United Way of Northwest Vermont board of directors approves $1.5 million in community investments

United Way of Northwest Vermont—a local organization working to improve lives in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties—recently approved $1.5 million in funding to the local community as part of its 2018-2021 community investment process.

These funds represent the second year of a larger, three-year funding commitment to 51 local programs serving all three counties. In May of 2018, United Way’s board of directors unanimously approved a new funding cycle that supports a portfolio of local programs that address five strategic priorities: advancing employment, reducing substance abuse, meeting basic needs (housing, food, transportation and health care), supporting families and promoting mental health. These priorities were determined through an extensive outreach and community engagement process and helped define the three-year funding cycle.

Based on recent reporting, United Way’s funded programs are serving 40,000 people in every city and town in our service region. Additionally, the percentage of people served in each county is proportional to the number of people who live in each county.

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In addition to the $1.5 million in funding to support local programs, United Way of Northwest Vermont invests in robust community strategies throughout the region. For every $1 given through the annual campaign, United Way mobilizes additional resources to leverage $1.71 of investment back into the community.

"By providing financial assistance for more than 150 children in Burlington, St Albans, and Jericho and helping feed food-insecure children in St Albans, United Way of Northwest Vermont changes lives for the better," said Greater Burlington YMCA President/CEO Kyle Dodson. "As an organizational leader, I especially appreciate that the United Way's thorough processes provide an outside view of how effective we're being with the community's limited resources."

“As a community-based organization, the services and resources provided by C.I.D.E.R. depend upon the financial support, time, and talent generously provided by local individuals, businesses, and partners such as United Way of Northwest Vermont. The program funding provided by United Way has been the cornerstone of the development and implementation of our senior congregate and home-delivered “Neighbor Meals” program as well as providing critical support for our transportation program serving the rural communities of Grand Isle County. Our partnership with United Way of Northwest Vermont has helped us significantly improve access to services and resources and decrease social isolation for the people and communities of the Champlain Islands. We sincerely and deeply appreciate their support,” said Robin Way, Executive Director of C.I.D.E.R.

“Over the years, United Way of Northwest Vermont, their staff, and so many community and business volunteers have provided a critical bridge to care and support, offered guidance, and served as ambassadors for our many programs,” said Bob Bick, CEO of Howard Center. “The financial support we receive from United Way fills critical gaps in life-altering and life-saving programs for children, adults, and families. We know that every dollar we receive from United Way has been generously donated by the community, and we are very grateful for the trust placed in us.”

“It’s an incredible accomplishment for our community to give the money necessary to continue these investment commitments this year,” said Jesse Bridges, CEO of United Way of Northwest Vermont. “Each year we start at $0, rallying the entire community towards a common goal. As a community, we not only raise dollars, but harness the collective energy of thousands of volunteers that truly make an enormous impact on the quality of life for all of our neighbors in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties.”

“I’m so happy for the chance to publicly thank and acknowledge the deeply-committed volunteers from all three counties who form our Community Impact Team. The team works throughout the year to recommend and oversee our investments in local programs—doing site visits, reviewing performance reports, and learning about community needs and program priorities. Our volunteers are an invaluable part of the way we engage community in decision-making, and their work enhances our partnership with both the community and our funded program partners,” said Raquel Aronhime, Community Impact Manager at United Way of Northwest Vermont.

Alison DeFisher