What is Vermont Gives?
Executive Director’s Message
For close to a year, GMUW has been a leading partner in both the St. Johnsbury and Barre Promise Community initiative working with representatives from Building Bright Futures, VT Dept of Health, education, area non-profits and community members. The Promise Community is tasked with helping our youngest children in chosen municipalities by providing the best possible start in life through a planned project based on community input and supporting data. Once planning is complete, we will then be eligible to receive $200,000 for each individual area to implement our plan. This is not only a tremendous opportunity to bring effective change to not just children, but to these communities in their entirety.
Through this work, I have been humbled by the level of hope, passion and commitment the families of St. Johnsbury and Barre residents hold for their community. I have also been amazed by people’s willingness, particularly youth, to share what they value in their community and what they see as challenges.
At a recent community meeting, I met a young girl and asked what she would like to see in Barre to support youth and children. Her response of a community center echoed many other comments we have received, but her detailed explanation as why such a place was important was inspirational. She listed with such conviction all the purpose and needs that could be met in such a place, from accessibility to healthy food, mentoring, engaging activities that appealed to the variety of interest’s young people have, and all in a safe and welcoming environment. When I told her that she was a great spokesperson for youth and that her opinion was so important to this process, she looked at me with surprise and said no one had ever said she was important or was ever interested in her hopes.
My appreciation of this young girl will continue long after the goals of the Promise Community have been met. She gave me a reminder as to why we do what we do. Through our work we bring worth, recognition and sense of place to so many. I look forward to the day in the near future when I can see this young girl again and say our work with the Promise Community has created the place where her dreams can now become reality.
Thank you as always for your support which allows us to create solutions in the areas of education, income and health for all ages. Through your belief in us, we are able to demonstrate the true purpose of living united.
Day of Action is the United Way’s annual day for volunteering, this year set for June 21st. Green Mountain United Way has organized two venues for such service on this day plus a third one set for June 25th to accommodate the receiving agency.
GMUW is looking for volunteers to work a 4-hour shift (if possible) at OUR House in downtown Barre on June 21 hopefully starting at 9 am where they need people to stain their handicap ramps, paint exterior doors, sweeping and cleaning the parking area, lawn and street-facing flower bed. No special skills are needed and painting materials will be provided as well as snacks.
Green Mountain United Way has joined the inaugural Vermont Gives Statewide Day of Giving on June 7, 2016.
Vermont Gives is designed as a one-day online giving opportunity to celebrate giving across Vermont in order to raise awareness of nonprofits in Vermont and their importance to Vermonters’ quality of life, as well as to provide organizations an opportunity to find new and unique audiences. Bookmark our givingpage (https://www.vermontgives.org/green-mountain-united-way) to contribute directly to Green Mountain United Way and mark your calendar for June 7!
Make sure to connect with us on Facebook to get reminders about Vermont Gives and all of the other exciting work we are doing in the community.
You’ve done it! On May 14th, many of you participated in the 24th Annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive for local food shelves and helped to contribute more food than last year.
In the GMUW five counties of Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans and Washington, in just one day, 19,518 pounds of non-perishable food items were donated – nearly 600 pounds more than last year. That food was immediately distributed to 24 of our community food pantries here in northeastern and central Vermont.
Our final round of Micro Grants for this year has concluded and we are very happy to announce the following three winners:
- Oxbow Senior Independence Program of Newbury, VT: $250 for the purchase of time at a neighboring fitness and wellness studio so their senior clients can benefit from hydrotherapy not covered by Medicare of Medicaid;
- Kingdom Community Services of St. Johnsbury, VT: $250 to help purchase an energy efficient freezer for their food shelf;
- Community Restorative Justice Center of St. Johnsbury, VT: $250 for the purchase of materials to construct a raised bed garden for the Depot Square Apartment Complex;
Applications for Round 2 of Community Grants for requests of $2,500 or less will be underway starting July 8, 2016 until August 5, 2016. As in Round 1 last fall, projects for which applications are submitted must align with Green Mountain United Way’s priority areas of Education, Income or Health. For a full description of funding parameters and the application form, please go to:
This is an exciting time for GMUW as, effective immediately, we are partnering with the Department of Children & Families to expand the Tatum’s Totes Program to the Newport District. This is in addition to our collaboration with DCF in the Barre District.
Conversations with the DCF Resource Coordinator in the Newport office have indicated to both of us that children and youth in foster care in that area are in just as desperate need of personal items as in the rest of the state. Many are placed in foster homes without advance warning, arriving with only the clothes on their backs.
The United Parcel Service has announced that its 12th Annual Golf Classic for the benefit of Green Mountain United Way will take place on Saturday, August 13, 2016 with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. This year the tournament will take place at the St. Johnsbury Country Club at 4357 Memorial Dr.
Summer and the end of school will be here before we know it. This is a time when children should be out enjoying our beautiful Vermont weather by engaging in group sports and other activities with their friends.
Yet, don’t let these next three months be a time when your children fall behind in their level of knowledge and have to do some catching up when they return to school in the fall. Many teachers are obliged to spend a few weeks in September reviewing points in Reading, Math, Language Arts and other topics to help students get back to where they were when school ended.
Help your children to stay ahead in their education by incorporating learning into their everyday fun activities this summer. Encourage them to read regularly and assist them in making crafts through which they can use math. Play sports with them where they can become proficient in team building and coordination. When going on vacation, instead of taking them to just a theme park, for instance, take them to a venue where they can learn about the history and geography of their state or country.
And, don’t forget to all have a great summer!
|June 4, 2016:||Senator Leahy’s 20th Annual Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference|
|June 7, 2016:||Vermont Gives Online Giving Day for Nonprofit Organizations|
|June 21, 2016:||Day of Action at OUR House in Barre|
|June 21, 2016:||Day of Action: Sexual Assault Crisis Team in Barre|
|June 25, 2016:||Day of Action: Mad River Riders|
|August 13, 2016:||12th Annual UPS Golf Classic for Benefit of GMUW|