clothing Donation Programs (222 searches)

Top Agencies: Salvation Army (Rutland); United Ways of Northwest Vermont; Salvation Army (Burlington); Chances for Christmas; HOPE

Top Search by City: Burlington; Hancock; Middlebury; Saint Albans City; Rutland

Total Site Visits: 6302

Unique (First-Time) Visitors: 2898


Emergency Housing in Vermont


Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 759 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for November here.


Teaching the Importance of Gratitude


The holiday season is the perfect time to think about the importance of gratitude. Most parents teach their children to say thank you, but being thankful and appreciative of the good things you have goes beyond manners and etiquette. Children who express and understand  what they are thankful for have less stress, a sense of belonging and are able to relate to other people’s feelings.

It’s natural for kids to be materialistic and self-serving at times. It takes time for small children to learn how to control impulsiveness, learn to share and handle strong emotions. But toddlers and preschoolers are great at modeling the behavior of the adults in their life. So start by setting a good example; show your gratitude for big and small things from gifts to a warm sunny day.

By grade school, children have a greater ability to think more deeply and can reflect on their day. Ask your child what they are grateful for each day at dinner or bedtime and share what you were grateful for today and why.
Some other ideas for teaching gratitude are; focus on the positives in your day, help children write thank you notes, make giving or volunteering a habit, have your child help you set aside toys and clothes to be donated to local charities and teach children to thank those who serve.

Most of all, remember to be patient. Kids can’t be forced into showing appreciation, but being a role model and using everyday gentle efforts can teach your child gratitude as a way of life.

 

 

 

Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA

 

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Working Bridges Lunch & Learns

Does your business struggle with employee retention, productivity, and advancement?

Is your HR team challenged by employees whose life issues impact their work-life?

Does your HR team struggle to keep up with employees’ changing needs?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes and your business has 25 or more employees, we invite you to join us to hear about how the innovative Working Bridges program and your local United Way can help you meet your business goals through employee support by bringing human service resources to the workplace. We welcome Human Resource professionals, managers, and directors to attend.

  • December 12, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at the NVDA Conference Room- 36 Eastern Ave, St Johnsbury, VT 05819 – Lunch & Learn and networking
  • December 14, 2017, 12:00-1:30 pm at The Gateway Center, 84 Fyfe Drive, Newport, VT  – Lunch & Learn and networking

Register Now

This unique program has been available in Chittenden County for a decade and has been helping employers large and small to reduce turnover, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity and now it is available to businesses in Caledonia, Orleans, Essex, Orange and Washington Counties. Discover how this low-cost, high-value program can help your business succeed.

We’ll discuss how bringing existing community resources to employees can help them move from a crisis to a place of stability and increased productivity at work. We will demonstrate how the Income Advance Loans help employees avoid predatory lending and build credit, resulting in increased savings and assets. And we’ll talk about how the four employee-facing program elements work to increase retention at your business.

A light lunch will be served at both events. Please RSVP for the date and location of your choice. Space is limited. If you are unable to attend after you RSVP, please contact Carrie Stahler at Green Mountain United Way (cstahler@gmunitedway.org) to open your seat up for someone else. More than one person from each business is welcome to attend.

This program is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation through a partnership with the United Way Worldwide and is generously supported by NVDA and the Northen Border Regional Commission.

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