Meet Jean…

In Vermont, transportation is a lifeline. A car is often the only option people have to get to the grocery store, to the doctor’s office, and to work. Buying a car can be a stressful and complex process filled with research, negotiations, and decisions. Adding to the complex process of buying a used car, English is Jean’s second language. Jean was thrilled to have found a late-model used car – his credit was good, he was able to get a loan, and the payments seemed affordable. So, Jean signed the papers, climbed in his car, and was on his way!

Jean in his purple uniform and safety glasses at his workplace

Until the engine blew up a few short months later.

Jean thought the dealership would fix his car. So he paid to have the car towed back to where he had bought it just a few months earlier. What Jean didn’t realize was that his car was sold “As-Is” and there was no warranty. The $2000+ repair would be Jean’s responsibility, and now his car was stuck at the dealership. Jean was devastated. Because of his shifts, public transportation was not an option. 

Without a car, Jean struggled to get to work on time, and sometimes it was hard to get to work at all.

Jean’s supervisor talked to him. As a good, reliable employee, his supervisor wanted Jean to be at work doing his job, but Jean needed to get there on time. If Jean continued to be late, he would get points against him which could result in him losing his job. But Jean was running out of option. 

Until Jean’s supervisor referred him to the Working Bridges Resource Coordinator, who is on-site at Jean’s workplace, to see if she could help him get to work on time and navigate his complicated car situation…

Jean met with the Working Bridges Resource Coordinator after his shift was over and they talked about his options. Jean had access to the Income Advance Loan program through Working Bridges. The loan could help him pay for part of the repair. But that loan alone was not enough. Jean figured that he could, “stop paying the car loan now that the car was not working – then he could put that amount into his savings each month to pay for the repair.”

Fortunately, the Resource Coordinator was there to help Jean understand his choices – and their potential outcomes. She explained that by signing that loan paperwork he had agreed to pay the full amount of the loan – whether the car was working, or not. If he didn’t continue his car loan payments, he risked losing the car! 

Jean and the Resource Coordinator worked together to coordinate temporary rides with co-workers so he could get to work on time and keep his job. 

Then they tackled his budget to figure out how he could save the money he needed to pay for his car repair. The Resource Coordinator is also a trained Financial Coach and helped Jean outline a savings plan and spending plan. She also discovered that Jean had a tax return coming back – that money could be put into his savings to put toward his car repair! 

Today, they are still working together to make sure Jean stays on track. With his hard work building savings, continued employment, and a few rides from his co-workers, Jean hopes to have his car repaired and ready to drive in the New Year! But until then, Jean continues to need your help. As a supporter of Green Mountain United Way, you’re making sure that Jean keeps his stable employment and does not fall into poverty because of something as simple as a loss in reliable transportation. 

Because sometimes a solution is as simple as having a reliable way to get to work on time.

Join us – together, we are the UNITED WAY. You are the neighbors caring for neighbors. You are the reason working Vermonters have somewhere to turn when they struggle – because UNITED, you are making a difference. We thank you and recognize that without you, this important support would not be available to people when they need it most! 
Help Jean with a #GivingTuesday gift to Green Mountain United Way!

Already given through your workplace campaign or directly to United Way? Thank you!

Ready to learn more? Read about our Working Bridges program, the United Way Volunteer Connection, or other great work happening in Central and Northeastern Vermont!

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Barre Cub Scouts step up to support local children in foster care

The Barre Cub Scouts recently held an item drive for Tatum’s Totes to support backpacks for kids transitioning into emergency foster care. That drive turned into an incredible opportunity for the scouts to help put together backpacks for kids their ages, imagining what a child might help to comfort a child who is going to a new home.

In the end, they put together 75 backpacks filled with items for children, and built with a lot of love. They presented a backpack to United Way Board President Linda Winter at halftime on the football field at Spaulding on Friday, September 20th.

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Campaigns Kick-off!

This week our partners at The State of Vermont and Northfield Savings Bank kicked off campaign season with events for their employees.

The State of Vermont held their event at the State House and started with breakfast then speeches in the House Chambers from Campaign Chair Melissa Mazza-Paquette, Secretary of Administration Suzanne Young, Green Mountain United Way’s Carrie Stahler, and Governor Phil Scott. An award ceremony for State Employees followed.

Northfield Savings Bank encouraged their team with a Superhero Theme led by their own HR Superheroes. The weeklong campaign culminated with a Superhero Celebratory Lunch for all who participated!

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Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinator Volunteer Connection Info

Below are resources for Nonprofit Volunteer Coordinators to use in order to learn how the United Way Volunteer Connection works, to sign up for the Volunteer Connection, or to trouble-shoot challenges on the Volunteer Connection. If you need more help than these resources offer, reach out to Carrie or Beckie at 802-613-3989 or email volunteer@gmunitedway.org.

