Make Every Day Earth Day in April!


Zimride Go! Vermont


Make every day Earth Day in April by posting a ride on Zimride. Have a car? Share a ride with other Go! Vermont commuters and make a difference by reducing your carbon footprint and help relieve traffic congestion. Looking for a ride? Post a ride and find matches with those who are going the same way.


In 2015, Zimride users made an impact by reducing overall CO2 emissions by 4.4 million pounds and shared 5.4 million miles through finding matches on Zimride. Do your part in helping create a more sustainable transportation future by posting a ride or finding others who need a ride on Zimride.

Log your daily commutes in your Zimride Commute Calendar and track personal green savings including CO2 emissions and miles saved.


Save Green by going Green in April!

From your Zimride by Enterprise Team and Go! Vermont


Zimride | 600 Corporate Park Dr. Saint Louis, MO 63105 | or 855-Zimride


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Volunteer Project Idea: Stone Soup

All too often, people ask “What can I do to help?”  I found this article which can enable volunteerism in any community – and not necessarily LED by a United Way organization.  This can be LED by YOU any individual or business to help Vermont’s hungry.  

Go ahead. 

I challenge you to put something together and let your “Stone Soup” gather the hungry and albeit you’ll get a response like you have never expected.  What a great way to make others fell great about themselves – each helping one another.  That’s what it’s all about.

* * *

Volunteer Project Idea: Stone Soup

Stone Soup teaches cooperation, and how when we all work together, we can accomplish something larger than we can by ourselves. What better story to provide an inspiring theme for a United Way volunteer opportunity?
Stone Soup events ask each person to contribute an ingredient and participate in making meals – usually a casserole or hearty soup – for food insecure individuals and families in the community.

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Vermont Students Recognized For Achievement in Financial Literacy Programs

Thu, 04/07/2016

Vermont Business Magazine From coin identification to how our banking system works, Vermont students were challenged this year, through two financial literacy programs, to learn more about how our economy works. State Treasurer Beth Pearce today recognized student achievement in the Reading is an Investment program and the Be Money Wise financial literacy poster contest. Both programs are administered by the Treasurer’s office.

“We started these programs to raise the financial literacy of Vermont’s youth,” said Pearce. “These programs provide teachers, school librarians and parents with tools they can use to introduce financial concepts to children. The aim is to start an educational process in students that encourages them to learn money management skills and build their knowledge of how the economy works.”

Students were recognized for their work in the Reading is an Investment program. The program was used this year in 138 Vermont elementary schools. This is the sixth year of the program, which promotes both financial literacy and reading literacy through classroom and library instruction and through a personal reading program. There were 5,664 students who completed the reading challenge this year and had their names entered in a random drawing to win one of twenty $250 college savings accounts provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Reading is an Investment is underwritten by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, the Windham Foundation and Comcast.

Students winning college savings accounts are: Lea Krause, Addison Central School; Eliana Dolloff, Albany Community School; Ryu Wright and Steven Collette, Bennington Elementary School; Aden Moore and Ashton Taylor, Bradford Elementary School; Carson Hooks and Maxwell Campbell, Chamberlin Elementary School; Jazmine Curley, Chester-Andover Elementary School; Tenley Whitehouse, Ferrisburg Central School; Libby Bowley, Lakeview Union School; Makiah Richardson, Lunenburg Elementary School; Parker Eidsheim, Mallets Bay School; Taylor Lacoste, Manchester Elementary School; Ainsley Meyer, NewBrook Elementary School; Archer Henderson, St. Albans Town Educational Center; Gabrielle Spaulding, Sheldon Elementary School; Cade Tessier, Swanton Central School; Rebecca Butler, Underhill ID Elementary School; and William Collins, Washington Village School.

Manchester Elementary School and Washington Village School each won a four-foot-tall Vermont Teddy Bear for their school libraries. The schools were chosen from a random drawing of 35 schools which had one-third or more of the student body complete the reading challenge. There were three schools that had 100 percent participation in the reading challenge. Those schools and their librarians are: Barstow Elementary, Heidi Webster; Bethel Elementary, Janet Whitaker; and Lakeview Union Elementary, Carol Rowell.

This was the ninth year for the annual Be Money Wise Poster Contest, open to students in third through twelfth grades. The contest is held in partnership with the Vermont Bankers Association, which provides $100 to the student winner in each division and $100 to the students’ schools for supporting financial literacy. The theme this year was, “I Am a Money Maker!”

