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We Care 2 - Members Helping Communities

We Care 2 is a member directed giving program where $20,000 in donation funds will be distributed to 5 charities seeking funding to impact Vermonters essential needs in the areas of food, shelter, heat, financial education, or environment. The distribution of funds will be based on votes cast by the VSECU membership on the 2017 annual election ballot.



Now’s your chance as a member of the Vermont community to join the conversation and show your support. The Selection Committee will use the comments and input from the community to help guide them through the selection of five finalists. Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Select a charity below to learn more about the organization
  • Share, like or comment from each charity page
  • Check back often – new charities added daily
  • Tell all your favorite Vermont charities to apply

Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired


Since 1926 our nonprofit organization has diligently pursued our mission of enabling Vermonters with vision problems, whether blindness or impairment, to achieve and maintain independence. We are the only private agency in Vermont to offer a complete range of services to visually impaired residents – and at no cost to the client.

Services include Rehabilitation (adapting daily living to allow those with low vision to live independently); Orientation and Mobility (providing white cane and guide dog instruction, navigating individuals through their home and community independently); Assistive Technology (adaptive aids allow clients to successfully perform most activities they desire); Social Networking (improving social skills and providing a support network); and Statewide Transportation (volunteer drivers provide rides to medical appointments, grocery stores and for personal visits).

Good Neighbor Health Clinics, Inc


Where do our friends and neighbors who cannot afford a visit to the dentist or a doctor go for care? In the Upper Valley they call upon the volunteers at the Good Neighbor Health Clinic and Red Logan Dental Clinic for free primary medical and dental care. Vermonters have been relying on the Good Neighbor Clinics for the past 25 years. Patient education is a key component in all clinic activities from chair-side oral health education to the regular diabetes patient clinic with peer support, healthy snacks and disease specific education. Since our doctors and dentists don’t worry about billing or time they typically spend 45 minutes or more with each patient. This builds relationships and trust and promotes better health.

The Veterans' Place Inc.


The Veterans’ Place is a transitional home for homeless male Veterans. The home provides up to 26 residents all of their needs while they are at the home. The home is communal living so the residents have the support of others as they put back together their lives and work towards independent living. The Veterans Place’ truly does not just provide a bed it is a place for them to call home. Many residents have said they really do not want to leave our program because it is the best place they have had as far as a home in a long time.

Intervale Center


For almost 30 years, the Intervale Center has been building a stronger community food system – one that supports farmers, protects land and water, and provides good food to all members of our community. With a We Care 2 donation, we will glean and rescue fresh, local vegetables for our hungry neighbors, working with farms, social service agencies, and community members to share Vermont’s agricultural bounty with those in need.

Champlain Housing Trust


The Champlain Housing Trust, founded in 1984, is a community land trust that supports the people of Northwest Vermont and strengthens their communities through the development and stewardship of permanently affordable homes. CHT’s programs provide safe, decent and affordable housing for people from homelessness to homeownership. In 2008, CHT was recognized with the prestigious United Nations World Habitat Award, which recognized the innovation, sustainability and transferability of our programs. This year, we have developed On Track, a new financial counseling program that puts renters on a strong fiscal footing while avoiding the disruption and troubles of eviction.

Bethany Church, UCC, Montpelier, VT, Inc.


Bethany Church Soup Kitchen provides a warm welcome and a nutritious mid-day meal on Tuesdays to whosoever comes. We leverage the use of our kitchen and dining facilities by hosting other groups that provide free community meals in Montpelier. Our building is open to everyone everyday, and has accessible bathroom facilities.

Northeast Kingdom Youth Services


NEKYS works in three specific areas: Transitional Living/Youth, Family Connections, and Restorative Justice. We offer our communities 12 distinct programs and case management, which is dedicated to supporting youth, families, and individuals in strengthening positive life skills and developing resiliency in the face of adversity.

COVER Home Repair


COVER Home Repair organizes volunteers to help low-income homeowners address their most urgent home repair and accessibility needs. Each year we complete 80 urgent home repairs and 70 weatherization projects in Vermont and New Hampshire with the help of 300+ volunteers.

When our volunteers arrive, the home is often close to uninhabitable due to a range of issues: collapsing floors, severe water damage from leaking roofs, holes in walls or ceiling that make the house unheatable, and doors and windows that won’t close. Many of our homeowners are elderly and disabled veterans who can no longer access their homes given these serious hazards. COVER works with these homeowners to conduct the repairs needed to make the home warm, safe, and comfortable for its residents.

Downstreet Housing & Community Development


Downstreet creates and sustains access to safe, decent and affordable housing with the overarching goal of ending generational poverty. Our organization provides affordable apartments for rent, down-payment assistance for home-buyers, financial wellness and home-buyer education workshops, SASH (Support and Services at Home) to enable elderly and disabled Vermonters to age in place, and real estate development projects that encourage the development of vibrant communities. We also partner with other local non-profit organizations to address issues of food insecurity, homelessness, substance abuse and mental health issues.

