We Moved!

Our office has moved and we’ve joined the incredible community at Green Mountain Community Fitness at 652 Granger Road in Barre. Our phone number is the same (802-613-3989) but our office space is not! We now have lots of parking, plenty of room for social distancing, and incredible neighbors in Green Mountain Community Fitness, The Washington County Youth Service Bureau, and hopefully more like-minded organizations and individuals, soon!

Our new bright space is quietly waiting to welcome folks in once we are safely gathering again. In the meantime, enjoy some photos of our new gorgeous office space filled with sunshine, some sparkle, & plenty of twinkly lights!

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Woman wears a mask and places her hands over her heart

Masks On, Vermont!

Love Vermont? We do too! To keep our state safe, healthy, and thriving, please wear a face mask or covering over your nose and mouth when you’re out and about. Masks are a simple and effective way to protect others around you as some people can have COVID-19 and not even know it.

Wearing a mask or face covering is a simple way to stop the spread of COVID-19—it also helps Vermonters get back to work, which helps keep our economy going. Face masks that cover your nose and mouth also protect others around you if you are infected with COVID-19 and don’t know it.

Not sure when to wear a mask?

Here are some tips:

When to Wear a Mask:

  • Whenever you’re unable to always stay 6 feet apart from others who you don’t
  • live with (for example, at work, riding the bus, on a ride share, or at school)
  • On a busy and crowded street, trail, or bike path
  • At home, if you have symptoms and you live with other people
  • Going to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor, or hospital

Never put a mask on a child under the age of 2, someone who needs help to remove the mask, someone who is in respiratory distress or unconscious. People who have trouble breathing, such as people with asthma, can wear a light-weight bandanna or cloth covering tied to be open at the bottom or face shield.

Thanks for doing your part and masking up! Get more mask tips at HealthVermont.gov/MasksOnVT

Nonprofit and Business Partners:

You can do your part, too. The State of Vermont has put together posters, social media graphics, and language for you to use to help spread the word!

Access The State of Vermont Mask On Vermont Campaign Materials here.

Access Working Bridges or Green Mountain United Way branded posters here.

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Orleans No. Essex Mask Project

The CDC and VT Department of Health are recommending masks or cloth face coverings when we are out in public to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. To address this right here in our communities, the Orleans Northern Essex (ONE) Response and Recovery Team is working on a project to provide masks to everyone in our region who needs them.

Please click the button below if you need to request a mask please know we are working on getting this project off the ground. You should contact NEKCA in Newport to find out if they have masks available at this time. When we have masks available we will post a request form here.

Currently, we are seeking stitchers to help sew masks from kits. The ONE Team has been the recipient of a generous donation of mask kits (including fabric and elastic to make adult and child-sized masks) from Vermont Teddy Bear Company – we just need stitchers to sew them! If you sew or know folks who do and are able to volunteer some time to sew masks for our neighbors, please fill out the Volunteer Stitcher Form below or use this link, We would also love your help to share this message with your networks to help us find volunteer stitchers who can help!

If you have questions, please direct them to Carrie Stahler at Green Mountain United Way at cstahler@gmunitedway.org.


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Summer of LIVE UNITED

While we were disappointed that we have had to postpone our Golf Classic until 2021, we are making the best of 2020 with a virtual event – Summer of LIVE UNITED!

There are three ways YOU can join us to LIVE UNITED that we’ll be sharing right here all summer long! To submit your entries, email them to liveunited@gmunitedway.org. At the end of August we will put everyone’s names in a hat and draw a winner – winners will receive a gift certificate to the local restaurant of your choice!

Option #1: GOLF!

Same sport, but definitely not the same tournament format we’ve always done. The Country Club of Barre is open for business and is welcoming golfers. They are currently offering one player per cart (but are shifting and changing as the State of Vermont offers new guidance, so check their website for the most up-to-date information.)