Winning first place in the elementary school division was Marin Hemmett of Williston Central School. Second place was won by Tommy Jacques of Christ the King School in Rutland. Third place was won by Joseph Paquette of Richford Elementary School. The middle school division was won by Williston Central School student Hailey Chase. Homeschooled student Isabella Gaffney placed second and Browns River Middle School student Cassandra Bourdeau won third. In the high school division, first place was won by Milton High School student Carol Fagan and Essex High School student Jordan Appenzeller placed second. The judges did not designate a third place winner in the high school division.

Fifteen students received honorable mention recognition. Their posters were placed on display for the day at the State House in Montpelier on April 7. Those students placing in the honorable mention category were: Ari Randall and Gordan Clark, Avalon Triumvirate Academy; Jordan Parenteau, Browns River Middle School; Emma Cosgove and Ethan Courcelle, Christ the King School; Alexis Donna, Essex High School; Batula Mohamed, Integrated Arts Academy; Brittney Sabolevski, Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School; Katelyn Prescott, Lothrup Elementary School; Kristen Potter, Milton High School; Troy Kane, Richford Elementary School; Allison Bushey, St. Albans Town Educational Center; and Nina Zimakas, Ashley Davidson and Seph Niquette, Williston Central School.

Winning posters from this year’s contest may be viewed on the State Treasurer’s Office financial literacy web site at (link is external). Also available at this site are lesson plans and activities for the Reading is an Investment program.

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Ben & Jerry’s 37 Years of Fun Flavors and Free Cone Day, April 12

Tue, 04/05/2016 – 11:27am — tim

Vermont Business Magazine Ben & Jerry’s fans around the world can mark April 12th on their calendars as the 2016 Ben & Jerriest day of the year; Free Cone Day! For the past 37 years, Ben & Jerry’s has opened scoop shop doors to dish out free ice cream to fans, thanking them for being so uniquely awesome. The tradition has continued to grow, beginning in the small state of Vermont, USA, and now reaching across the globe. Fans are invited to their local scoop shop to join in on the company’s long-time tradition of thanking fans for their commitment and ongoing support.

(link is external)The company was founded on the idea that business has not just the opportunity, but also the responsibility to give back to the community. Free Cone Day is a long standing tradition when it comes to benevolent acts and as Jerry said, “If it’s not fun, why do it?” The annual anniversary merges the two founding principals and demonstrates that giving back to the community is just as sweet as free ice cream.

“We pride ourselves in being a company that is further enriched by giving back to our fans, who believe in our values as much as we do,” said Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Jostein Solheim. Ben & Jerry’s has been a long time advocate of social causes like marriage equality, environmental sustainability and ensuring that their ice cream is made in the best way possible which includes sourcing Fairtrade and non-GMO ingredients.

The co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s started the tradition at the company’s first anniversary in 1979. Giving back to the community has been ongoing since the beginning and will continue be a part of the company’s mission for years to come. It’s not just about the wacky and delicious flavors at Ben & Jerry’s, but the values on which the company was created. So comes the biggest question, what flavor will you have on Free Cone Day?  


Log on to (link is external) to find Free Cone Day at a Scoop Shop near you.

About Ben & Jerry’s 

As an aspiring social justice company, Ben & Jerry’s believes in a greater calling than simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. In 2014 the company plans to complete its transition to using entirely non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients by source as well as to fully Fairtrade-certified ingredients wherever possible, which benefits farmers in developing countries.

Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry’s became a certified B Corp (Benefit Corporation) in 2012. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation’s employee-led grant programs totaled $2.5MM in 2014 to support economic and social justice, environmental restoration, and peace through understanding. For the inside scoop on Ben & Jerry’s visit (link is external).

SOURCE: SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc.

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Life Saving Organ Donations Celebrated at Vermont State House

Tue, 04/05/2016 –

Vermont Business Magazine On Wednesday April 6 at 11:15 am, Governor Peter Shumlin will join Health Commissioner Harry Chen, DMV Commissioner Robert Ide, a Vermont man who is alive today because of a heart transplant, Donate Life Vermont, and other individuals personally touched by organ donation, to celebrate organ and tissue donation and announce April as Donate Life Month in Vermont, encouraging citizens to register as organ and tissue donors.

