2015 Snapshot of Vermont

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Update

 


Vermont 2-1-1

2015 Snapshot of Vermont
2-1-1

Thanks to Vermont 2-1-1 thousands of Vermonters are finding the help they need just a phone call away. In February, United Ways of Vermont celebrated the 11th year the statewide information and referral program has been in service. Now more than ever people need a place to turn for help. By simply dialing 2-1-1, they get the help they need, the compassion they deserve and the opportunities to succeed.

Some highlights in 2015 include:

-To deliver the highest quality of service, new phone technology was installed to better handle peak phone call times and to answer the call anywhere, especially helpful in case of an emergency or disaster.

-A new web component was introduced that allows visitors to run real time data at the touch of their fingers. Visit this website to run your own report. 

-The launch of Help Me Grow Vermont, a statewide system for improving access to existing resources and services for children birth to age 8 and their caregivers. Vermont 2-1-1 provides a central access point for parents and caregivers questions about children’s behavior and development, identify children that are at risk and connect them to resources and services in their community.

-Vermont 2-1-1 began the process for re-accreditation with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems. This annual snapshot serves to highlight just how much Vermont 2-1-1’s value has grown.

View and download Vermont 2-1-1’s annual Snapshot here. For more information please contact Vermont 2-1-1’s Executive Director, MaryEllen Mendl.

Vermont 2-1-1
Monthly Call
Volume Report

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl


High call volume totals in January have made for a busy start to the year at the 2-1-1 call center!  Contact specialists responded to over 3,500 calls which is a return to the much more typical winter call volume. The milder start to the winter, coupled with the lower heating fuel costs, contributed to minimal increases in Housing and Utility assistance calls during the final months of 2015. However, January’s data, with calls related to Housing/Shelter doubling over December’s total, shows that the stress that winter months typically place on many Vermont households was simply delayed.  In January the number of after-hours emergency housing calls climbed to 677 requests for emergency shelter.  

Vermont 2-1-1continues to provide after-hours provisional housing for the Department of Children and Families and historically, the Agency of Human Services’ Cold Weather Exception Policy has allowed individuals who would not normally meet the eligibility criteria to be housed on the coldest winter nights.  The number of nights during which temperatures have been cold enough to meet the Cold  Weather  Exception criteria has been significantly less thus far this winter than for 2014-15.

Once again, the month of January began 2-1-1’s “tax season”!   Historically, the three and a half month  tax filing season has been responsible for a spike in call volume.  All Vermonters can call 2-1-1 for accurate information about local the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program closest to them or for information about free, online e-filing preparation assistance. Taxpayers who live or work in Windham, Windsor and Chittenden Counties, can dial 2-1-1 to be directly transferred to a tax scheduler to make their appointments. Vermont 2-1-1 Call Specialists can also provide information about income eligibility guidelines and screening.

VITA, the annual program for which IRS certified volunteers provide free tax filing help to low-to-moderate income tax payers, elderly taxpayers, and military personnel and their families, is central to increasing the number of families who are financially stable by saving them the cost of tax preparation and helping them claim all tax credits for which they are eligible. It is anticipated that a further increase in call volume and tax related calls will occur in February, as each year more and more Vermonters realize that a call to 2-1-1 provides them with the information they need to access these important services.

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

Update from Help Me Grow


Help Me Grow Vermont has received over 150 calls and has made over 180 referrals on behalf of families since launching our phone line. The top 5 caller concerns/issues were regarding basic needs, child care, parent support, family functioning and developmental concerns. More than a third of the families calling requested ongoing telephone care coordination from the Help Me Grow Child Development Specialists. As part of our continued outreach, we have begun distributing Help Me Grow VT posters in English and in 9 other languages* to reach all families in Vermont, including new American, immigrant and refugee families. Our outreach has also included presenting at the Vermont Head Start Association meeting, UVM Pediatrics New American Clinic, UVM Primary Care and Public Health Integration Workgroup and VCHIP Early Care and Educational Programs Developmental Screening training.  We are also happy to announce we have hired a new Child Development Specialist, Megan Fitzgerald. Megan’s first day will be on March 1st and we are looking forward to her joining our Help Me Grow team.

