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2017 Bishop deGoesbriand grants

Father Yvon Royer, pastor of St. Peter Church in Vergennes and St. Ambrose Church in Bristol, serves salad at a community meal at the Bristol church. (Vermont Catholic photo/Cori Fugere Urban) Father Yvon Royer, pastor of St. Peter Church in Vergennes and St. Ambrose Church in Bristol, serves salad at a community meal at the Bristol church.
Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. has awarded 27 grants through The Bishop deGoesbriand Appeal for Human Advancement.
The non-profit organizations that received the grants make meaningful differences in the daily lives of Vermont individuals and families.
Each November, Vermont parishes take a second collection to support this grant program. One hundred percent of the money collected is distributed throughout the statewide Diocese of Burlington in the form of grants to local non-profit organizations who seek to create a higher quality of life in their communities at, for example, homeless shelters, right-to-life programs and food programs for children and families.
“As a Catholics, our mission is to help the vulnerable and underserved populations,” said Mary Beth Pinard, executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities.
“By supporting the Bishop deGoesbriand Appeal, donors are enriching the lives of individuals and families in all corners of the state. Vermont Catholic Charities is grateful for the tremendous support from Catholics.”
Since this grant program began in 2011, Vermont Catholic Charities has awarded more than $377,000.
“The grant positively impacts the hungry people who are able to receive a hot healthy meal four days a week, as well as take-out meals when needed,” said someone associated with St. Brigid’s Kitchen in Brattleboro.
“Living on a college campus can seem like living in a bubble at times, with practically
everything you need at your fingertips, but going into Burlington and serving at the
Salvation Army can really pop that bubble,” commented a University of Vermont student who helps with meals there. “It is a great way to take a step back and think about what we really are here for.”
This year the following organizations received grants totaling $58,139:
* Addison County Community Action (HOPE) ($3,000) Middlebury
Funding will support the organization’s Essential Services Program, which provides vital assistance to those unable to meet their own basic needs for food, shelter, heat, and medical care.
* Aunt Dot’s Place ($500) Essex Junction
Aunt Dot’s Place is a new organization with the mission “to organize volunteers who will provide a safe and welcoming place where the less fortunate can obtain help with basic needs such as food, clothing and community resources.” Funding will support this start up.
* Branches Pregnancy Resource Center ($600) Brattleboro
Funding will be used to help begin a new Fatherhood Program which is a mentoring and teaching program for expecting/new fathers taught by men.
* Aspire Together ($1,000) St. Albans and Burlington
Funding will be used to train new client service advocates to meet the demand of the two offices.
* Cathedral Parish Food Shelf Ministry ($3,000) Burlington
Funding will be used to purchase non-perishable food items for families/individuals in need in the Burlington area.
* Catholic Center at The University of Vermont -- Feed The Hungry  ($2,130) Burlington
Students at the University of Vermont will use funding to shop, cook and prepare
dinners for the poor in Burlington and take the food to the Salvation Army to serve the meal.
* Champlain Valley Birthright ($3,000) Burlington
Funding will be used for advertising to increase community awareness of Birthright’s services and to making themselves known to any woman who is ambivalent about her pregnancy.
* Committee on Temporary Shelter ($1,500) Burlington
Funding is to support the COTS Daystation program, which serves as refuge from the streets for men and women experiencing homelessness and helps people stabilize their lives in times of crisis.
* Community Emergency Relief Volunteers ($4,000) Northfield Falls
Funding will be used to support the summer lunch program, increase the volume of food needed to accommodate a larger number of clients and support families with emergency funds as needed.
* Dismas of Vermont ($2,500) Winooski/Rutland/Burlington
Funding will be used to support camping trips that reconnect former prisoners with their children.
* Ecumenical Lunch Bunch Program ($500) Essex Junction
Funding will be used to provide nutritious lunches to needy children during their summer vacation.
* Faith in Action Northern Communities ($4,000) Cabot
Funding will support this agency’s work of trying to meet the needs of people who “fall through the cracks” by helping with transportation to medical appointments, providing respite care, assisting with food and helping with yard work and constructions projects.
* Good Beginnings of Central Vermont ($2,500) Montpelier
Funding will support the Post-Partum Angel Family Support Program and the Loving Arms Program that provide postpartum support and resources to the most vulnerable families in Central Vermont, with particular focus on families that are geographically isolated or that are affected by drug addiction.
* Good Samaritan Haven ($4,500) Barre
Funding will support the Emergency Shelter Program. This agency is the only homeless shelter in Central Vermont providing housing and support services for homeless people in the community.
* Grateful Hearts ($1,000) East Dorset
Funding will help provide healthy prepared meals to families in need by utilizing surplus food resources made available by local farms.
* Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity ($2,000) Williston
Funding will help build homes for low-income working families.
* Martha’s Kitchen ($4,000) St. Albans
Funding will help sustain expanded hours of operation to include weekends.
* Meals &Wheels of Greater Springfield ($1,800) Springfield
Funding will assist in meeting the rising cost of food and supply costs so the agency can continue to meet the demand of providing hot, nutritious meals to homebound seniors who cannot prepare or are unable to purchase food.
* Neighborhood Connections ($2,500) Londonderry
Funding will support the agency’s Community Health Initiative for Families and Seniors.
* North Central Vermont Recovery Center ($2,000) Morrisville
Funding will help sustain the Recovery Coach Program, which trains individuals to help guide and aid people in their recovery from drugs and/or alcohol.
* Northeast Kingdom Human Services Zero Suicide Initiative ($2,000) Newport
Funding will be used to support a new initiative to provide and implement training in the Zero Suicide approach for staff members.
* Spectrum Youth & Family Services ($3,000) Burlington
Funding will support the agency’s Basic Needs & A Stable Home programs, which provide an essential safety net for youth who are living on the streets, in cars, couch surfing, camping or otherwise unable to sustain stable, permanent housing.
* St. Ambrose and St. Peter parishes ($2,360) Bristol and Vergennes (a grant to each parish)
Funding will support free monthly community meals at the parishes for those who are struggling with finances.
* St. Brigid’s Kitchen ($1,250) Brattleboro
Funding will be used to continue to offer meals to those in need in the Brattleboro community.
* St. Brigid’s Pantry ($1,500) Brattleboro
Funding will support the Take-A- Bag Program and the holiday food program, which serve the less fortunate in the parish and in the Brattleboro area.
* Vergennes Rotary Club ($2,000) Vergennes
Funding will help provide needed afternoon snacks to children of the Boys and Girls Club of the greater Vergennes area.

Originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.
Last modified onFriday, 21 July 2017 07:27
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal