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?
GREAT! Nominate them here:
After we receive your nomination, we will contact your volunteer for an interview. Volunteer of the Month articles appear monthly in the Times Argus. Read about all of our past Volunteers of the Month here!
Thank you to you and to all of the incredible volunteers that make our community a better place!
Financial coaching is an emerging practice that helps clients learn to set and achieve their financial goals.
Green Mountain United Way, in partnership with Capstone Community Action, presents Introduction to Financial Coaching. This interactive 4-day training is open to agency staff, peers, and volunteers and is a prerequisite to becoming a Financial Coach with Green Mountain United Way’s K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching Program. This program provides additional supports for coaches including one-on-one Master Coaching sessions, peer-to-peer support, and ongoing training by local and regional experts in finance and coaching practices, along with access to all course materials. This program builds an individual coach’s skills while helping clients.
DATES: October 8-10, 2019 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm with a follow-up class on Dec 5, 2019 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
All four training dates take place in Capstone Community Action in Barre.
In this training, we will define financial coaching, provide financial capability content and demonstrate the benefits of using coaching in helping people to achieve financial success. This program uses the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Your Money, Your Goals,” a comprehensive financial empowerment toolkit created for financial coaches, caseworkers, and other human service professionals in various roles to support the integration of financial education into their one-on-one work with clients.
Join us for coffee, doors open at 8:45 am, and the training starts promptly at 9:00 am. Lunch will be provided. The $100 fee covers instruction, materials, and food for all four days of the course.
The Fall 2019 Cohort of Financial Coaches is limited to 18 people – we expect this cohort to fill, please register for Intro to Financial Coaching early if you would like to join this program. Participation in this training is required to become a K.E.E.P. Financial Coach. For information about how K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching can impact your client-facing work, please read more here.
October 8-10, 2019
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Follow up class on Dec 5, 2019
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Capstone Community Action
Main Training Room, First Floor
20 Gable Place
Cost: $100 includes materials, light breakfast, and lunch for all four days of the training. Please pay by check to Green Mountain United Way, 73 Main Street #33, Montpelier, VT 05602 after you register using this link or the form below.
ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS RELATED TO A DISABILITY AND SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS SHOULD BE MADE AT LEAST TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THE EVENT BY CONTACTING BECKIE BLOUIN AT RBLOUIN@GMUNITEDWAY.ORG OR 802.613.3989.
Below are resources for Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinators to use in order to learn how the United Way Volunteer Connection works, to sign up for the Volunteer Connection, or to trouble-shoot challenges on the Volunteer Connection. If you need more help than these resources offer, reach out to Carrie or Beckie at 802-613-3989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick Start Guide (START HERE! Use this guide to sign up, set up, and update all of your nonprofit’s info and volunteer opportunities)
Login to the GMUW Volunteer Connection
Video Resources from our partners at Galaxy Digital, the folks who support our Volunteer Connection database:
- Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator (Agency Manager) Training: The Experience
- Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator (Agency Manager) Training: Opportunity Scheduling
- Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator (Agency Manager Training: Check-In
- Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator (Agency Manager) Training: User Experience
- Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator (Agency Manager) Training: Volunteer Self Check-In
We hold periodic trainings to help our nonprofit partners train new staff, stay up to date, learn new tips and tricks, and make the most efficient use of the Volunteer Connection. Stay tuned for the next training date – we try to combine these with peer meetings you can learn from your fellow Volunteer Coordinators!
Thank you sponsors, players, and volunteers! Thanks to you our 2019 Golf Classic was a huge success, raising over $15,000 for our community!
A special thank you for our Silver Sponsors:
Congratulations to all of our winners and to our incredible local businesses who provided prizes for our players!
|Men’s Closest to Pin 4||DRM||Steve Bigras|
|Men’s Closest to Pin 7||Black River/NorthCountry||Jess Dahline|
|Men’s Closest to Pin 13||Nat. Business Tech.||Scott Crossett|
|Men’s Closest to Pin 16||DRM||Connor Garand|
|Men’s Straight Drive 9|
|Men’sLongest Drive 18|
|Women’s Closest to Pin 4||Vermont Mutual||Annett Lamell|
|Women’s Closest to Pin 7||No winner|
|Women’s Closest to Pin 13||No winner|
|Women’s Closest to Pin 16||VSECU||Eileen Mead-Belanger|
|Women’s Straight Drive 9||No Winner|
|Women’s Longest Drive 18||VSECU||Yvonne Garand|
|1st Gross||Granite City Group Fitness||Tullar, Evans, Evans, Garand|
|1st Net||Comm. Nat. Bank||Rubel, Mitiguy, Hughart, Stone|
|2nd Gross||Convenience Plus||McCarthy, Milne, Quinn Maclean|
|2nd Net||Black River/North Country||Robinson, Dahline, Stumpo, Adorisio|
|3rd Gross||Vermont Mutual||Taylor, Stark, Chalous, Thurston|
|Spirit of the Game||VSECU||Gosselin, Bristow, Mead-Belanger, Huysman|
|Smash the Glass Winner||Comm. Nat. Bank||Jay Mitiguy|
Green Mountain United Way Golf Classic
Friday, July 26, 2019
at the Country Club of Barre (18-hole course)
Shotgun Start at 9:00 am
Join us to support the community and have fun while you do it at the 15th Annual Green Mountain United Way Annual Golf Classic! A beautiful day on the green makes you a partner in United Way’s fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community in our five-county region including Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Orange and Washington counties.