*If your business or organization would like Help Me Grow VT materials (posters, postcards, milestone booklets) please dial 2-1-1 and speak to a Help Me Grow Child Development Specialist.

Looking to Serve in the New Year?


Vermont 2-1-1 Resource Specialists are in the field learning about community resources all the time. Check out this resource corner to learn about the latest updates, timely information and stories from the field.


Is your New Year’s resolution to get involved by volunteering your time or to a worthy organization?  There are many volunteer opportunities across the state from mentoring a child to helping at your local Humane Society to helping shovel snow for a senior.  Visit Vermont 2-1-1’s website and explore our database using the word Volunteer to see what is available or Call 2-1-1 to speak to an Information and Referral Specialist for further assistance.

Family Service Related Volunteer Opportunities
Transportation Volunteer Opportunities
Animal Service Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteer Training
Adult/Child Mentoring Programs

Winter Cold Brings Cold Weather Exception

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.


Emergency Housing Specialists continued to provide vital access to adequate housing for individuals and families with children facing homelessness in Vermont’s cold winter weather. Read more by downloading Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for January here.

 

 

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

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Announcing Tatum’s Totes Program for Foster Kids

Green Mountain United Way: Newsletter


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Green Mountain
United Way

LIVE UNITED News

From the Executive Director

Tawnya Kristen

Dear Friends-

What an amazing month at GMUW! I am so proud to announce that we have officially started the Barre District Tatum’s Totes program and are already seeing a tremendous response within our community. Tatum’s Totes was started by Alex and Elizabeth Grimes after losing their 5 month old son, Tatum James Grimes, to SIDS May 5th 2013. They have found comfort in honoring Tatum’s memory in many ways, including the program Tatum’s Totes. This unique program provides each child entering the DCF foster care system with a backpack, diaper bag or duffle bag filled with special items. Every day children enter foster care with absolutely nothing or very little to call their own. Though a bag will not change the heartbreaking situation they are in, it is meant to offer comfort and make the transition less challenging.

GMUW is working closely with the Barre District DCF office to ensure that bags are created based on age and gender through collected donations and are available for immediate delivery when notified that a child is coming into care. To date, businesses like Northfield Savings Bank, Capitol Stationers and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont have already started donation drives to help us keep the bags full. This, along with individual donations from the public, is helping us keep pace with the average of 10 children per month entering the foster care system in the Barre District alone.

We understand that this program is not a solution to the growing problem of our most vulnerable not being cared for, but what we do hope is to provide a moment of comfort to the children and elevate the human element sometimes lost in the overwhelming issues of poverty, opiate addiction and the cycle of abuse. And though our hearts ache each time another Tatum Tote bag for a child or baby is needed, we are reminded that there is still so much good in this world by your demonstrated support. And there will always be hope if we continue to care and maintain the course to live united.
For more information on how you can be a part of the Tatum’s Totes program, contact Pam Bailey at pbailey@gmunitedway.org

Thank you for your support and warmest regards,
Tawnya

GMUW and the Tatum’s Totes Program in Washington Co.

Pam Bailey with totes

Green Mountain United Way is excited to announce that we are now coordinating the Tatum’s Totes Program in Washington Co. for the benefit of children heading into foster care. This is an offshoot of the same program started in Rutland Co. last summer by Elizabeth and Alex Grimes who, two years prior, had lost their son to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). After that devastating loss, they began taking in foster children to try and help fill the void they were experiencing.

Mr. & Mrs. Grimes saw how little each child they took in had for personal possessions when arriving at their home, and how insecure each one appeared. Some came with just the clothes on their backs, some of which was old and stained. Immediately the Grimes’ launched Tatum’s Totes, named after their son; a program to provide each child moving in with a foster family a backpack filled with such items as new clothes, a stuffed animal and blanket for security, some books and small toys, baby items (depending on age) and some personal hygiene items they could call their own. It was an overnight success. “It may sound like basic stuff to you,” said Elizabeth Grimes, “but this bag may be the only thing a teenager entering foster care has except for the clothes on their back.”

