These local nonprofits need support. Find out what they’re trying to do and how you can help.

Feeling financially fortunate? If you like to give back, there are 14 Vermont nonprofits and municipal organizations that could use a donation as they raise money to for projects aimed at building local communities.

The organizations, grouped below by the geographic regions they serve, have until Oct. 16 to meet their fundraising goals, which earns them the opportunity to be awarded additional funding through the 2020 A Community Thrives program, which is sponsored by the Burlington Free Press’ parent company, Gannett. 

Chittenden County nonprofits

Aunt Dots Place, Inc. was started by a passionate, dedicated team of volunteers that joined forces to create a local food shelf for the residents in the Essex Community. The organization began as a resource for food with the goal to evolve and be able to offer clothing, temporary shelter, and employment assistance to those who seek.

The project:Over the past two years, the demand for food has increased drastically within the Essex, Jericho and Underhill area. Aunt Dot’s place started three years ago and has continued to evolve. We outgrew our first facility and moved into a space that was double in size. Within a year, we outgrew that space and were fortunate enough to rent space that connected to our facility and we doubled in size again. We’re having to expand because of the increased demand from our community.    

The goal: $100,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Aunt-Dots-Place  

Helping and Nurturing Diverse Seniors (HANDS) works to fill gaps in getting food to low-income seniors, 50 years and older, in Chittenden County.

The project:Getting services to seniors isolated due to COVID-19 is our priority. Low-income older adults who were already living on the edge are in an even more precarious situation now.   

More:Vermont businesses, communities supporting elderly during COVID-19

The goal: $3,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Helping-And-Nurturing-Diverse-Seniors      

Staff members and volunteers at Heineberg Community Senior Center in Burlington set up pre-packaged meals to sent out to seniors on March 17, 2020. Each year they celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a luncheon that brings up to a 100 seniors from around the area, but this year, they were unable to celebrate at the senior center.

Milton Community Youth Coalition, Inc. employs prevention and empowerment efforts to create a future where all our youth and adults are free from substance abuse. The group envisions a community where all citizens have consistent, dependable access to nutritious food. 

The project: COVID-19 has made food security and students’ social and emotional needs a new priority in our community. Our summer meals program was serving thousands of meals a day, but cannot continue for all youth with school reopening, and our youth mentoring programs need to move to online platforms. This project would fund a food access coordinator, a backpack meals program to feed students during their days of remote learning, community dinners take-out style, and access to digital mentoring platforms.    

The goal: $3,000  

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Milton-Community-Youth-Coalition 

Project Hoeppner, Inc. works to increase awareness around the catastrophe that is teen suicide; offer courage for teens to say “I need help” and for their loved ones to hear; and provide opportunities for teens to connect honestly and authentically with their loved ones and each other.

The project: The Vermont 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found 13% of Vermont teens have made a suicide plan, relative to 11% in 2017. And 7% of Vermont teens have made an attempt at suicide which is up from 5% in 2017. Attempts have nearly doubled in 10 years. The goal of this project is to bring Robb Nash to Champlain Valley Union High School in the spring or fall of 2021 depending on COVID-19 and Robb’s schedule. 

The goal: $25,000

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Project-Hoeppner 

Bennington County

Manchester Riverwalk Association, Inc. is an organization established in July 2013 with a mission to build, beautify and maintain public pathways along the BattenKill, a river in Manchester, thereby enhancing vibrancy in the community while creating a compelling recreational and cultural destination.

The project: As part of the Town of Manchester’s vision to make the BattenKill more accessible and visible to residents and visitors, we plan to construct a 110 foot pedestrian bridge, 8 feet wide and handicap accessible, that connects the Town Green to the town core and crosses over the BattenKill. The bridge will be for pedestrians only and is in the center of Manchester. It will connect two popular, but currently separated, areas of town, allowing access to river views for all  individuals.   

The goal: $3,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Manchester-Riverwalk-Association     

"Icy Battenkill" by Jacob Houston is among the works on display at the Southern Vermont Arts Center's winter member show.

Grand Isle County nonprofit

Alburgh Family Clubhouse, Inc. is focused on building a facility which will provide child care to children 0 to 5 years old, as well as being the home for the preschool program offered by the public elementary school. The building would be built on the grounds of the elementary school and the daycare would be managed by Alburgh Family Clubhouse Inc. The cost of such a building is estimated to be $1 million. This partnership (the town, the school, and the Clubhouse) has received $750,000 in Federal grants for construction.

The project: We need to raise approximately $250,000 as matching funds to $750,000 in Federal grants, to build a daycare facility for our town.  

The goal: $50,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Alburgh-Family-Clubhouse-Incorporated     

More:How fireworks helped a community effort in Alburgh to build child care center

Lamoille County

Jenna Tatro Memorial Fund works to create a network of support that will help people suffering from substance use disorder. The goal is to open doors and remove the barriers for people seeking treatment, ensuring healthy and sustaining patient recovery.

The Project: Jenna’s Promise has purchased an old church in the town of Johnson for which it will renovate into a community/recovery center. We have also purchased a historical home that will be renovated into a coffeeshop/coffee roasting business for individuals in recovery to gain valuable job experience. The second floor will serve as sober living. This grant will go towards our matches for a USDA Grant and a Communities Block Grant  for which the matches are 116,000 and 60,000 respectively. 