We are glad to have you on our team for this tournament and in our work to bring together individuals, businesses, government, human service agencies and volunteers around a common vision to create maximum impact and achieve long-lasting results. Your support helps foster children transition to a new home with a backpack of their own, helps families get the financial skills they need to make sure they have stable, healthy lives and helps low-income employees access the resources they need to thrive. Don’t miss your chance to join us! Registration and Sponsorship are NOW OPEN!
Thanks to our committed 2019 Sponsors!
Silver Level Sponsors
Register for $100 per individual golfer or $400 per team of four
ALL Registrations Include: Greens Fees, Two Carts, Registration Gifts, and Dinner
Register online using the button below or download our registration form and mail it with your check.
Founded in 1924, the Country Club of Barre is considered one of the “must play” courses in central Vermont. Nestled in the rolling hills of Plainfield Vermont, the Country Club of Barre offers a unique and rewarding golf experience.
You will not only experience golf at its finest, but you will also enjoy scenic views of the beautiful Vermont landscape while you golf.
The course is designed with all players in mind, from the beginner to the experienced. From high handicap to low handicap, all levels of experience will find the course challenging and rewarding
Format: 4 player scramble. The traditional format where all players tee off, the best shot is selected, and the process is repeated until a ball is holed. Every team must use at least three tee shots from each player.
Smash The Glass Contest: Our friends at Portland Glass will be there with their Smash The Glass set-up. Smash the Glass & win some cash!
Hospitality: Gifts for all golfers at tournament check-in, plus complimentary light snacks and bottled water out on the course from the refreshment cart.
50/50 Raffle: The total amount raised will be split between the winner and Green Mountain United Way to benefit their programs and ongoing work within the community.
Dinner: Immediately following the tournament the meal will begin featuring the world-class food from the Cornerstone Catering. A cash bar will also be available.
Prizes & Awards: Many prizes awarded for High Score, Longest Drive, Closest to Pin, Low Gross/Net and more.
8:00 am On-site registration begins. Please be sure to arrive no later than 8:15 am to allow time to check-in and warm-up on the putting green and driving range.
8:50 am Welcome announcement from Sponsors, Country Club and Green Mountain United Way. Golfers then proceed to their designated holes for a 9:00 am shotgun start.
9:00 am Shotgun start.
1:00 pm(approximate) Luncheon begins as teams return
2:00 pm(approximate) 50/50 Raffle winner announced, followed by contest winner awards, and tournament low gross/low net winning team awards.
3:00 pm Event concludes
Become a Sponsor and help us reach our goal fo $20,000 to support our community!
Support Green Mountain United Way and have fun doing it! Click the drop-down to see the benefits of each sponsorship level. We work to support our entire community and so will your sponsorship dollars. To become a Corporate Sponsor, call Carrie at 802-613-3989 to find the right level for you, or simply download our 2019 Sponsorship Form, fill it out and email it to Carrie Stahler at cstahler[at] gmunitedway.org.
Sponsorship Goal for 2019: $20,000
4 complimentary registrations for your staff, Plus all other items offered at Eagle Level (except registrations)
Social media recognition of your business
by Green Mountain United Way Volunteer Writer Robert Barossi
An estimated 20.7 million adults in the United States needed treatment for drug or substance abuse in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. One national nonprofit working to provide a unique approach to recovery support is The Phoenix. Founded in 2006, the organization works to provide a sober active community for people in recovery and now offers free activity programs in many states, where it has served over 26,000 people since it’s inception.
Arriving here in 2018, The Phoenix has a number of programs in central Vermont, including one led by CrossFit coach, and volunteer of the month, Troy Lawson.