GMUW has coordinated this effort with the Grimes’ helping them to move the program into several counties of Vermont. Currently, there are roughly 300,000 children in foster care nationwide with 1,400 of them in Vermont. Almost half of them will wait three years or more before being adopted, meaning those years will be spent being bounced between foster homes.

So far, GMUW has provided 8 bags to children entering custody in Washington Co. The bags and items packed in them have all been donated and contributions, including monetary, will be accepted on an ongoing basis as it is planned that this program is here to stay. We ask that all donations be of new items and some suggestions are: baby blankets, fleece blankets, baby and children’s books, small toys, baby onesies, sippy cups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring books and drawing pads, crayons, markers, stuffed animals, diapers and diaper bags, backpacks, hair brushes, shampoo, body wash, night lights and flashlights, socks, winter hats, mittens, slippers, board games, and water bottles. A full list can be found on our website at www.gmunitedway.org/blog/green-mountain-united-way-leads-tatums-totes-effort/.

Currently, Capitol Stationers in Montpelier has a bin set up for donation drop-offs. The Northfield Savings Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont will be conducting drives for donations at their offices. The Northfield Senior Center has collected many items including knitted blankets and hats. Norwich University has also contributed to the program, and several individuals, when hearing of the program, have made donations of books, stuffed animals and money. The GMUW biggest need now is for backpacks. Please keep in mind that we are accepting only new items.

For more information, contact Pam at the GMUW Barre office at 802-622-8056 or by email at pbailey@gmunitedway.org.

Campaign Update

We’re chugging along toward our campaign goal of $550,000 and have now reached over $360,000 with two months left to go.

For those of you who have already sent your contributions or have participated in your worksite’s campaign, we thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

If you have not yet given, please write your tax deductible check today to Green Mountain United Way and send to: 1 Conti Circle, Unit #3, Barre, VT 05641, or go to www.gmunitedway.org and donate online. You have there the option of making a one-time gift or a recurring monthly gift.

If you would like more information about Green Mountain United Way, its local initiatives and why it is good to contribute, please contact our Executive Director, Tawnya Kristen, at 802-622-8056.

EITC Awareness Day

Nelson Baker, Mary Niebling, Grant Peterson, and Mary Peterson

On February 5th, Nelson Baker, GMUW’s Community Impact Director in our St. Johnsbury office, was featured as one of four panelists at the State House in Montpelier for the annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day. Nelson was representing Green Mountain United Way and the United Ways of Vermont and joined Mary Niebling, Director of Economic Development for Capstone Community Action, Grant Peterson, IRS Stakeholder Relationship Consultant, and Mary Peterson, VT Tax Commissioner.

Together they stressed the importance of filing income taxes (not the short form) and specifically requesting this tax credit as it is designed to reward working families. For instance, a married couple with three or more children, filing jointly, could have earned up to $53,267 in 2015 and be eligible for a credit of $6,242. The full list of income limits and guidelines in this program can be viewed at www.gmunitedway.org/our-work/income/ under the Earned Income Tax Credit section.

Nelson states, “One individual who recently attended a financial literacy workshop had received EITC from the federal government and also from the State of Vermont when she filed her tax returns. She was able to pay several overdue utility bills and had some money left over to put into a savings account.” He also indicated that, unfortunately, 20% of taxpayers who qualify for EITC do not claim the refund.

If you think you qualify for EITC, make sure you complete the proper questions when doing your taxes.

Tips of the Month

The United Way’s three major areas of work are Education, Income and Health. With this in mind, in our e-newsletters we would like to give you some basic tips on how to help your children become better prepared when entering preschool and Kindergarten, how to help your family become more financially stable and how to help you live healthier lives.

Education: Remember that children begin learning from the time they are born. Reading to them from the very beginning on a daily basis will make a big difference in their learning skills and in the development of their love of reading. Make a point of setting aside some time every day to read to your kids.