What: April as Donate Life Month in Vermont – Lives saved because of organ and tissue donation

–          Heart recipient shares his story

–          Governor awarded the Donate Life Award

Who:   Governor Shumlin

Commissioner Harry Chen – VT Department of Health

Commissioner Robert Ide – VT DMV

Heart recipient

UVM Medical Center

Individuals personal touched by donation – organ recipients & donor families

DMV Staff

Donate Life Vermont

Where: Vermont State House – Governor’s Chambers

When:  Wednesday, April 6th at 11:15 AM

In 2015, 719 lives were saved here in New England because of the generosity of individuals who became organ donors.  Thousands more lives were enhanced through the gift of tissue donation.  With the need for life-saving transplants growing every day – over 121,000 patients are now on the US transplant wait list – it is crucial to educate our communities about taking action to register as donors. The celebration commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants as well as the families of individuals who chose to be donors.

The vast majority of individuals in Vermont (95%) register to be an organ and tissue donor at the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are now 120 million registered donors in the United States; still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to rise.  The solution to this problem is to continue educating the public about the lifesaving effects of donation and transplantation and encouraging them to sign up through their state donor registry.

About Donate Life Vermont: Donate Life Vermont is a joint project of two federally designated organ procurement organizations that serve New England – New England Organ Bank and Center for Donation and Transplant. They have come together to create a fast and easy way for citizens of Vermont and New England to register as organ and tissue donors in a secure and confidential manner.  For more information, visit (link is external).

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month


The Associated General Contractors of Vermont

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street

Montpelier, VT 05601

Tel: (802) 223-2374

FAX: (802) 223-1809



April 1, 2016

Vermont Highway


2016 Year-to-Date: 13

2015 at this time: 5

2014 at this time: 9

2013 at this time: 9

Source: Vermont AOT


A look back over the past 50 years at Vermont’s record of fatal crashes:

1965:    152

1975:    144

1985:    115

1995:    106

2005:    73

2015:    57


Project RoadSafe is funded by a grant from  


Governor’s Highway Safety







A Pledge to End  

Distracted  Driving

I pledge to:

 * Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.

* Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is


* Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.





Alive at 25 is a special program produced by the National
Safety Council and presented, at no charge, by the Associated General Contractors of Vermont to the Technical career Centers in Vermont by certified instructors. 



Talk with us about defensive driving:

Its Free!!


Norman James (




Talk with us about job site safety: contact:

Richard Wobby (



Studies show that 40% to 50% of traffic crash fatalities could have been prevented by wearing seat belts. 

Aren’t you glad you use yours?


Sleepy Time Behind the Wheel

   In a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adult drivers in America, about 168 million people, said they have driven a vehicle while feeling
drowsy, and more than one-third (37%) said they have fallen asleep at the wheel.

   The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, 6,000 fatalities, and
800 deaths in 2013. NHTSA also says these numbers may be conservative.

   The Centers for Disease Control report that people tend to fall asleep more on high-speed, long, boring rural highways, and those who live in urban areas are
more likely to doze off while driving compared to people in rural or suburban areas (24% to 17%)

   CDC also reports that most crashes or near misses occur between midnight and 6 a.m., while 2 to 4 p.m. is also are peak times for crashes to occur.








Vice President 





April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

 — And it couldn’t happen at a better time. 

  April is the unofficial beginning of the construction season in Vermont whether contractors are constructing buildings, roads or bridges or digging ditches and
placing culverts. 

  April signals the movement of heavy equipment used to build and repair our highway system.

  It also signals the rise of buildings, large and small, in many Vermont communities. 

  All of these activities pose significant distractions for the motoring public.

  Drivers sometimes gaze at the construction of buildings at the risk of other highway users. Sometimes drivers treat highway workzones with indifference at the
risk of flaggers and others inside the orange cones.

  There is another distraction that everyone needs to be aware of, and that is impairment.

  While not listed as an “official” distraction, impairment — whether it is drugs, alcohol or lack of sleep — in and of itself is a distraction and is fast becoming
a major killer on the roadway. 

  Last year, in Vermont, 57 people lost their lives on our highway system. This includes motor vehicle operators (35) and passengers (11), bicycle users (4), pedestrians
(5) and off-the-road all terrain vehicles (2). 

  An astounding 68% of the 35 operators were suspected to driving while impaired by drugs, alcohol or both. Incidentally,
the drug most identified in those deaths was marijuana.

  Another amazing statistic: According to data from the Agency of Transportation, 33% of the 46 drivers and passengers who died were NOT BELTED.

