Thanks to the generosity of parishes throughout the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. has awarded Bishop deGoesbriand Appeal for Human Advancement grants to 28 non-profit organizations that make meaningful differences in the daily lives of individuals and families.
Funding for these grants was made possible through the generosity of parishioners who donated funds through a second collection in November; 100 percent of the funds were allocated to the grant recipients.
"Vermont Catholic Charities is grateful for the financial support from parishioners throughout the state. This is yet another example of how Catholics reach out to those who need help," said Mary Beth Pinard, executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities. "Because we are able to award grants, thousands of Vermonters will benefit through the programs and services offered by local nonprofit organizations."
Recipients have expressed thanks for the grants and the generosity of the donors.
This year, $62,000 was awarded to the following organizations:
• Addison County Community Action, Middlebury ($3,000): Funding will help repair existing homes of very low income individuals to help them stay in their homes, provide emergency hotel rooms for homeless families and equip the homeless with basic gear to ease their daily survival.
• ANEW Place, Burlington ($2,000): Funding will help with the continuation of the agency's 4-phase program that focuses on long-term solutions for the most vulnerable members of the community.
• Bennington Oral Health Coalition ($3,300): Funding will help support the position of Oral Health Coordinator.
• Burlington Dismas House ($500): Funding will support the mentoring program between former prisoners and college students.
• Burlington Meals on Wheels ($3,000): Funding will help finance the day-to-day food purchases so Meals on Wheels can continue to deliver nearly 240 meals per day to Chittenden County seniors and the infirmed.
• Camp Exclamation Point, Thetford ($2,000): Funding will help with supplies for increased program offerings and for transportation of campers to and from camp. Camp Exclamation Point gives more than 110 children from rural Vermont communities a weeklong residential summer camp experience.
• Care Net Pregnancy Center, Burlington and St. Albans ($1,000): Funding will help support the expansion of the "Happy Together" Relationship Building Program for at-risk clients.
• Care Net Pregnancy Center of the Tri-State Area, Bennington ($2,000): Funding will help with the purchase of mobile ultrasound bus to travel throughout Vermont providing ultrasounds for pregnant women in crisis.
• Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Food Shelf, Burlington ($2,500): Funding will be used to purchase non-perishable food items for individuals/families in need in the Burlington area.
• Catholic Center at the University of Vermont, Burlington ($1,850): 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, Burlington ($3,000): Funding will be used for advertising to increase community awareness of their services and to making themselves known to any woman who is ambivalent about her pregnancy.
• Committee on Temporary Shelter, Burlington ($1,250): Funding will support COTS Daystation program that serves as a refuge from the streets and helps people stabilize their lives in times of crisis.
• Community Emergency Relief Volunteer, Northfield ($3,800): Funding will be used to purchase additional food needed to accommodate an increased number of clients, support families with emergency aid as needed and replace a freezer.
• Ecumenical Lunch Bunch, Essex Junction ($500): Funding will be used to provide nutritious lunches to needy children during their summer vacation.
• Good Beginnings of Central Vermont, Montpelier ($2,000): Funding will be used to support the "In Loving Arms" program, a collaboration with the Central Vermont Medical Center. The project pairs a trained volunteer with a vulnerable infant at CVMC birthing center after birth due to addiction, premature birth or other health complications.
• Greater Bennington Interfaith ($3,000): Funding will be used to purchase additional food for the Kitchen Cupboard, which provides food to more than 1,200 families in the Bennington area.
• Greater Falls Warming Shelter, Rockingham ($2,500): Funding will help provide a safe, warm overnight shelter during the winter months for those in need.
• Greater Vergennes Rotary and St. Peter Parish ($2,000): Funding will help provide needed afternoon snacks to children of the Boys and Girls Club of the greater Vergennes area.
• Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, Williston ($2,000): Funding will help purchase two lots to build energy efficient homes for low-income families.
• John Graham Shelter, Vergennes ($4,000): Funding will help fund a part-time shelter case manager who will work with homeless families and children.
• Joseph's House, Burlington ($2,500): Funding will help this parish outreach center purchase food gift cards for individuals and families in need.
• Meals & Wheels of Greater Springfield ($1,500): Funding will help with the Breakfast First Program, a program to help people 60 and over maintain their independence.
• Neighborhood Connections, Londonderry ($2,000): Funding will be used to address critical gaps in the community through a multi-component Community Care Initiative, which incorporates health care/wellness for seniors and families in need.
• Our Place Drop In Center, Bellows Falls ($3,000): Funding will be used to support freezing home-cooked meals to be distributed to people who access the food pantry and for the expansion of grocery deliveries to more seniors in the Bellows Falls area.
• Rutland Dismas House ($1,000): Funding will be used to support summer activities that reconnect former prisoners with their children.
• Samaritan House, St. Albans ($3,800): Samaritan House is the only emergency shelter and transitional housing program for homeless individuals in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Funds will be used to support this program, which assists families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness into permanent housing.
• St. Brigid's Kitchen and St. Brigid's Pantry, Brattleboro ($3,000): Funding will be used to continue to offer meals to those in need in the Brattleboro community through the soup kitchen and the "Take-A-Bag" program.