Go play a round then send us a selfie of you on the greens, your score, and, if it is possible for you, donate to Green Mountain United Way to help us continue our work supporting Vermonters through Health, Education, and Financial Stability initiatives.  This work has never been more important and your support makes it all possible.

Option #2: Show us how YOU LIVE UNITED

Send us a selfie of your own version of what LIVE UNITED means to you in your town, business, or community – it could be volunteering, caring for your grandchildren, spending a day at the lake. Whatever it is, please consider a donation to Green Mountain United Way so together we can pay it forward to Vermonters in need of support, resources, and care during this difficult time.

Option #3: Inspire all of us to LIVE UNITED

For those who are not selfie-inclined or who love to shine the light on those who inspire them, share a story of someone who has inspired you and make a donation to Green Mountain United Way in their name. Email us to tell us why they inspire you or send a short story of something inspirational they have done and we’ll share it right here!

Summer of LIVE UNITED Gallery

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Our Response to Racism and Unrest

Dear United Way supporters, friends, partners, and colleagues,

The tragic deaths of Black Americans George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others have shocked and outraged people around Vermont, around the country, and around the world. Their deaths have been a representation of the insurmountable loss created through the undeniable systematic racism within our nation. As an agency whose mission is to fight for the well-being of all people, we have a responsibility to stand up and speak, because silence is not an option in the face of this tragedy. With that understanding, we want to be explicit in saying we honor and value the voices and experiences of those in our community who are Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. We stand with you and your fight for equality in our communities, our state, and our country. This tragedy has opened a space for conversations about inclusivity and opportunities for accountability. We heard the call when Governor Phil Scott, in creating Vermont’s Racial & Equity Task Force, said that each of us must take action to make change.

We also consider this a call to hold ourselves accountable, not just in words, but in action in order to create pathways to ensure that opportunity is accessible to all Vermonters. We understand that this work will require courage, discomfort, and an honest look at the ways we as a community are perpetuating or benefitting from these systems and the power we have to change them.

We pledge to do better. We urge you to join us. Together with our volunteers, our partner nonprofit agencies, all members of our communities, we are dedicated to making our Vermont UNITED. We invite you to join us in this work to create the equitable and inclusive communities that we have been called to create. The power one person holds is strong, the unified power of a diverse and responsive community is invincible.

With Gratitude,

The team at Green Mountain United Way

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United Way COVID-19 Relief & Response Fund Grantees

This week, we took the incredible generosity of Vermonters from across our region and were able to fund 19 nonprofit organizations doing critical work to support individuals and families in a huge variety of ways throughout the community. we want to share with you what your incredible support was able to do for those in our communities whose lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic.

With your help, we raised over $17,000 in the Relief & Response Fund by last 5/8/20. United Way has worked quickly and collaboratively to invest your contributions to our COVID-19 Relief & Response Fund back into the community to address immediate needs and support working families, the most vulnerable Vermonters, and the well-being of our community.

To those of you who donated to the Relief & Response Fund, we have been humbled and inspired by the ways big and small that you, our friends, collaborators, and donors, continue to LIVE UNITED in support of our Central and Northeastern Vermonters. Thank you for demonstrating how generous our community is and for using philanthropy to make a difference.
Below is a list of the organizations that have received grants. We are happy to announce that because of the generosity of our donors, in this first round, all applying organizations received some level of funding. However, this has exhausted current funding, but we continue to fundraise as we do not see the needs ending even as the State of Vermont moves into a Recovery phase and particularly because of the extension of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. If you are able to help, please consider a gift to the Relief & Response Fund to help neighbors in our community.