  Vermont’s highways are crowded to begin with. There are about a half-million senior and nearly 10,000 junior operators licenses. In addition there are nearly
three-quarters of a million valid registrations for motor vehicles of all types, sizes and uses.

  Thousands of Vermont motorists have occupations that require them to be on the roads every day driving for work. They are aware of distracted drivers. They are
the ones that “watch out for the other guy” because they know that one person’s distracted driving gives a whole new meaning to another person’s defensive driving.

  It is very wise to: Drive Like You Care. Be aware of the workzones, follow the rules because not only your life is in your own hands, but everyone else who is
on the road depends on you being alert and sober. Your attitude and your behavior does matter.



Drive Like You Care!!


Risky Behavior

   According to AAA, a recent study shows that nearly 90% of drivers have engaged in at least one risky behavior, from speeding to texting in the last 30 days.

   The survey is a part of the AAA Foundation’s eighth annual Traffic Safety Culture Index which measures driver safety attitudes and behaviors.

   Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety point to “a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road
safety.” He said that the vast majority of drivers believe they are more careful that other drivers even though most drivers are not making safe driving decisions when they are behind the wheel.

   The study identified distracted driving as one of the main focus items. According to the study about 70% of drivers report talking on a cell phone while driving
and about 30% say they do it fairly often or regularly. 

  The study shows that while 70% of drivers support restricting the use of hand-held cell phones, about 42% support an outright ban on using a cell phone while
driving, hands-free or hand-held.

   Texting, however is another matter. There is strong support, nearly 90%, for laws restricting reading, typing, or sending a text or email while driving.

   More than 80% of the drivers in the study view distracted driving as a bigger problem than it was three years ago.

   Previous research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that distracted driving is a factor in at least 3,000 deaths per year,
though the actual number is likely much higher. 



Mark Your Calendar:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reasonable Suspicion Workshop

Green Mountain Power Conference Room

Rutland, VT

9:00 – Noon (Registration at 8:30 a.m.)


* What is reasonable suspicion?

* How does it affect your company?


Find the answers at this workshop. Law enforcement will be on hand to talk about encountering a reasonable suspicion situation. An attorney will explain the rights of
the employer in a reasonable suspicion encounter.



A preventable collision is one in which the driver fails to do everything reasonable to avoid it!



Employers Pay More

   U.S. traffic crashes in 2013 cost employers $47.4 billion in direct expenses including medical care, liability, lost productivity and property damage, according
to a new report from the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).

   In 2013, more than 1.6 million workdays were lost because of traffic crashes, according to the new report. Nearly 90% of those lost days were attributed to crashes
that occurred off the job. Such collisions involved employees or their dependents.

   Speeding resulted in $8.4 billion in crash-related expenses, with distracted driving close behind at $8.2 billion. Driving under the influence of alcohol resulted
in $6 billion in losses, and failure to buckle up a seat belt added $4.9 billion to the total.

   The report also found that employer-paid medical costs per employee injured in a crash were nearly double in on-the-job crashes where the employee wasn’t wearing
a seat belt and were increased by a third for off-the-job crashes. 

   NETS has produced “The Comprehensive Guide to Road Safety” for employers with occupational drivers. The guide is available on the group’s website at and
from AGC/VT by contacting Norman James, Manager of Project RoadSafe (



Attitude Drives Behavior



Ten Reasons to Wear Seatbelts:

1) Studies show that 60% to 75% of all traffic crash injuries could have been prevented by using a seat belt.

2) Studies also show that 40% to 50% of traffic crash fatalities could have been prevented by wearing seat belts.

3) People are four times more likely to die when ejected from a vehicle.

4) An unbelted passenger weighing 160 pounds being hurtled at 40 mph will hit with a force of nearly one ton (1,923 pounds).

5) Increasing safety belt use is still the single most effective action that can be taken to save lives and reduce injuries on our highways.

6) Medical treatment costs average 50% more for injuries sustained by unbelted motorists.

7) When someone is injured or is killed in a traffic crash, tax dollars pay for the costs including emergency services, uninsured medical care, tax-supported rehabilitation
programs, higher insurance costs and survivor payments.

8) According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the workplace and a leading cause of work-related disabilities.

9) Traffic crashes are also among the largest contributors to workers compensation losses.

10) Businesses incur enormous costs from traffic crashes through lost productivity and higher insurance and medical costs.