Quick Start Guide (START HERE! Use this guide to sign up, set up, and update all of your nonprofit’s info and volunteer opportunities)

Login to the GMUW Volunteer Connection

Video Resources from our partners at Galaxy Digital, the folks who support our Volunteer Connection database:

We hold periodic trainings to help our nonprofit partners train new staff, stay up to date, learn new tips and tricks, and make the most efficient use of the Volunteer Connection. Stay tuned for the next training date – we try to combine these with peer meetings you can learn from your fellow Volunteer Coordinators!

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Golf Classic a Success!

Thank you sponsors, players, and volunteers! Thanks to you our 2019 Golf Classic was a huge success, raising over $15,000 for our community!

A special thank you for our Silver Sponsors:


Photos

Click here to access our photo 2019 Golf Classic Photo Gallery!

Results

Congratulations to all of our winners and to our incredible local businesses who provided prizes for our players!

CategoryTeam NamePlayers
Men’s Closest to Pin 4DRMSteve Bigras
Men’s Closest to Pin 7 Black River/NorthCountryJess Dahline
Men’s Closest to Pin 13 Nat. Business Tech.Scott Crossett
Men’s Closest to Pin 16 DRM Connor Garand
Men’s Straight Drive 9
Men’sLongest Drive 18
Women’s Closest to Pin 4 Vermont Mutual Annett Lamell
Women’s Closest to Pin 7 No winner
Women’s Closest to Pin 13 No winner
Women’s Closest to Pin 16 VSECUEileen Mead-Belanger
Women’s Straight Drive 9 No Winner
Women’s Longest Drive 18 VSECUYvonne Garand
1st GrossGranite City Group FitnessTullar, Evans, Evans, Garand
1st NetComm. Nat. BankRubel, Mitiguy, Hughart, Stone
2nd GrossConvenience PlusMcCarthy, Milne, Quinn Maclean
2nd NetBlack River/North CountryRobinson, Dahline, Stumpo, Adorisio
3rd Gross Vermont Mutual Taylor, Stark, Chalous, Thurston
Spirit of the GameVSECU Gosselin, Bristow, Mead-Belanger, Huysman
Smash the Glass WinnerComm. Nat. BankJay Mitiguy

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2019 National Association Of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Is your United Way participating in the 2019 National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive? Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 25 years.

Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.

United Way is proud to support the Stamp Out Hunger Fund Drive.

Download the flyer HERE.

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I volunteer because…

April is National Volunteer Month and here at United Way, we know that Volunteers make the world go ’round!

For so many nonprofits, volunteers are the beating heart of our work and make many of our local nonprofit’s missions possible. This month, we want to sing it from the hilltops, so we’re hosting a virtual Volunteer Share!

We’d like your help – get in on the action by printing the “I volunteer because…” sign (link below) and posting a photo of yourself on Facebook page and sharing it on yours and tagging Green Mountain United Way.

How it works:

  1. Print the sign
  2. Write in why you volunteer! (could be as simple as “because it makes me happy!” or as complicated as you like, just make it legible! There is a word doc in case typing is easier.)
  3. Take a selfie or have someone take your photo holding the sign
  4. Post it on your Facebook page and tag Green Mountain United Way and then post it on our Facebook page (better yet, also tag the organization you volunteer for!) 
  5. Email it to me and we’ll post it on our page and here on this blog post!

Downloads

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Panel, Networking Event Brings Nonprofits Together to Learn

On a recent, crisp, cold January morning, over 20 nonprofits were represented in Norwich University’s Kreitzberg Library’s Multi-Purpose room for Green Mountain United Way and Norwich University’s Volunteer Coordinator Panel and Networking event. Carrie Stahler of Green Mountain United Way facilitated a discussion by panelists Greg McGrath from Norwich University, Erin Regan from The American Cancer Society and Patty Connor from Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice to discuss volunteer recruitment, placement, retention, and management from a variety of viewpoints.

Greg organizes campus events and activities throughout the school year working with various student groups to accomplish his work. Greg brought a studied volunteer management perspective and spoke about creating systems that benefit your organization and a volunteer’s interests. Erin’s focus is on working with groups of volunteers regionally to operate the Relay for Life events in Central Vermont and Caledonia County. Erin’s input helped us all learn more about successful outreach and relationship building, working with groups and committees, and she really lit up when talking about how to use social media to reach and communicate with volunteers. Patty brought us the perspective of a smaller nonprofit organization and covered how to engage volunteers in various tasks, how to work with departments who use volunteers to ensure volunteers and staff are working well together.

Nonprofits were engaged and had a lot of general and specific questions that informed the conversation. Nicole Didomenico from Norwich University’s Center for Civic Engagement hosted the event and shared her experience and ways that Norwich students could help organizations meet their volunteer needs and what limitations faced students that nonprofits should be aware of.

Green Mountain United Way holds volunteer coordinator meetings quarterly alternating between Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom. The next meeting will take place in the Northeast Kingdom in April. To get an invitation, join our mailing list by emailing volunteer@gmunitedway.org.

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