Onion River Exchange


The Onion River Exchange (ORE) is a time bank in Central Vermont. ORE is a unique organization that has the capability to address community needs through its networking of resources by exchanging time instead of money. ORE helps meet the fundamental needs of a community: transportation for errands and medical appointments, home repair, food, companionship, child care, aging in place, assistance with daily chores, and supplying tools for weatherization and food processing by providing a mobilized network of helping hands. By addressing basic needs, ORE attends to issues of loneliness, isolation, financial concerns, aging in place, and connection to a greater community. ORE is all-inclusive and everyone is valued for what they have to offer.

Chittenden Community Action, a program of Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO)


Asylum-seekers in Vermont are fleeing terrible conditions – war, political persecution, famine – and cannot return to their home country because of fear for their and their families’ safety.

The asylum-seeking process can take from 18 months to several years to receive approval, and during this time they are not eligible for state and federally-funded benefits or services.

ASAP, a program of CVOEO’s Chittenden Community Action, provides stopgap assistance to help families through while awaiting approval of their asylum application. This is done through financial literacy education, staff support, and a monthly stipend to families for the purchase of foods, toiletries, warm clothing and shoes, transportation, and other basic needs.

ANEW Place


ANEW Place is a homeless transitional center in Burlington’s Old North End, focused on successfully reintegrating homeless adults back into the community through long-term solutions. Using a holistic, person-centered approach, ANEW Place addresses the underlying causes of each person’s homelessness, helping individuals to gain the life and job skills needed to move beyond homelessness and to start ANEW.

ANEW Place is funded 100% by community donations and relies on support from over 300 volunteers each year. The 4-Phase Continuum of Care Program provides vulnerable homeless adults with shelter in a caring environment, life-skill development, including financial and career education, transitional housing with a rental buffer fund to empower financial stability, and two years of continued aftercare support to promote stability and independence.

Veterans Outreach and Family Resource Center


The VOFRC is a non-profit 501-3c that has been in existence since 1999 and is located on the Vermont Veterans Home campus. Our mission is to help veterans achieve self sufficiency. We are open five days a week with emergency services available on weekends. Our staff are volunteers and there are no fees for our services

Vermont Foundation of Recovery


Our mission is to create a network of Recovery Homes to help people suffering from addiction re-assimilate into society by supporting the transitions from addiction, to recovery, to independent living. A Recovery Home is many things. Fundamentally, a Recovery Home is a residential property where the members of the home agree to maintain a drug and alcohol free environment. Additionally, we strive to create a family-like atmosphere in our homes – one where our members are nurtured and energized by others who share common experiences, struggles, values, and goals. Finally, we aim to structure our homes to provide varying degrees of supervision and autonomy, offering a variety of affordable residences to meet the needs of individuals at varying stages of recovery.

Parks Place Community Resource Center


in 1992 a group of concerned citizens from the community, local schools, and social service agencies looked for ways to support children and families. The dream became reality when Parks Place opened its doors in 1995. Twenty years later Parks Place is home to over 35 programs in health, education, employment, social justice, and human service. Founded to promote collaboration, Parks Place is a “HUB” that provides a safe and accessible location where individuals can make lasting, positive change in their lives. Parks Place serves Bellows Falls, Rockingham, Athens, Westminster, Saxtons River, Grafton, and surrounding areas in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Vermont Women's Fund


The Vermont Women’s Fund is committed to supporting the advancement, self-sufficiency, and economic and social equality of Vermont women and girls.

Research shows that when women are afforded equality and opportunity, their earning power is more likely spent on nutrition, medicine, and housing, having a much wider impact on families and children. When women succeed economically, communities thrive. We also educate women about the importance of their own philanthropic giving.

Our goal is to help nonprofits provide financial literacy education, job mentoring and training opportunities, among other skill building to Vermont’s young women and girls. We do this through an annual grant-giving process. We are also dedicated to helping Vermont’s women achieve economic security in our state through the initiative, Change The Story.

United Way of Lamoille County


The United Way of Lamoille County is not a traditional pass-thru funding agency. We are a direct service organization administering many of our own programs, including NF, the Lamoille Firewood Program, CARE (Citizens Assistance Registry for Emergencies), United Way Volunteer Center, Shoveling for Seniors, HOPE (Holiday gifts for local seniors), a Teen Holiday program, Prescription Discount Program, and a Community Food Drive. We also invest in community programs run by other agencies which meet our funding criteria.

Mission statement: To build a stronger and healthier Lamoille County community.

Community Harvest of Central Vermont


CHCV gleans food that would otherwise not be harvested from local farms to enhance the health and well-being of the Central Vermont community. We bring together community volunteers to glean from local farmers fields after the harvest and keep farm surplus from going to waste. The fresh gleaned produce is provided to those in need, making fresh local food available to more people. CHCV fosters appreciation, awareness and use of local food through our engagement of community volunteers. We engage all ages and economic groups, including children and recipients of the gleaned food. CHCV promotes community connections and involvement with farms by bringing people out into the farm fields to work together and learn how fresh food is grown in their community.

Seall, Inc.


Seall Inc, has been providing community based residential treatment programs since 1971. Seall is committed to quality and unparalleled service to troubled individuals, their families and their communities. Currently Seall provides 3 separate programs for the state of VT. A residential program for troubled adolescent males between the ages of 13-17, a residential program for troubled adolescent females and a transitional housing program for males.