Associated General Contractors of Vermont | (802) 223-2374 | |

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries. RoadSafe, produced by The Associated Contractors of Vermont, is an electronic newsletter concerning
workplace driver safety. The purpose of RoadSafe is to distribute data, facts, and other materials to help employers create, maintain, and/or improve their workplace driver safety policies and programs.

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Associated General Contractors of Vermont,
PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street
, Montpelier, VT 05602


ent by in collaboration with


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GMUW Announces Grant Awards

Green Mountain United Way: Newsletter


Green Mountain
United Way


From the Executive Director

Tawnya Kristen 

As we transition into the softer seasons and begin to work on setting our new goals for the next fiscal year, I find myself taking a breath and appreciating all that has been accomplished thus far. The one thought that resonates above the rest is the level of support and trust the community has for our work. Without your support our daily efforts to find effective solutions in the areas of Education, Health and Income would never be possible.

You are the foundation to programs like Tatum’s Totes that supports children entering emergency foster care and GMUW’s Financial Literacy program that teaches our families how to improve their personal finances for economic stability. You are the reason GMUW can continue to work as a key member of the Barre and St. Johnsbury Promise Community which sets priority areas for funded initiatives in early education and community well-being. You are the ones who make our work with Hunger Free Vermont to end hunger and support better nutrition in our schools for all possible. You are the reason GMUW is able to work directly with our regional hospitals to create collaborative community programs that support effective health care. And you are present in our public forums and trainings that address the issue of opiate addiction and how to rebuild after tragedy has taken place in your community. It is you, our champions and supporters that offer us not only the means to continue our work but our sense of hope and purpose.

We thank you for all you have given and ask for your continued support as we come towards the end of our annual campaign. Each donation you provide allows us to care for your community and provide a safe, healthy and hopeful future.

Thank you for all that you give in time and treasure, and for knowing that we all benefit when we Live United.

Warmest Regards,
Tawnya Kristen

GMUW Awards Grants

GMUW is pleased to announce the results of Round 1 of the 2016 grant cycle with five Community Grants awarded to:

  • AWARE of Hardwick in the amount of $2,500 for their Economic Empowerment Program. This program assists victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence to achieve economic stability and self sufficiency.
  • Wonder and Wisdom of Greensboro in the amount of $2,500 for their Seniors Program, which provides social, cultural and recreational activities for seniors in Hardwick, Craftsbury and Greensboro.
  • Vermont Humanities Council in the amount of $2,432 for their Never Too Early Program. This is an early literacy professional development program for childcare and other early education providers and an early literacy program for parents and guardians of children from birth to age 6 conducted in all five of the GMUW counties.
  • Family Center of Washington Co. in the amount of $2,500 for a work training program for Reach-Up clients with the goal of moving them toward successful employment.
  • Pathways Vermont in the amount of $2,000 for a Support Line that provides specialized mental health support for clients in all five GMUW counties.

This first round of the grant cycle also produced three Micro Grants each in the amount of $250 for:

  • Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital of St. Johnsbury for its Alcohol, Tobacco and Substance Abuse initiative to purchase brochures for their Smoke Free Cars Campaign aimed at protecting young children from second hand smoke.
  • People’s Health and Wellness Clinic of Barre for dental hygiene supplies.
  • Umbrella in Newport for portable food storage coolers for their Cornucopia Meals-on-Wheels program.

National Volunteer Week

Thank You Volunteers

Volunteers are many times the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations helping them to conduct programs, assist people to better their lives and generally save money for the host organizations. These wonderful people are also morale boosters for the organizations’ directors and employees making their workplaces areas of positive attitudes just because of these volunteers so freely giving of their time and talent.

April 10 – 16, 2016 has been designated as National Volunteer Week, a time when everyone should take a few moments to acknowledge and thank their volunteers for the work they do. Green Mountain United Way is truly grateful to all its volunteers making our organization that much more meaningful and of benefit to our local area.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicates that 62.8 million Americans volunteer with approximately 7.9 billion hours of volunteer time given. This represents an estimated $184 billion value of service. In Vermont, 34.7% of residents volunteer ranking our state as 6th among the 50 states and Washington, DC. Vermonters give 22.1 million hours of service, or $509.5 million value of service. To read more about volunteerism across our country, go to

The CNCS also states that volunteers have 27% higher odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers, possibly due to their developing new skills and expanding personal networks. Their records also show that 80% of volunteers donate to charity compared to 40% of non-volunteers. In Vermont, 49.3% donate to charitable organizations.