“I’ve been a personal trainer for a lot of years,” he says. “It was back in 2012 when I started doing CrossFit and I fell l in love with the idea of class participation and having an instructor and having somebody oversee your movement and oversee how you are moving. I was just drawn to it and I went and got certified and started coaching at Green Mountain CrossFit.”
Troy heard about The Phoenix program through Tawnya Kristen, of Green Mountain United Way, who was one of the driving forces behind bringing it to Vermont. “Tawnya started hosting the first class in Vermont at Green Mountain CrossFit and she was encouraging people to help out and volunteer,” he says. “She wasn’t really sure what the impact was going to be on the community but it’s been huge.”
He notes that one of the requirements to take part in the program while in recovery is that participants have to have 48 hours of continuous sobriety. “The goal was to try to set up something in the central Vermont area that would keep their interest peaked at least every 48 hours. When Tawnya started reaching out to try to find another location to host The Phoenix, she reached out to me cause I have a relationship with Washington County Mental Health. She knew I had some space down there to host another one of the programs. She drew me in that way and it’s been amazing.”
While he wasn’t necessarily looking for volunteer opportunities, Troy comments that everything fell into place really well. “It wasn’t a hard decision,” he adds. “I had to think about it for a little while, of course, but I was willing to do it. To participate in The Phoenix and see what Tawnya and Shannon Brennan [a mental health counselor at Central Vermont Substance Abuse] have brought to the central Vermont area, it’s pretty amazing, it’s really hard to say no to them.”
“It isn’t a replacement for the meetings and it’s not a replacement for the 12-step program,’ Troy says. “There’s a lot of stigma around recovery, so The Phoenix gives them a positive way to interact with each other that maybe was lacking. So that’s one piece. There’s the fitness piece, giving them the opportunity to experience something that’s going to benefit them in the long run. Another piece is that these people are in a pretty vulnerable spot in their lives and Tawnya is really gentle and kind and she’s very welcoming. That definitely made it more appealing for me to be a part of something that was bigger than myself.”
On Saturdays, you may find Troy helping Tawnya at Green Mountain CrossFit, but his Wednesday night programs happen at Washington County Mental Health’s WellSpace in Barre. He calls the diversity of people who participate in the program fascinating, noting the wide variety. “One thing I’ve learned is addiction is across the board. Men and women. Older and younger. It doesn’t matter how much income you have or any of that stuff. It’s really amazing to see the folks that come there and allow themselves to be vulnerable and put themselves out there and they’re trying something new.”
And while CrossFit can seem a little intimidating at first to some, the program is also open to anyone, regardless of their fitness level. Nobody is turned away. At the same time, Troy notes, CrossFit provides an amazing sense of community because everyone works together as a group.
“It’s definitely bigger than yourself. Your giving back to something that’s really a big deal,” Troy says, adding that there are moments of true vulnerability and sharing of personal stories which he says can be powerful, difficult and inspiring. “To just be a part of something like that and to give that to my community is pretty cool. It’s hard to put into words exactly how it feels. I just feel grateful that they allow me to be a part of their recovery.”
Local Heroes is a feature compiled by the Green Mountain United Way focusing on the contributions of local volunteers whose gift of time benefits local nonprofit organizations in Green Mountain United Way’s five-county service territory. For more information, or to nominate a volunteer to be featured here, go to www.gmunitedway.org/volunteer-of-the-month.
by Robert Barossi, Green Mountain United Way volunteer writer
Bluegrass bands. Vaudeville acts. Magicians and hypnotists. If all that and more is happening and it’s New Year’s Eve in Vermont, you may be in St. Johnsbury. And if you are at First Night North in St. Johnsbury, then somewhere in the crowd is volunteer Jay Sprout, doing whatever he can to make the event a success.
A native of Ohio, Jay came to New England by way of Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. He eventually set his sights on the northern part of the region, where he felt more at home. In 1982, Jay landed in St. Johnsbury, where he took a position as the minister of the North Congregational Church.
“My church strongly supported me having community involvement and they were totally behind me giving part of my time to working on first night. I had a flexible schedule and could schedule times when I would be working on first night in addition to my job,” he says.
The original impetus to start working on a first night event was twenty-six years ago, after Jay attended first night in Burlington, something he describes as “a very positive community experience.” After that, he and the pastor at South Congregational Church in St. Johnsbury talked about having a similar event in their city, something “that would be similar, on a smaller scale perhaps, but would be just as positive for the community and provide an equal range of entertainment on New Year’s Eve and cut down on the use of substances, drugs and alcohol.”
“That has always been a focus of first nights in general and we thought it would be a very positive part of what we could do with our first night in St. Johnsbury,” he adds, noting that it has been a very successful event in that regard. “So far as I know, there has not been any police action needed on New Year’s Eve in St. Johnsbury since we started.”