Income: In last month’s issue of this newsletter, we provided five ideas on how to save some money. Here’s #6: Make out a budget, either each time you get your paycheck, monthly or quarterly and STICK TO IT. Yes, there will be times when an expense comes up that you cannot avoid, but take care of that expense and then immediately re-adjust how you spend the balance of your available money.

Health: Take a brisk walk every day. It’s as simple as that. It may be difficult at first to take 15 or 20 minutes out of your busy schedule, but after you get into the habit, you will love it. Getting the exercise and taking in the fresh air will rejuvenate you and give you added energy. You might even lose a little weight – a good thing for your heart.

Community Forums & Events

March 2016 National Nutrition Month and National March for Meals Month
March 4, 2016: Community Learning Circle: Navigating Trauma in Your Role as a Leader to be held at the Old Labor Hall in Barre and is an all-day conference by invitation. For information, contact Tawnya at GMUW at 802-622-8056.
March 8, 2016 Public Opiate Addiction Forum at Montpelier High School Auditorium starting at 6:30 pm and being facilitated by GMUW. Discussions will include a strategic crime prevention plan focusing on implementing treatment vs. arrest. For information, contact Tawnya at GMUW at 802-622-8056.
March 12, 2016 9th Annual Dabble Day presented by Caledonia/So. Essex Building Bright Futures Council from 9:30 am to noon at the St. Johnsbury Elementary School.
April 2, 2016 Annual Dabble Day events presented by Orleans/No. Essex Building Bright Futures at the Coventry School, Coventry, VT from 9 am to noon. It’s a day for children to play and learn while their parents discover community resources.
April 6, 2016 7th Annual Central VT Job Fair from 10 am to 4 pm at the Barre City Auditorium. Sponsored by Central VT Economic Development Corp., VocRehab, VABIR, Workforce Development Board of Central VT., VT Dept. of Labor and GMUW.
April 10 – 16, 2016 National Volunteer Week. It’s all about inspiring and recognizing those who engage in their communities to make them better places to live, work and play. Give them a handshake and a thank you, while you’re at it, how about doing a little volunteering yourself?
April 21, 2016 St. Johnsbury Job Fair from 10 am to 2 pm at the St. Johnsbury Elementary School sponsored by Creative Workforce Solutions, VocRehab, VABIR and the VT Dept. of Labor. GMUW will have a display.

 

Green Mountain United Way · 1 Conti Circle, Unit 3 · Barre, VT 05641-9604 · USA

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Second Mobile Food Shelf To Arrive February 26 at Central Vermont Medical Center

Tue, 02/23/2016 – 4:16am

Vermont Business Magazine – The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo, a mobile food pantry, will deliver its second round of healthy groceries to the University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in partnership with Hunger Mountain Coop on Friday, February 26. All families and individuals in need are invited to pick up free, fresh produce and other groceries from 9 to 11 a.m. in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 on the lower level of the hospital in Berlin, Vt. More than 150 people turned out for the first event in January. The Veggie VanGo will continue to distribute food at the hospital on several Fridays throughout the winter and spring including April 1, April 29, May 27 and June 24.

The mobile food shelf is an extension of the medical center’s Health Care Share (HCS) program, a food assistance collaboration with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) farm, created to bring healthy food and nutrition education to those in need. HCS fundraising efforts support summer “food shares,” which are distributed weekly to food insecure families and provide more than 10 pounds of freshly harvested vegetables for three months. Last year more than 150 families and nearly 600 people were helped by the program. The Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo allows the Health Care Share program to expand during the non-growing season to fill the gap for families when the VYCC farm is closed.

The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high-quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Medical Center, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information and to connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and our blog, visit UVMHealth.org/CVMC(link is external).

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Vermont Youth Conservation Corps staff member Clarice Cutler, left, works with UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center Health Care Share team members, Andrea Hazuda and Mike Kennedy to bag apples for people in need during the Vermont Foodbank’s Veggie VanGo mobile food pantry. More than 150 people turned out for free, fresh groceries during the first monthly event at the hospital in Berlin. The next mobile food pantry is scheduled for February 26 from 9 to 11 a.m.