If you volunteer now no matter where, Green Mountain United Way thanks you. If you do not yet volunteer, please consider giving of your time and expertise. It’s a great way to help others and, at the same time, improve your life by learning new skills, creating new friends and making your community a better place.

Drug Addiction and Project Safe Catch

Opiate addiction has evolved into a major problem in Vermont and law enforcement and health officials know that something must be done to help the victims overcome this life-threatening habit.

Green Mountain United Way’s Executive Director, Tawnya Kristen, was recently asked to facilitate a public forum to bring this issue out in the forefront and to engage citizens in conversation to find positive ways to combat addiction. This forum was held on March 8th in Montpelier.

Project Safe Catch, a partnership between the Montpelier Police Dept., Central VT Substance Abuse Services, Central VT New Directions Coalition and Green Mountain United Way, is a program somewhat modeled after an initiative in Gloucester, MA. It connects them with a specialist on an outpatient basis, hopefully within 24 hours, and starting them on treatment rather than being arrested and facing incarceration. There are approximately 50 communities nationwide that are trying this type of program and this area of Vermont has the most existing resources available, according to Deborah Hopkins of the Central VT Substance Abuse Services.

Unfortunately, in some areas of Vermont, there are rather long waiting lists of individuals wanting treatment yet not enough providers and counselors to take on the caseloads. After describing that in 2015 the Vermont U.S. Attorney’s office prosecuted more heroin cases and saw worse heroin offenders than ever before, Attorney Eric Miller, who attended the March 8th forum, stated, “I think that these are exactly the sort of innovative projects that Vermont’s communities need to be engaged in.”

GMUW will continue to participate in these discussions and looks forward to helping all parties involved make a difference for those struggling with drug addiction

24th Annual NALC Food Drive


The 24th annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive, appropriately named the Stamp Out Hunger campaign, is planned for Saturday, May 14, 2016, across the entire nation. This is the biggest one-day food drive in the U.S. that last year brought in nearly 71 million pounds of food at a time when food pantries everywhere are very low on staples for food insecure families. Since this drive began in 1992, a staggering 1.4 billion pounds have been donated. The NALC, U.S. Postal Service, the United Way and several other organizations partner each year to make this a successful food drive.

Unfortunately, in this so-called land of plenty, families are going to bed hungry every night. In Vermont, nearly 8% of households are considered food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food and not enough money to buy food. They often substitute quality for quantity, buying less nutritious, higher calorie, but lower cost foods. This often leads to obesity and poor health.

The beauty of this drive is that local postal workers collect the food along their delivery routes and turn the food over to our local food shelves to help our neighbors here at home. In May 2015, approximately 19,000 pounds of food were collected in the GMUW five counties that were delivered to 24 food shelves, also in those five counties.

The process is really quite simple. On the morning of May 14th, place your non-perishable food items in a bag near your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up. If you do not have a letter carrier, just bring your items to your post office and they will be happy to see that they get delivered to the nearest food shelf.

Please remember that non-perishable foods are what are needed, for example, canned vegetables, soups, beans, rice, pasta, cereal, and peanut butter. Do not include outdated items as the food shelves will have to throw these out as per government regulations.

Plan to do your share on May 14th by providing a bag or two of food that will help make a difference for food insecure families in your neighborhood. For more information, call any one of the Green Mountain United Way offices in Barre at 802-622-8056, in St. Johnsbury at 802-745-0101 or in Derby Line at 802-647-2148.

Tatum’s Totes Makes a Difference

Since GMUW began the Tatum’s Totes Program in Washington Co. about two months ago, contributions and support keep coming in for children and youth going into foster care. People in our area are obviously very sensitive to the needs of those entering foster care and want to do whatever they can to make that transition as easy and comfortable as possible.

What is Tatum’s Totes? Fashioned after a similar program that was started in Rutland County by a couple who lost their son, Tatum, to SIDS a few years ago, it provides backpacks or duffle bags filled with personal items for each foster child that they can call their own. Many times these children are removed from their homes because of domestic violence, financial instability or neglect, and leave without being able to take anything with them.

Green Mountain United Way fills these bags with age-appropriate clothes, hygiene items, a fuzzy blanket, some books and small toys and partners with the local Vermont Dept. of Children and Families when the need arises. Already in the last two months, bags have been made available for ten children who remain anonymous as well as their families and foster families. These bags have acted as a calming effect on the children as they move into a strange environment.

