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 Youth 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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Donate a Device to Help Families

Do you have a device that you are no longer using? We are looking for device donations so we can clean, refurbish, and set up these used devices for families who do not have a device to use to stay connected on the internet. Families now need devices to access services like health care, wellness, social connectivity, and social & educational services and we see this need continuing throughout this crisis.

We are seeking devices that are newer than 5 years old. We are accepting cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Please use the link below to access a Fillable PDF with information about your device, then email it to connectivity@gmunitedway.org.

Thank you in advance for your help in keeping families safe and connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Click Donate Now to access the PDF with device donation information. When you have completed the form, please email it to Carrie Stahler at connectivity@gmunitedway.org.

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Mother’s Day Card Shower

This time of year we are usually planning our route to spread cheer and love by delivering roses donated by generous community members to area nursing homes.

This year, our Annual Roses event has been canceled and those same nursing homes have not had visitors for weeks because of the coronavirus. We are thrilled that elders in our communities are safe and protected, but we know they still need some love and cheer. This year for Mother’s Day we are asking you to join us in supporting them with a Card Shower.

Cards can be homemade, store-bought, or any combination of the two! Below are the names and addresses of contacts at our area nursing or elder care facilities. Mail your cards to them so they can hang them in public spaces and share them with the elders in these facilities. Your messages can be ones of love, appreciation, and community, whatever moves you! You can focus on Mother’s Day or another reason, the main idea is that we are sharing our joy with folks who have not been able to have their friends and family nearby!

If you join us, please send us some photos of your cards before they go out! Email pictures to info@gmunitedway.org or post them to our Facebook page!

  • Genesis Health and Rehab:   Melissa Haupt or Melody Richardson , 98 Hospitality Drive, Berlin,  05603
  • Woodridge Nursing Home:  Dana Figueroa, 142 Woodridge Drive, Berlin, VT  05602
  • Heaton Woods Senior Residence:  Attn: Susie – Activities, 10 Heaton Street, Montpelier, 05602
  • The Gary Residence: Residents, 149 Main Street, Montpelier, 05602
  • Barre Gardens:  Susan Gile, 378 Prospect Street, Barre, 05641
  • Mayo Healthcare:  Activities Dept , 71 Richardson Avenue, Northfield, 05663
  • Menig Nursing Home: 215 Tom Wicker Lane, Randolph Center, VT 05061
  • Greensboro Nursing Home:  Activities Dept, 47 Maggies Pond Road, Greensboro, 05841
  • The Pines Rehabilitation & Health: Attn: Lizbeth Rodgers, Activities, 601 Red Village Rd, Lyndonville, VT 05851
  • St. Johnsbury Health & Rehab: Attn: Maria Luggelle, Admission Dir, 1248 Hospital Dr, St Johnsbury, VT 05819

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United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief & Response Fund Application

Applications are now being accepted for the Green Mountain United Way COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Response Fund.

Green Mountain United Way’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief & Response Fund was created to support the immediate and critical needs caused by COVID-19 and emergency response within the Green Mountain United Way service area of Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans, and Washington counties. Understanding that every dollar is needed by our community to address the increased critical needs as quickly as possible, we have created a streamlined application process including this form and to be submitted along with a brief letter on agency letterhead describing the need you are requesting funding for. 100% of this fund will be given as small-dollar grants ranging from $250-$2,000 to essential non-profit agencies who are working to address the following needs, which are aligned with five goals identified by our Accountable Communities for Health regional teams. These goals include work to ensure that individuals are: Well-Nourished; Well-Housed; Physically and Mentally Healthy; Financially Stable; Have the Ability to Meet Basic Needs.

Preference for funding will be given to non-profits partners who are members of the Accountable Community for Health leadership teams in the Northeast Kingdom (NEK Prosper) and Washington/Northern Orange County (THRIVE) but access to this fund is not limited ACH partners.  Any request for funds should be done by 501c3 nonprofit organizations and should demonstrate alignment with the shared goals listed above as they relate to needs created or exacerbated by COVID-19.

We are offering the application in two formats, Word:

And Fillable PDF:

Please include a 1-page letter describing the need for funds on agency letterhead and the application form. Please return both documents to Green Mountain United Way’s Executive Director Tawnya Kristen via email at tkristen@gmunitedway.org or by mail at 73 Main Street #33, Montpelier, VT 05602.

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COVID-19 Community Response

Use this page to find ways to Give Help, Get Help, and, Volunteer

We’re dedicated to supporting our communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic fallout that may result from it. To support all of our neighbors, we’re working with our existing network of partnerships and the community at large to develop a comprehensive list of community-based services and volunteer opportunities updated on a regular basis.