H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday)


H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday) was started in 2005 with the mission of helping area families share resources. We offer a wide range of services, including a food shelf, thrift store, free soup, backpacks full of food/supplies for school children, vouchers for free clothing/household items, etc. Our ever-expanding client base covers 30 towns in this economically challenged part of Vermont. We have evolved into a cornerstone charity in the Northeast Kingdom and have programs that specifically assist children, the elderly, women, teenagers, and families. We are Helping Other People Everyday. We are HOPE.

North Branch Nature Center


For 20 years the North Branch Nature Center (NBNC) has been connecting Vermonters with the natural world. From our innovative Forest Preschool program to our annual BirdFest, NBNC offers a wide diversity of programs that foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of our local environment.
Based out of our center in Montpelier, over 10,000 people participate in programs or enjoy the trails and preserve every year. Our program for schools, ECO (Educating Children Outdoors), reaches over 500 children regularly throughout year for a total of 35,000 contact hours!
The staff of NBNC believes passionately in our mission and that having a deeper, more meaningful connection to nature not only benefits people, but that connection to nature will make us all better stewards of the earth.

Community of Vermont Elders


COVE’s mission is to promote and protect a higher quality of life for Vermont’s elders through education and advocacy. COVE works with/for elder Vermonters and the organizations that serve them to identify/ interpret/respond to critical issues impacting elders’ dignity/security/wellbeing. COVE focuses on the needs/concerns/safety/wellbeing of elders who are economically disadvantaged/physically or mentally challenged/geographically or socially isolated. Since 1981 COVE has led efforts to enhance fuel assistance eligibility/funding; establish utility subsidy programs; provide property tax relief for caregivers and elders in shared housing;, expand eligibility/funding for home/community-based care; prevent elder abuse & Medicare fraud; and increase Elder Transportation funding (see more examples on the COVE website).

COVE’s educational programs empower elders to 1) advocate for their own needs and interests, and 2) avoid becoming victims of exploitation/fraud/scams.

NAMI Vermont


Our Mission: NAMI Vermont supports, educates and advocates so that all communities, families, and individuals affected by mental illness or mental health challenges can build better lives.

NAMI Vermont is a statewide volunteer organization comprised of family members, friends, and individuals living with a mental illness. We have experienced the struggles and have joined together in membership to help ourselves and others by providing support, information, education and advocacy.

NAMI Vermont today offers family and peer recovery support groups as well as Family-to-Family, Mental Illness and Recovery, In Our Own Voice Presentations and Provider Education classes. With a dedicated board, over one hundred volunteers, and four staff members, NAMI Vermont provides education, advocacy and support to those in need.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Burlington opened our doors on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1984. RMHC is a home away from home for families with seriously ill children seeking treatment at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. Our house makes it possible for these families to stay close to their children, and ease the financial burden associated with long-term overnight accommodations. Our mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Our goal is to maintain the legacy that began in 1974 in Philadelphia when the first House was established. We strive to make this a place that will afford guests comfort and protection while they are focused on the health of their child.

Rhythm of the Rein Therapeutic Riding and Driving Program


Rhythm of the Rein improves the physical and emotional well being of individuals with disabilities through the unique interaction with horses. The safe and supportive environment of the stables and the accepting nature of the horses help individuals grow and develop not only in physical but emotional strength. Not only the participants are beneficiaries – all of our volunteers who become involved realize quickly, and verbalize such, that they get so much more out of volunteering than they give. The protection and nurturing of one’s soul is every bit as essential to survival and quality of life as is food, water and shelter, Without a purpose in life, there is no reason for life. This program gives back meaning and purpose to people’s lives.

Groundworks Collaborative (formerly Morningside Shelter & the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center)


Groundworks was established in 2015 with the merger of two well-established organizations: the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center and Morningside Shelter. Groundworks’ mission is to provide ongoing support to families and individuals facing housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area. Our programs include:

Food Shelf – serves over 1300 individuals each month
Shelter – a year-round 30-bed shelter for families and individuals
Seasonal Overflow Shelter – open in the winter months, the SOS provided a warm place to sleep for 191 individuals last winter
Day Shelter – provides a place of belonging and access to email, telephones, laundry, showers, and coffee
Case Management – assists families and individuals to find and maintain stable housing
Representative Payee – financial management for over 50 recipients of SSI and/or SSDI

Split the Ticket


The Split the Ticket Program, now in its tenth year, is a 501©-3. organization dedicated to helping our neighbors in need get through a heating crisis. The program has been featured on the WCAX Morning News and has had the participation of Congressman Peter Welch who helped Split the Ticket.
More information and video can be found here and here

Good Samaritan Haven


Good Samaritan Haven is central Vermont’s only homeless shelter. The organization provides emergency shelter and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. Good Samaritan Haven depends on community support to provide basic essential needs like shelter, food, toiletries, and clothing. Good Samaritan Haven also offers case management services to help guests at the shelter move on to stable housing as quickly as possible.