GMUW wishes to thank all who have donated and continue to donate items for these Tatum’s Totes bags. A full list of suggested items can be found on the GMUW website at:
or, contact Pam in our Barre office at 802-622-8056 or at Please show Tatum’s Totes Program in your subject line.

Tip of the Month

Since the second week of April is set aside to honor all volunteers, there isn’t a more perfect time for you to decide to start volunteering. There are hundreds of places where you can reach out.

If you enjoy children, you can help at a local daycare center or your local school as one who reads to the children or helps one-on-one on subjects they might need a little extra help with.

If you like working with the elderly, go to your nearest nursing home or assisted living facility and offer your services. They always need someone to lead activities or just to sit and talk with the residents many of whom have no family or friends close by.

You can also give of your time at the town library, the hospital or the humane society.

Green Mountain United Way maintains a Volunteer Network where you can search through the volunteer opportunities listings and see if there is something there you might enjoy doing. Simply visit

Community Forums & Events

April 2016: National Autism Month – Alcohol Awareness Month – Child Abuse Prevention Month – Financial Literacy Month.
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 6, 2016: National Walking Day sponsored by the American Heart Association. Everyone is encouraged to lace up their walking shoes and spend 30 minutes walking for their health. Don’t stop there. Make it a habit at least three times per week.
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.
May 2016: National Foster Care Month. This will be a great time for you to contribute to the GMUW Tatum’s Totes Program through which we outfit children and youth going into foster care with backpacks of items they can call their own. For more information, please visit
May 2016: Older Americans Month. Make a special effort to spend some time with seniors, give them a hand and you’ll be amazed at how satisfying it will be.

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

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CVEDC & VocRehab Vermont Hold 7th Annual Central Vermont Job Fair April 6

April 6, 2016 at the Barre Auditorium

By: Jennifer Surat, CVEDC

The Central Vermont Economic Development Corporation along with VocRehab Vermont are holding the 7th Annual Central Vermont Job Fair on Wednesday, April 6th from 10AM to 4PM at the Barre Auditorium.

We are currently accepting vendor registrations until March 18th and table space is limited.  Registration is $110.00 per table and includes two free lunches, beverages and snacks catered by Community Kitchen.  Registration is available online at (link is external) or by calling CVEDC at 802-223-4654.

Three local radio stations will be broadcasting live throughout the day, Frank 107.1 /Froggy 100.9 and WDEV 96.1. A resource room equipped with a printer and laptops will be open and available to the public as well as Interview space.

Last year’s job fair attracted 60 vendors and over 850 job seekers.  Vendors ranged from ski resorts to retail to manufacturing and managerial positions.

The Central Vermont Job Fair is made possible through support from the following sponsors:  Vermont Department of Labor, VABIR, Northfield Savings Bank, Community National Bank and the Vermont Workforce Development Board.

Please contact CVEDC at 802-223-4654 or (link sends e-mail) for more information.

Jennifer Surat works as the Director of Development for CVEDC.

CVEDC is a non-profit, citizen-oriented organization whose objectives are to provide impetus for the region’s economic development activity by 1) Promoting Central Vermont and its resources to businesses contemplating new facilities, 2) assisting the area’s existing business planning expansion, 3) providing advisory service, education and information to small businesses, and 4) improving the infra-structure necessary for economic growth.  Our primary goal is to create jobs for the citizens living in Central Vermont.   CVEDC also offers the services of a Small Business Advisor from its affiliation with the Small Business Development Center.  For more information call 802-223-4654 or e-mail (link sends e-mail).  You can also visit their web site or facebook page at (link is external) .  CVEDC is an equal opportunity employer.  

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National Alcohol Awareness Month

April: When We All Happily Say Goodbye to Winter. The weather gets nicer and we spend time with friends and family enjoying the outdoors. Often times this involves cocktails, whether it’s at a beer garden, a ballgame or in a backyard. It’s important that we enjoy these activities responsibly though.Did you know that April is also National Alcohol Awareness Month? Below is some helpful information on alcohol consumption, abuse and treatment options. As harmless as it may seem to have a few drinks on a nice day, the effects of alcohol on one’s body can be far more serious than you think. So please read our newsletter and share this important information. It could help save lives.

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Health and Wellness Newsletter – April 2016

National Alcohol Awareness Month

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What is alcohol abuse?
Many people enjoy drinking alcohol in social settings or to relax. But sometimes people may find they’re drinking too much. And when heavy drinking leads to health, work, or relationship problems, it’s a form of alcohol abuse. Experts say that alcohol abuse is marked by one or more of the following problems: continuing to drink despite alcohol-related problems; indulging in hazardous behavior such as drinking and driving; or failing to fulfill work, school, or home obligations because of heavy drinking.