Jay’s involvement with first night has changed and grown since it began, back when the event was funded by a federal grant aimed at substance abuse prevention. “The original people who put it together with that federal grant did a fantastic job of identifying the many venues in St. Johnsbury where entertainment could be held and then regional entertainers who wanted to participate,” Jay says. “They really set the model and we had such an enormous success that first year that it sort of took off. We have certainly expanded the number of venues. Last year, we had eighteen venues in thirteen buildings, for eight hours, presenting, I think, 83 acts by 60 or so different groups or artists.”
For the past nine years, Catamount Arts has played a large role in keeping first night going and successful, and Jay has remained as involved as ever. He says his favorite role is “the actual curating and figuring out who is going to come and trying to put together a program that offers a wide variety of entertainment. The vast majority of first night entertainment is musicians, we try to make sure that we have music to suit every taste, all the way from bluegrass and folk to classical performances and everything in between. You name it, I think we’ve pretty much covered it.”
Those acts, including Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing’s bluegrass band, Vermont Vaudeville, Nimble Arts Ruckus Circus, magician hypnotist Marko, and many more, fill the numerous St. Johnsbury venues for eight and a half hours, from 4pm until after the midnight fireworks. The diverse variety of acts originate from all over our region and Jay notes it’s not just the performers who come from far and wide.
“We really do think of this as a regional event that covers northern New Hampshire as well as the upper valley of Vermont and New Hampshire and all the way to Newport,” he says. “St. Johnsbury is really blessed with a lot of really good venues that are all in a pretty tight area, so that people can get from one end to the other and walk about a half-mile. That is really remarkable. It’s very different from other cities that try to hold these kinds of events.”
If Jay’s work with First Night North seems like a year-round job, it is. And, while it may be a lot of work, it’s worth it for Jay when he walks around on New Year’s Eve and sees people of all types having a really good time. “It’s far more inclusive of the entire community than a lot of the other arts performances tend to be. We also try to make sure that everybody can afford it, so the price is kept low. For those who really can’t afford it, we have connections with social service agencies and we give away three to five hundred free buttons every year to families.”
“As I walk down the street, a lot of people recognize me and say thank you. It obviously makes me feel good that they recognize that we have given a wonderful gift to the community,” he notes, adding, “At the same time, I feel very humbled because I know that I don’t do it alone by any means.”
Still, there are some who are unaware of the event or aren’t interested because first nights, in general, can sometimes get a bad rap. “Any time I get a chance to talk to somebody who hasn’t found out about it, I try to give them a picture of what a wonderful community event it is and how much fun they can have on New Year’s Eve without going to a party that is serving alcohol or just being isolated unto themselves,” Jay says. “The community experience is really wonderful. People who attend are also ambassadors for the event and I hear time and time again how much it’s become their own New Year’s Eve tradition.”
Being a part of that tradition is just one of Jay’s volunteer efforts, which also include being on the Board of Directors for Northeast Kingdom Habitat for Humanity, among other community activities. He points to the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, “It is in giving that we receive,” as one reason why he puts so much time, energy, passion and dedication into these efforts, adding, “I think that’s a truth about life. If you live it in isolation, you definitely are missing out on what life is all about.”
The Local Heros is a monthly feature compiled by the Green Mountain United Way focusing on the contributions of local volunteers whose efforts benefit local nonprofit organizations in Green Mountain United Way’s service territory in Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans and Washington Counties. For more information, or to nominate a volunteer to be featured here, go to www.gmunitedway.org/volunteer-of-the-month.
Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
Is your United Way participating in the 2019 National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive? Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.
Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 25 years.
Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.
United Way is proud to support the Stamp Out Hunger Fund Drive.
Download the flyer HERE.
April is National Volunteer Month and here at United Way, we know that Volunteers make the world go ’round!
For so many nonprofits, volunteers are the beating heart of our work and make many of our local nonprofit’s missions possible. This month, we want to sing it from the hilltops, so we’re hosting a virtual Volunteer Share!
We’d like your help – get in on the action by printing the “I volunteer because…” sign (link below) and posting a photo of yourself on
How it works:
- Print the sign
why you volunteer! (could be as simple as “because it makes me happy!” or as complicated as you like, just make it legible! There is a word doc in case typing is easier.) in
- Take a selfie or have someone take your photo holding the sign
- Post it on your Facebook page and tag Green Mountain United Way and then post it on our Facebook page (better yet, also tag the organization you volunteer for!)
- Email it to me and we’ll post it on our page and here on this blog post!