We can’t do it alone. We need the heads, hands and hearts of committed people like you to help us tackle the problems facing our communities. Each of us has special talents, things we can do to help. Put your talents to work to help our community! There are listings for assistance needed in local schools, meal sites, libraries, senior centers and much more. It’s a win/win situation for the volunteer and the organization receiving their service.
2016 Worksite Wellness Conference
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Registration for the 2016 Worksite Wellness Conference is open! The conference will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel in South Burlington, VT. We are honored to have Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, as our keynote speaker at this year’s conference. The day will be filled with workshops, fitness breaks, best practices sharing round table, and a presentation of the 2015 Worksite Wellness awards. The Conference is an excellent opportunity for employers, human resource professionals, employees, and others interested in worksite wellness. Register online before March 16th, 2016.
Worksite Wellness Initiatives
This month, seven worksites across the state are kicking off worksite wellness initiatives with funding from the Vermont Department of Health to improve the health of their employees. These worksites are developing nutrition and physical activity interventions including policies and programs to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. On average, working adults spend at least half of their waking hours at work, placing workplaces in an integral role to support and improve health outcomes. Worksite wellness programs also have positive financial outcomes, helping employers manage and reduce the cost of health care and improve productivity. For more information, please visit our worksite wellness page.
Helping Yourself to Health
The Vermont Department of Health, the Greater Burlington YMCA, and the Vermont Blueprint for Health have joined together to create MyHealthyVT, a new website for Vermonters seeking self-help for diabetes prevention and management, quitting smoking, emotional wellness, chronic disease management, and chronic pain management. The new site provides “one stop shopping” for free self-management programs. Vermonters can find contact information for their local Regional Coordinators at the site to sign up for programs. Motivational videos of real Vermonters’ success stories and links to related resources are also available.
The new site was featured on a recent episode of Across the Fence that addressed resources and programs for diabetes prevention and management.
In summer 2015, a game-changing project for children who are headed for foster care was begun by a couple in Rutland, Elizabeth and Alex Grimes. They named it Tatum’s Totes after their 5-month old son, Tatum, who died suddenly of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It was a devastating loss to the whole family, but just two months later Elizabeth’s decision for them to become licensed foster parents was what turned that devastation around. Along with that, her creation of the Tatum’s Totes project is bringing hope to foster children throughout Rutland County that has also spilled over into Addison, Windham and Bennington Counties.
Green Mountain United Way (GMUW) is now in partnership with Tatum’s Totes to also bring this program to children in Washington Co. and now to Newport. We are collecting new backpacks and children’s items to be bagged and ready to be donated to any child moving to a foster family and dealing with this sudden transition. Pam Bailey of GMUW is working closely with the State of VT Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) to identify the children and to make sure that backpacks (or Tatum’s Totes) are ready to go at a moment’s notice.
“Every day children enter foster care with absolutely nothing or little to nothing. These children deserve more than that. The plan is to help make this transition as easy as possible for them. GMUW can help bring this amazing program to the Barre DCF District and now to the Newport are DCF District,” says Pam Bailey.
Many times, children and teenagers moving to foster care arrive with only the clothes on their backs and no other possessions. Having a Tatum’s Tote filled with basic clothing, hygiene items, a game, book and a blanket or stuffed animal for security can make it a much more positive move. There are nearly 1,400 children currently in state custody yet only about 1,200 licensed foster families. Nationally, there are approximately 300,000 children in foster care and almost half of those wait three years or more before being adopted, meaning that those years are spent bouncing from foster home to foster home.
The backpacks will include such items as blankets, books, toothbrushes and toothpaste, coloring books and crayons, stuffed animals, shampoo, socks, hats, mittens and games. A full list of suggested items are listed below and are kept updated on a monthly basis or you can get more information by calling Pam at 802-613-3989 or emailing her at email@example.com. Please show “Tatum’s Totes Project” in the subject line. Monetary donations clearly marked for this project, payable to GMUW, are also encouraged.
Suggested Items Needed for Tatum’s Totes (updated 10/7/16):
Items should be new and should be able to fit into a backpack.
Teen Boy & Girls – Items we are currently in need of:
- Boy’s Backpacks
- Teen Boy’s Personal Hygiene Items: Body wash, Axe body wash and spray, Deodorant, Lotion, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Combs, Hair brushes, Shampoo & Conditioner
- Teen Boy’s Items: Card games, Notebooks/Journal, Pens, Water Bottles
- Teen Girls: Water Bottles
- Teen Boy and Girl blankets
Items for young children:
- Jumbo Crayons
- Kids toothpaste
- Diaper Bags (both boys and girls)
- Water Bottles
- Baby Bottles
General Items needed on an ongoing basis:
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
Teenage 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, Pen, Ponytail holders, Shampoo and conditioner, Slippers, Socks, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Wallets/purses, Walmart gift cards, Water bottles
In honor of #National Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, our partner FamilyWize invites you to #ShareTheLove and send a special Valentine to a friend or loved one.
Show your friends and loved ones that you care by sending them a free prescription savings card from our partner FamilyWize! To send a card, visit: www.familywize.org/ShareTheLove.
Registration for the annual Worksite Wellness Conference, to be held on Wednesday March 30th 2016 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, is now open!
Ashwinee.Kulkarni@vermont.gov with any questions.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference!
Public Health Specialist \
Vermont Department of Health
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
108 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Please note that my email address has changed to
(Photo #12507277 – Two Volunteers from Montpelier USDA office with Pam Bailey (back) of GMUW)
On January 21st, about a dozen employees of the Montpelier U. S. Dept. of Agriculture office volunteered to spend part of a day making children’s literacy kits for Green Mountain United Way. These kits are designed for children in daycare centers and preschools to enhance their reading abilities and better prepare them for Kindergarten and subsequent learning years.
The folks at USDA made 16 kits that day. After acquiring several suggested age-appropriate books, each volunteer made colorful hands-on items from craft materials relating to the story in the books that children can hold and play with while being read to, thus engaging them in the reading process.
These kits will be distributed to the Orange County Parent Child Center in Tunbridge, an organization that also recently received a grant from USDA. This is a good example of true collaboration between agencies with Green Mountain United Way, USDA and the Orange County Parent Child Center working together for the benefit of children.
USDA Rural Development staff is dedicated to assisting rural Vermont communities through its housing, business and community programs. Their mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for all rural Americans. Rural Development’s Vermont and New Hampshire State Office is located in Montpelier, with Vermont Area Offices located in St. Johnsbury and Brattleboro.
For more information about the GMUW Early Learning initiatives, contact their Barre office at
802-622-8056 or visit them at www.gmunitedway.org.
Central Vermont Medical Center Holds Job Fair on Feb. 5
University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin will hold a job fair at the hospital on Friday, Feb. 5, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The job fair is open to anyone in the community interested in the health care industry.
Recruiters and managers will be on hand to answer questions about the wide variety of career opportunities available at the medical center and talk about current openings for nurses (LNA’s, RN’s, LPN’s), administrative professionals, service workers, tradespeople and more. Cover letters and resumes are encouraged.
The event will be held in Conference Rooms 1 and 2 on the lower level of the hospital at the UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center’s main campus located at 130 Fisher Road in Berlin, Vt..
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).