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Tatum’s Totes Suggested List of Items Needed

Baby & Children’s Items:
Baby and toddler books
Baby blankets
Baby onesies
Baby toys
Backpacks
Baseball caps
Blankets
Board games
Body wash
Children’s books
Children’s toothbrushes
Children’s toys (dolls, trucks, etc.)
Colored pencils
Coloring books
Crayons
Diaper bags
Diapers
Drawing pads
Flashlights
Growth charts
Hair bows
Hair brushes
Markers
Mittens
Night lights
Shampoo and conditioner
Sippy cups
Slippers
Socks
Stuffed animals
Toothpaste
Winter hats
Teenager Items:
Axe body wash and spray
Backpacks
Body wash
Card games
Deck of cards
Deodorant
Fleece blankets
Hair brushes
Hairspray
Journal/Notebook
Lotion
Makeup
Nail polish
Pens
Ponytail holders
Shampoo and conditioner
Slippers
Socks
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Wallets/purses
Walmart gift cards
Water bottle

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CCV & Libraries Lend Hand to Help Job Seekers

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Vermont Businiess Magazine – The Community College of Vermont (CCV) announced a new partnership with the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) to place CCV student interns in six Vermont libraries as job hunt helpers for Vermont residents. These interns will work with Vermont citizens who need assistance using computer technology to explore careers and online education, prepare resumes and search for and apply online for jobs at the town libraries in Barre, Brattleboro, Newport, Rutland, St. Johnsbury and Winooski. The project is designed to increase digital literacy in Vermont by helping Vermonters use online resources and career development software to identify, prepare for and pursue their career goals.

“At the Vermont Department of Libraries, we are dedicated to providing Vermonters a place in their community where they can access the information services they need,” said Vermont State Librarian Marty Reid. “Bringing CCV job hunt helpers into six public libraries across the state will support and expand the work that our public libraries do to assist people throughout the job search process. We are looking forward to working with CCV on this project, which will help connect job seekers with the skills and information resources they need and with Vermont employers.”

CCV’s Career Consultants will train and support CCV student interns serving as job hunt helpers. The interns will work six hours a week at one of the designated libraries from early March through the end of the spring semester. These services are made possible by funding from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation and federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“Digital tools are an important part of the job search process,” said CCV Dean of Academic Technology Eric Sakai. “This new collaboration between CCV and the Department of Libraries will provide many Vermonters the support and skills they need to navigate career planning on the web. We are excited to have six of our students participating in this excellent project and making real contributions to communities around Vermont.”

Interns will receive training from the consultants on use of job search and career exploration software and on assisting job seekers with using the internet. A CCV project coordinator will supervise the students throughout the program.

From fall 2011 to fall 2014, CCV and the Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) collaborated on a unique project aimed at increasing Vermonters’ use of the internet for education, career development, community engagement and personal enrichment. The Internet Interns program placed a total of 24 CCV students in town libraries across the state to assist patrons with such tasks as job searches and applications, health care information searches and communicating with family and friends via social media.

CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 7,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, our students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access our degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services.

The Vermont Department of Libraries supports libraries in Vermont as they work to insure access to quality information for their patrons.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

To learn more, visit www.imls.gov(link is external) and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

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Bags 4 My Cause

Green Mountain United Way of Barre, VT is celebrating because Hannaford’s Supermarket in South Barre has chosen this local nonprofit to benefit from their

Bags 4 My Cause program

For each reusable blue Karma grocery bag you purchase for only $2.29, during the month of February, Hannaford’s will donate $1.00 to Green Mountain United Way

Help Green Mountain United Way by buying several of these reusable grocery bags and help the environment at the same time.