Organization Name Region Funding Detail
Barre Community Justice Center CVT Housing support
Burke Senior Meal Site NEK Kitchen equipment to meet increased demand for senior meals
Catamount Film & Arts NEK Production of PPE for healthcare & community, employee support
CVHHH CVT Personal Protective & Telehealth Equipment
Danville Senior Activity Center NEK Materials to package meals for seniors to meet increased demand
Downstreet Housing CVT Critical and stable housing support
East Burke School NEK Digital equipment to connect students to remote education
Enough Ministries CVT Support of meal preparation for formerly homeless guests now living in hotels
Family Center Washington County CVT Support of families with young children to maintain connectivity
Good Samaritan Haven CVT Housing support for those formerly housed at shelter in Barre, now in hotels, retrofits to shelter to continue to serve guests
North Country Hospital NEK Support for furloughed workers and families
Town of Charleston NEK Continued service of emergency food for seniors in West Charleston
Umbrella NEK Food for seniors, shift in continuation of services for those impacted by domestic violence
United Way Lamoille County/Lamoille Family Center NEK Creation and distribution of education packets for home bound families in Caledonia County

Phase 2 Grantees

Organization NameRegionFunding Detail
Easter Seals of VermontCVT & NEKTelehealth for families, direct support for families including grocery cards, gas cards, fuel assistance, PPE
Faith In ActionNEKIncreased need for food, cost of food and food transportation
Island Pond Community ServiceNEKCooking equipment to support expanded Meals on Wheels services
Northeast Kingdom Human ServicesNEK Support for Zero Suicide Initiative Team Weekly Virtual Wellness Classes
Central Vermont Home Health & HospiceCVTConnectivity-specific funding to connect 5 families to telehealth services
Waterbury Area Senior CenterCVTSupport for increased needs and expenses for Meals on Wheels program

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Working Bridges Employee Contacts for Remote Resource Coordination

Out of an abundance of caution and in consideration of keeping employees and our Working Bridges clients in the healthcare sector safe, we are moving to a remote tele-coordination system effective immediately, Monday, March 16, 2020.

We understand the challenge of working remotely in a rural area and have identified a variety of methods that should work for the vast majority of those of you who need to contact your Resource Coordinator.

Employees and HR professionals at our Working Bridges sites in Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom can access Resource Coordinators through the following contact methods:

Email: Both Laurie and Michelle can be confidentially emailed using one email address: wbrc@gmunitedway.org. Please indicate which employer you work for and the nature of your issue.

Phone: Laurie can be reached at 802-793-7919, Michelle can be reached at 802-793-9517.

Text: The phone number above are cell phones and can receive texts

Video conferencing: If face-to-face contact is preferred by you, our client, Laurie is an Apple iPhone user and can Facetime with clients, or can use Google Hangouts, Michelle has access to Google Hangouts.

Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA) has moved to a drop-off system. Please ask your HR department for a VITA packet for your upcoming appointment. You will need to include all paperwork, including a photocopy of your ID and Social Security card(s) in order for us to complete your taxes. Paperwork will be mailed to you for signatures prior to submission to the IRS.

Facebook: Join our Working Bridges Employee Facebook page to connect with resources and stay up to date on new opportunities! Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/workingbridges/

HR Partners, print our new Working Bridges Flyer here. Email Carrie at cstahler (at) gmunitedway.org if you need this as a PDF. This poster looks like this:

Our Working Bridges Employee Resource Guide is updated regularly and contains consolidated contact information for agencies providing resources.

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Graphic with red box in the center and yellow and red geometric shapes surrounding the box on a white ground

COVID-19 Resource Page

The following information is intended to help everyone in our communities get to the resources they need quickly and efficiently.

The local response to COVID-19 throughout our five-county region is rapidly changing and we will keep this page updated as we receive additional information.

Please note, we are dedicated to continuing to serve our Working Bridges sites. For employees at our Working Bridges worksites, we are still serving all of our worksites but are now using remote service systems. Please reach your resource coordinators at wbrc@gmunitedway.org or by phone. Resource coordinators will continue to be available remotely to serve all employees at our Working Bridges sites. Please see this link for contact details for Laurie or Michelle.