Disclaimer: We’re sharing opportunities and needs in communities across the region in an effort to provide real-time info. Green Mountain United Way has not vetted or researched all of these opportunities. Please keep yourself and your community safe by practicing social distancing and the guidelines established by healthvermont.gov.

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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 expands Working Bridges™ to serve employees at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital

Green Mountain United Way is pleased to announce that Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) has joined Green Mountain United Way’s Working Bridges™ program and will be bringing supports to its employees.

Working Bridges, a program of Green Mountain United Way, is designed to foster the shared understanding that barriers such as childcare, food insecurity and acute need for emergency financial assistance get in the way of continuous employment and can derail good employees. Working Bridges brings Resource Coordinator Michelle Clark on-site weekly at NVRH to provide assistance to employees in order to navigate local resources. As a trained K.E.E.P. Financial Coach, Clark is also available to coach employees who are navigating complicated financial situations. In addition to Resource Coordination, Working Bridges™ provides Income Advance Loans to employees, Mobile Volunteer Tax Preparation Program, and on-site classes based on employee needs.

“It is another resource that we can give our employees to help them smoothly navigate the rough patches in their lives. It also helps to build their capacity to self-manage in the future and that’s one of the things I really value about the Working Bridges program,” offered Shawn Tester, CEO of Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury. “Additionally, it is a resource that shows employees that you value them as a part of our organization, and it makes them want to stay and contribute meaningfully to our business. We have already seen this program work here in the Northeast Kingdom and we are excited to bring this to the employees of NVRH,” continued Tester.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital joins Central Vermont Medical Center, Weidmann Electrical Technology, Northern Counties Health Care, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, and ABC-LOL Childcare as the 7th Working Bridges program site served by Green Mountain United Way in their five-county region and the 5th site in the Northeast Kingdom.

“This program brings support for employees who are integral to caring for our community in the Northeast Kingdom. We are honored to partner with NVRH to serve the needs of employees so they are able to better serve and care for individuals and families health care needs. This hospital is so well known throughout our community for the support and care they provide – we are fortunate to be able to ensure that their employees continue to be able to offer the high quality of care they are known for and are supported by our Resource Coordinator in their own lives,” said Tawnya Kristen, Executive Director of Green Mountain United Way.

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K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching Program Graduates New Cohort of Financial Coaches

Green Mountain United Way would like to congratulate a new cohort of recently certified K.E.E.P. Financial Coaches. These individuals passed the Introduction to Financial Coaching Course with Green Mountain United Way at Capstone Community Action in December and are now working toward integrating financial coaching practices into the work they do at their nonprofit organizations.

Fall 2019 Cohort of Financial Coaches

K.E.E.P. Financial Coaching is a program of Green Mountain United Way where nonprofit, client-facing staff are training in the emerging practice of Financial Coaching. This work helps clients learn to set and achieve their financial goals. Through the program, both coaches and their nonprofit organizations receive ongoing support from United Way, peer-to-peer support from nearly 80 financial coaches throughout Vermont, and ongoing education opportunities provided by experienced community partners, in addition to the initial financial literacy and coaching training they took to become certified.

Congratulations to these new K.E.E.P. Financial Coaches and the agencies, organizations, and clients they serve:

  • Michelle Clark                     Green Mountain United Way
  • Nicole DiDomenico            Norwich University, Global Community Initiatives, Rotary
  • Pattie Dupuis                       Downstreet Housing & Community Development
  • Faith Foley                            Burlington Housing Authority
  • Laura Furber                        Hunger Mountain Coop
  • Morgan Gray                       Vermont State Housing Authority
  • Lindsey  Hedges                  Steps to End Domestic Violence
  • Sarah Kenney                       Umbrella
  • Tamera Pariseau                 State of Vermont – DCF/Economic Services
  • Telma Patterson                 Vermont State Housing Authority
  • Liz Walsh                              The Drawing Board, EM Walsh Bookkeeping
  • Mary Wilson                        Vermont State Housing Authority

 “We are really excited about the breadth of experience our financial coaches bring to this program and to one another. They work across the sectors serving Vermonters and bring an incredible amount of professional knowledge to one another through this program. The one thread that brings them together is that the Vermonters they serve struggle with financial insecurity. By empowering these professionals as financial coaches, those they serve will benefit from this shared knowledge and the resources they now have access to,” offered Tawnya Kristen, Executive Director of Green Mountain United Way

“Becoming a Financial Coach has given me the tools I need to help people see that big dreams start with a little savings,” offered Ramsey Papp, Family Development Specialist at Capstone Community Action and K.E.E.P. Financial Coach.

For more information about K.E.E.P. Financial Coaches, go to gmunitedway.org/our-work/income/keep or call Green Mountain United Way at 802-613-3989.

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