For more information about this program, call Green Mountain United Way at 802-622-8056

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Green Mountain United Way Participates in EITC Awareness Day

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  (Photo of EITC Awareness Day at Vermont State House)

February 5th has been nationally named as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day, and in Vermont, four individuals formed a panel that day to inform the general public of the importance of filing for EITC if eligible. Representing all Vermonters on this topic at the State House on Feb. 5th were (left to right) Nelson Baker, Community Impact Director for Green Mountain United Way (GMUW) who also represented the United Ways of Vermont, Mary Niebling, Director of Economic Development for Capstone Community Action, Grant Peterson, IRS Stakeholder Relationship Consultant, and Mary Peterson, VT Tax Commissioner. Each of the panelists offered the information that people need to find out if they are eligible for the tax credit and how to file.

Nelson Baker of the United Way stated, “Earned Income Tax Credit is a federally funded program that rewards qualified individuals for working. One individual who recently attended a financial literacy workshop had received EITC from the federal government and also from the State of Vermont when she filed her tax returns. She was able to pay several overdue utility bills and had some money left over to put into a savings account.” The biggest problem is that nearly 20% of taxpayers who qualify for EITC do not claim the refund.

For EITC details, visit www.gmunitedway.org/our-work/income/ or call the GMUW office in Barre at 802-622-8056.

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GMUW and Hannaford’s Partner in Reusable Bag Program

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Barre, VT – Green Mountain United Way (GMUW), a local nonprofit committed to providing services to its neighbors through Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs, has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program for the month of February.

This exciting program has been designed to support local nonprofits like GMUW. For every blue Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag with the good karma messaging purchased at the South Barre Hannaford, Green Mountain United Way will receive a $1 donation in order to help fulfill its mission of mobilizing communities to create lasting changes that will improve lives.

“The Hannaford Reusable Bag program is a great way for shoppers to assist their local United Way and, ultimately, their neighbors in need,” said GMUW Executive Director, Tawnya Kristen. “It not only provides funding for GMUW but also helps our area environmentally by taking millions of plastic bags from being thrown into our landfills.”

GMUW will be using the projected funds for its latest Tatum’s Totes project, which provides backpacks filled with personal items for children and youth going into foster care. For information about this project, go to www.gmunitedway.org/blog/green-mountain-united-way-leads-tatums-totes-effort/.

Learn more about Green Mountain United Way by calling 802-622-8056 in Barre or visiting www.gmunitedway.org.

For more information on the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com or facebook.com/hhbagprogram.

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Orange Co. Parent Child Center Receives Gift of Zutano Clothes

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(Photo OR CO PCC – Mary Ellen Otis, Executive Director of Parent Child Center, left receiving gift of Zutano clothes from Pam Bailey of GMUW)

The Orange Co. Parent Child Center in Tunbridge recently received ten children’s literacy kits and a large box of new children’s clothing from Green Mountain United Way of Barre. The kits were made by volunteer employees at the USDA office in Montpelier, and the clothes were made possible by Zutano, Inc. of Cabot. Mary Ellen Otis, Executive Director of OCPCC, gratefully accepted these gifts from GMUW, which provided these items as part of its Early Learning and Goods & Services programs.

For more information about Green Mountain United Way and its initiatives, visits www.gmunitedway.org or call their Barre office at 802-622-8056.

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Gifford Offers ‘Fresh Start’ Smoking Cessation Class March 2-30

RANDOLPH – Gifford Health Care and Vermont Blueprint for Health will offer a free, five-week “Fresh Start Quit in Person” workshop to help anyone who wants to improve their health by becoming tobacco free.

Offered in partnership with the VT Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, this workshop will support those who want to quit smoking —free patches, gum, or lozenges can be shipped directly to participant’s homes.

The free tobacco cessation workshop will run from March 2 through March 30, 2016, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Markle Room of the Gifford Conference Center. For more information or to register call Megan at 802-728-7714

Gifford is a community hospital in Randolph, Vt., with family health centers in Berlin, Bethel, Chelsea, and Rochester and specialty services throughout central Vermont. A Federally Qualified Health Center and a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the country, Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department; inpatient and rehabilitation units; many surgical services; accredited cancer program; a day care; two adult day programs; and the 30-bed Menig Nursing Home, which was named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best 39 nursing homes in the country in 2012. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to the traditional hospital-based deliveries, and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care. The cancer program is accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.

GJHC

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