HEALTH

Vermont Department of Health – please use this link to connect to the most recent information distributed by the Vermont Department of Health. If you are having symptoms and you are concerned they may be COVID-19, please do not go to the ER, call your healthcare provider or primary care physician’s office to be triaged by them first.

When to call your doctor – If you believe you are having symptoms of coronavirus/COVID-19, please call your doctor’s office before seeking out treatment or going to the emergency room. Your doctor will give you the best course of action to take to protect your health and the health of others.

Vermont 211 – Dial 2-1-1 if you have questions about COVID-19 but are not seeking medical care or to find resources to deal with challenges you or community members may be experiencing due to impacts of the virus such as food insecurity, housing, etc. You can also access the 211 Database at https://vermont211.org/ (if you are a nonprofit organization whose services have changed due to COVID-19, please email 211 with changes at info@vermont211.org)

AARP – Coronavirus Resources and helpful information for Vermonters over 55 can be found here – https://states.aarp.org/vermont/coronavirus-resources-for-vermonters

Please note that People’s Health and Wellness Clinic in Barre, who serve uninsured Vermonters, has suspended in-person patient visits at PHWC. We remain committed to providing care for our patients and will offer phone triage, phone/video appointments with providers, and comprehensive case management. If you have any questions or need assistance, please call the clinic at 802-479-1229. For questions related to COVID-19, please call the helpline at 802-371-5310.

MENTAL HEALTH

Northeast Kingdom Human Services – (802) 784-3181

Parent/Grandparent Support Line through NKHS: 802-749-1111 – 8:30am – 5:00pm, M – F

Washington County Mental Health Services – (802) 229-0591 or online at  www.wcmhs.org – for information around self-care, coping with social distancing, fun activities for kids and more!


The Vermont Telephone Recovery Support Service Peer Support Helpline – (802) 808-8877, operating 24/7.

FOOD INSECURITY

Please use this link to the Vermont Foodbank’s page listing updated information to help people who need food to access it at this time. Find your local food shelf here or call the Vermont Foodbank at  1-800-585-2265.

Hunger Free Vermont is also regularly updating their resources regarding food. Click here to view their page, which includes information about WIC, School Meals, 3SquaresVT, Meal Programs for Older Vermonters, and more. Use this link to view the COVID-19 Food Resources Flyer with updated information you can use and share about access to food.

School Districts are developing their own food plans in response to school closures. Contact your local school for the most up to date information. We will be listing all of the information we receive from schools here.

Northeast Kingdom Food (and other) Resources:

TRANSPORTATION

Bus Service

GMT service is changing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the latest route updates and service alerts at www.RideGMT.com

RCT Serves the NEK. Find current updates on the RCT website. Those with questions about Rural Community Transit rides should call 802-748-8170 or toll-free 1-855-811-6360.

HOUSING

Northeast Kingdom

  • Northeast Kingdom Community Action – 802-748-6040
  • RuralEdge – 800-234-0560

Central Vermont

  • Capstone Community Action – Toll-Free Barre Office 1-800-639-1053, Toll-Free Morrisville Office 1-800-639-8710, Toll-Free Orange County West/Randolph Office 1-800-846-9506, Orange County East/Bradford Office (802) 222-5419
  • Downstreet Housing and Community Development – Toll-Free 877-320-0063

CHILDCARE

Yesterday Governor Phil Scott ordered the implementation of the child care system to support personnel essential to the COVID-19 Response. This means many centers are closing but some will be making slots available to children of Vermonters responding to the crisis. Please read Governor Scott’s press release here and the full guidance document here.

FINANCIAL INSECURITY

If your employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 community response, please see the Vermont Department of Labor’s website. At this time we understand that their phone lines may be very busy.