The goal: $100,000  

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Jenna-Tatro-Memorial-Fund   

Washington County nonprofits

Cabot Historical Society, Inc. promotes respect and love for the history of Cabot. To aid its discovery, preservation, and study. The nonprofit works to:

  • Maintain and operate two museums with items of scholarly and aesthetic interest, related to Cabot’s past. 
  • Study the genealogy of early settlers and prominent citizens. 
  • Study and protect from harm local cemeteries, monuments, historic sites, and archeology. 
  • Recover, record, and preserve documents and other items from Cabot’s past. 
  • Help preserve significant Cabot buildings, by research, helping owners, or purchase and restoration. 
  • Interview, record, and preserve memories of Cabot’s older residents. 
  •  Publish articles about Cabot’s history on line and in print.

The project: Operating expenses. During the pandemic, we cannot hold the in-person fund-raising that accounts for almost all our income. However, the expenses of maintaining our two museum buildings continue.

The goal: $5,000 

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Cabot-Historical-Society  

More:Cabot Co-op celebrates 100 years of dairy farming in a steadily declining industry

Twin Valley Seniors, Inc. works to serve the social, emotional and physical well-being of senior age citizens of rural Vermont in the towns East Montpelier, Calais, Plainfield, Marshfield, Woodbury and Cabot. The center provides access to community resources, services and activities.

The project: Build a 20-by-36-foot cedar wood pavilion on a concrete slab adjacent to our facility. This will allow us to have on site classes, congregate dining, and special events which we cannot do in our existing facility due to space limitations. The pavilion will help  serve the community’s needs for social events, e.g., family reunions, weddings, memorial services, as well as provide for multi-services for the center.  

The goal: $25,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Twin-Valley-Seniors   

Statewide nonprofits

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity builds simple, perpetually affordable and energy efficient homes for low-income working families living in substandard apartments.

The project: The COVID19 pandemic shut down construction for several months which delayed us but we completed two homes in June and we have begun building 5 new homes which will be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The homes will be purchased by the low-income working families at the cost to build them and will remain perpetually affordable due to a clause in their deed.

The goal: $5,000

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Green-Mountain-Habitat-For-Humanity      

Green Up Vermonts mission is to promote the stewardship of our state’s natural landscape and waterways and the livability of our communities by involving people in Green Up Day and raising public awareness about the health, economic, and visual benefits of a litter-free environment year-round.

The project: Green Up Vermont builds awareness and stewardship for a statewide annual spring tradition called Green Up Day. This event, held on the first Saturday in May, activates thousands of volunteers to get out and pick up trash on roadsides and waterways throughout Vermont. Annually hundreds of tons of trash and thousands of tires are cleaned up and properly disposed of which ultimately reduces the amount of trash making its way to our lakes and oceans. 

The goal: $3,000  

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Vermont-Green-Up    

Vermont Green Up Day volunteers launch into action in Burlington's Old North End on May 30, 2020.

North American Family Institute, Inc. works to embrace strengths and to acknowledge struggles as we join with youth, families, and communities to promote growth and healing.

The project: At the Family Center, we are committed to offering innovative, trauma-informed mental and behavioral health services to individuals and families in our community. Funding will support specialized services and supplies not covered by insurance and allow us to broaden our programming, especially enhancing our ability to provide services for families experiencing homelessness, families of color, virtual services, safe, playful outlets within our space, and ongoing staff training. 

The goal: $25,000   

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/North-American-Family-Institute   

Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Inc., a state-assisted non-profit institution founded in 1935, exists for the purpose of fostering and encouraging the appreciation of music in all its various forms, with emphasis on orchestral, choral and chamber music. It seeks to raise the common standard of musical education and enjoyment, and to provide, at moderate cost, quality performances for a broad and diverse public throughout the State of Vermont. 

The project: Bridging Cultures in the Green Mountain State unifies general Vermont and New American communities by integrating experiences and culture of non-Western music into staple programming. The project’s three main activities feature diverse composers, musicians and audiences that represent Vermont’s refugee and immigrant communities: free access to a digital weekly educational series, an integrated performance between the Vermont Youth Orchestra and the VSO, and a statewide summer tour. 

The goal: $6,000

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Vermont-Symphony-Orchestra   

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra, looking to broaden its audience, played its first-ever concert at the Higher Ground music venue in South Burlington on Oct. 26, 2019, joined by Burlington soul singer Kat Wright.

Young Writers Project, Inc.‘s mission is to inspire, mentor, publish, and promote young writers, photographers, and artists from anywhere, but especially from our home state of Vermont, particularly those who are disenfranchised or silenced because of race, gender, economics or geographic isolation. We encourage teens to speak out about global and community issues and to tell their stories with clarity and power to authentic audiences through professional publication.

The project: Now in its second year, the Community Journalism Project (CJP) immerses teens in the skills of journalism and the joys of publication. CJP will continue to be a key part of YWP’s programming during the 2020-21 academic year.  Because the inaugural year of CJP was so successful among youth, teachers, and media partners, we will follow a similar model for Year 2, including weekly writing challenges on current events and social justice issues and professional publication.   

The goal: $3,000

How to donate? acommunitythrives.mightycause.com/Young-Writers-Project

The Young Writers Project has been awarded $25,000 by the Gannett Foundation -- owner of the Burlington Free Press -- for the Burlington-based non-profit's new Community Journalism Project to explore topics that stir middle- and high schoolers, includingÊsocial justice, climate change and violence. Young Writers Project was one of 16 recipients of top-tier grants through Gannett Foundation's A Community Thrives project, amongÊ1,500 applicants in 46Êstates.

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