What are the symptoms of alcohol abuse?
The most prominent signs of alcohol abuse are the following:

    • Mood swings. Someone who abuses alcohol may have an explosive temper or become unusually aggressive.
  • Drinking as a crutch. If someone is drinking more frequently in order to relax, to escape problems, or to feel “normal,” these may be signs of alcohol abuse.


  • Lack of control. Alcohol abusers will keep drinking until they become very drunk. Often, drinking bouts result in temporary blackouts and an inability to remember events that happened while drinking.


  • Problems at work, school, or home.


It is common for alcohol abusers to drink to the point of becoming unruly and irresponsible. They often drive while drunk, become drunk in public, and miss work or have problems doing their job when they are at work. Friendships and family relationships are likely to suffer, and although the drinkers may know it, they continue to drink anyway.

How does alcohol abuse differ from alcoholism?
The two disorders have many symptoms in common (see Alcoholism), so the line is difficult to draw. However, most experts agree that alcoholism is a disease marked by a physical dependence on alcohol. Alcoholics have a greater tolerance for alcohol than other people and must consume more to get high as the disease progresses; they eventually develop a physical craving for alcohol and suffer withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety when they stop drinking.

Alcohol abuse, in contrast, is considered more of a psychological phenomenon. Not all alcohol abusers are alcoholics by any means, but in some cases alcohol abuse eventually progresses to alcoholism.

Source: Health Day; Alcohol Abuse By Paige Bierma, M.A.

Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health. Here’s how alcohol can affect your body:

Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure

Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis (Fatty Liver)
  • Alcoholic Hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast

Immune System:
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Sources: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism / National Institutes of Health

Where can I get help and information about alcohol abuse or alcoholism?

    • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) is an independent volunteer organization that provides free information and referrals for counseling and support; 244 East 58th Street, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10022. Call the group’s 24-hour “hope-line” at 800/622-2255 to be referred to a local NCADD affiliate, or visit their Web site at
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has over 100,000 chapters worldwide. Check their Web site or your local phone book, or call 212/870-3400 to find a group near you; P.O. Box 459, Grand Central Station; New York, NY 10163;


  • Rational Recovery Systems also provides nonreligious support for people who want to be sober; Box 800 Lotus, CA 95651; 530/621-4374;


  • The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is a public institute within the US Department of Health and Human Services. Its Web site features links to the latest research, government publications, and answers to frequently asked questions about alcohol and alcohol abuse; 5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304, Bethesda, MD 20892; 301/443-3860;

Copyright 2016 FamilyWize Community Service Partnership, Inc.




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Green Mountain United Way Promotes Volunteerism – April 10 – 16 is National Volunteer Week

Volunteers are many times the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations helping them to conduct programs, assist people to better their lives and generally save money for the host organizations. These wonderful people are also morale boosters for the organizations’ directors and employees making their workplaces areas of positive attitudes just because of these volunteers so freely giving of their time and talent.

April 10 – 16, 2016 has been designated as National Volunteer Week, a time when everyone should take a few moments to acknowledge and thank their volunteers for the work they do. Green Mountain United Way is truly grateful to all its volunteers making our organization that much more meaningful and of benefit to our local area.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) indicates that 62.8 million Americans volunteer with approximately 7.9 billion hours of volunteer time given. This represents an estimated $184 billion value of service.  In Vermont, 34.7% of residents volunteer ranking our state as 6th among the 50 states and Washington, DC.  Vermonters give 22.1 million hours of service, or $509.5 million value of service.  To read more about volunteerism across our country, go to

The CNCS also states that volunteers have 27% higher odds of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers, possibly due to their developing new skills and expanding personal networks. Their records also show that 80% of volunteers donate to charity compared to 40% of non-volunteers.  In Vermont, 49.3% donate to charitable organizations.

If you volunteer now no matter where, Green Mountain United Way thanks you. GMUW’s own volunteers are a testament to the positive changes that are happening in our local communities and, for that, we are extremely grateful to them.

If you do not yet volunteer, please consider giving of your time and expertise.  It’s a great way to help others and, at the same time, improve your life by learning new skills, creating new friends and making your community a better place.

For more information about GMUW, please visit where an extensive Volunteer Network is maintained.


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