Taxes – the IRS has extended the deadline for taxes due and the deadline for filing. This information is complex. Here is the link to the IRS language and a separate Wall Street Journal article that we found helpful.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital Community Connections can help with Insurance and Unemployment claims – call (802) 748-7526

HOW YOU CAN HELP

As this crisis continues to develop we can see an increasing need for volunteers – we are reaching out to our nonprofit partners to understand how they are using volunteers and what their ongoing needs will be. Many of the consistent volunteers in our community are older, retired Vermonters. These individuals are most at risk for COVID-19, so we are seeing a rapid shift in those who are able to fill volunteer roles in the community, and those who are not. Additionally, we and our nonprofit partners are preparing to serve our communities in many new ways to keep our communities and our most vulnerable Vermonters safe.

VOLUNTEERING

We are working with our nonprofit partners in the community to update volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Connection. If you work for a nonprofit in need of support or volunteers, please reach out to Carrie at cstahler at gmunitedway.org.

If you are able to volunteer, check updated opportunities here, find local nonprofits and their volunteer coordinator contacts here to reach out to individual organizations.

WNOC-RRCC – This collaboration in the Central Vermont region is working to address food delivery and other volunteer supports. Check their website and register if you can help here https://www.communityharvestvt.org/volunteer

Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging – the NEKCOA is working with volunteers to create continuity of service for Meals on Wheels. If you are able to help, contact Karen Budde at NEKCOA. https://www.nekcouncil.org/volunteer or call (802) 751-0431.

Central Vermont Council on Aging – CVCOA is working to create continuity of support for food delivery for seniors, finding backup drivers, and other support services by volunteers. If you are able to help, contact Luke Rackers or go to https://www.cvcoa.org/volunteering.html.

Local-Level Opportunities to Give Help or Get Help (Mutual Aid)

Many local communities are rallying community members to be available as opportunities come up or become more clear. Please check out the communities that have shared their sign-up forms. (please note, we are not helping to manage these volunteers, just sharing this information with you in case you are interested in connecting with these grassroots groups).

Individual Community Groups can be found at the bottom of this resource crowd-sourced Vermont Resource List.

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Green Mountain United Way selected as beneficiary of Shaw’s “Give Back Where It Counts” for January

Montpelier, Vermont – January 15, 2020

Green Mountain United Way has been selected as a beneficiary of the Shaw’s “Give Back Where It Counts” reusable bag program for the month of January. For each of the reusable shopping bags purchased at the Montpelier, Vt store, Green Mountain United Way will receive one dollar.

Shaw’s program was launched in April 2019 to facilitate community support, with the goal to make a difference in the communities where shoppers live and work. The program features the reusable “Give Back Where It Counts” bag with a special tag attached that allows customers to direct a donation to the nonprofit of their choice upon purchase.

Green Mountain United Way was selected as a beneficiary of the program by store employees at Shaw’s in Montpelier. Green Mountain United Way will receive the donation every time the reusable bag is purchased at this location during the month of January unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag attached to the bag.

“We are grateful to Shaw’s for selecting us for this program and their ongoing support of so many organizations in our community,” said Tawnya Kristen, Green Mountain United Way executive director. “Not only does this support directly toward helping those in our community, but by purchasing reusable bags shoppers are also taking a step toward creating more sustainability! That’s a win-win!”

Further information about Shaw’s “Give Back Where It Counts” reusable bag program can be found at www.shaws.bags4mycause.com. For more information about Green Mountain United Way contact Carrie Stahler, Green Mountain United Way, 73 Main Street, Montpelier, Vermont, 802-613-3989 or info@gmunitedway.org.

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Canceled: Campaign Kickoff and Awards Happy Hour

We’ve made the tough choice to cancel this event tomorrow, November 31, 2019, due to the weather and other logistical concerns. But we will be taking this great idea and working with our committee and volunteers to bring this into the future and create a fun opportunity to celebrate the great work happening in our communities. 
Stay tuned to our website & Facebook, or email us to be added to the list for future event information.

In the meantime, stay warm and be careful on the roads!

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