VSECU Members Decide Fate of $10,000 Charitable Gift

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Each year VSECU, a credit union for all of Vermont, sets aside a budget to support communities and charities that bring greater value to Vermonters. This year the VSECU Board of Directors asked their membership to help decide where they should direct $10,000 from the gifting budget.

The We Care 2 giving program developed by VSECU attracted over 1,400 votes from members who selected the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Vermont Family Network as the deserving recipients of a $5,000 gift each.

Thirty three charitable organizations from around the state submitted applications to participate in the program. The VSECU Community Contributions Committee narrowed the field to five finalists which were presented to the membership for consideration. “Selecting just five was very difficult,” said Jana Bagwell, chair of the committee, “every organization is working so hard to have a positive impact for Vermonters.”

The five finalists announced mid-September were BROC – Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, COVE – Community of Vermont Elders, Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Vermont Family Network and the Vermont Historical Society. Each organization was encouraged to start rallying support to earn the VSECU membership votes through their social media and other communication channels. VSECU members were able to vote online over a two week period that concluded on Friday, October 12.

The Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging (V4A) enhances the ability of the 5 Vermont Area Agencies on Aging to support seniors’ ability to remain as independent as possible. The $5,000 grant will support their meals on wheels providers and pay for approximately 1,500 meals statewide.

“The Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging is thrilled to receive this grant. It will allow us to support more seniors with home delivered meals this next year. Good nutrition is vital in helping seniors stay as healthy and independent as possible,” said Beth Stern, a board member of the V4A.

Vermont Family Network (VFN) is a state-wide non-profit organization that promotes better health, education, and well-being for all children and families, with a focus on children and young adults with special needs. VFN offers information, referrals, trainings, support groups, and assistance to families who may be struggling as a result of a concern they have with their child with special needs.

“We are extremely grateful to VSECU and its members for choosing Vermont Family Network as a recipient of the 2012 We Care 2 program,” said Jeff Morton, Director of Development & Communications at VFN. “These funds will greatly help our organization to meet unmet operational needs and will assist us in strengthening the services that we provide to roughly 6,000 children and families across the state each year.”

After the votes were tallied and the winners were notified Bagwell and the VSECU Board of Directors also reached out to the other three finalists and donated $1,000 to each organization. “It was clear hundreds of VSECU members felt those organizations should receive donation monies too,” said Bagwell. “As the Board of Directors we honor and support our member’s voice and were pleased to be able to help fund these other programs.” According to VSECU’s Bagwell, the program will be back in 2013.

Photo: Kate Paine (VSECU), Beth Stern (V4A), Terry Macaig (VSECU), Jeff Morton (VFN), Tom Joslin (VSECU), Jana Bagwell (VSECU) and Steven D. Post, VSECU CEO.