New Specialized Call-line at Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Update


Vermont 2-1-1

New Specialized Call-line at Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1, a program of the United Ways of Vermont, is now hosting a Help Me Grow Vermont call line to answer parent and caregiver questions about children’s behavior and development and connect families to resources and services in their community. Trained Help Me Grow Vermont Child Development Specialists staff this line. You can reach the Help Me Grow Vermont line by dialing 2-1-1 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday. You can leave messages for the Child Development Specialists after hours, as Vermont 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Help Me Grow Vermont 2-1-1 services are confidential. Dial 2-1-1 today!

A Big Thank You

Thank you to White & Burke employees for volunteering to distribute hundreds of Vermont 2-1-1 and Help Me Grow marketing materials. Pictured are from left to right: Emily Shaw, Joe Weith, Gail Henderson-King, David White, Paul Simon, Stephanie Hainley.

Vermont 2-1-1
Monthly Call
Volume Report

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl

November’s warmer than usual weather has kept the call volume total lower than is typical for this time of year. Calls for information and referral assistance totaled 2,853, a number that represents a clear postponement of the traditional spike in seasonal calls for after-hours emergency housing and utility assistance.  As a whole, the Basic Needs Category has dropped 25% since November 2014 and both the milder temperatures and the lower gas/oil prices have clearly contributed to this decline.

In an unprecedented “reversal”, the call center received over 1,000 fewer calls in November than in October of this year for referrals to the Agency of Human Services’ emergency housing program. Call numbers have never been this low since the program’s inception in 2010. This does not mean, however, that local non-profits are any less busy serving Vermonters in their warming shelters.  Many warming shelters across the state are serving individuals and families seeking shelter and even some “overflow shelters” are rapidly filling. These mostly volunteer-run, cold weather shelters will serve the most vulnerable members of Vermont’s communities and, once winter finally arrives, most will fill to capacity each night.  Vermont 2-1-1 Contact Specialists, acutely aware that this November’s “heat wave” is a Vermont winter weather anomaly, are bracing for the surge in calls for assistance that will come as soon as the harsh cold sets in!

A vivid reminder that the holiday season can be an emotionally and financially stressful time for many is November’s spike in referrals to Individual and Family Support services. Call volume jumped to an all-time high for this year.  Referrals to Holiday Programs for Vermonters requesting information about   gift and food programs for their families for the holidays make up 75% of this sub-category.

As we move closer to the end of 2015, may we reflect on the positive outcomes that our collective efforts have achieved, and renew our commitment to the continued collaborative effort that keeps us on the path to improving the health and well-being of all members of our Vermont community.

Read Vermont 2-1-1’s monthly call volume report here.

Wellness Matters!

Vermont 2-1-1 Resource Specialists are in the field learning about community resources all the time. Check out this resource corner to learn about the latest updates, timely information and stories from the field.

Our busy and sometimes stressful lives have a toll on our bodies and our minds. Wellness is the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind. Wellness programs present an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.

There are many programs throughout Vermont that focus on Wellness.  Wellness programs are typically holistic and combine a variety of components which may include physical fitness, eating habits, sources of stress, and other lifestyle elements that are potential risk factors.  Learning and implementing good habits in these areas can potentially impact all phases of one’s life: home, work, and relationships.  Most Vermont hospitals (listed in our database) have Wellness calendars that highlight local activities and support groups.  Search the Vermont 2-1-1 database for any of the following terms:

Emergency Housing Needs in Vermont

Through a partnership with the State of Vermont’s Economic Services Division, Vermont 2-1-1 administers the After Hours Emergency Housing Program beginning at 4:30pm weekdays, throughout weekends and on state/federal holidays. Housing in Vermont has reached a critical need.

Even during November’s warmer than usual weather, emergency housing remains a need, as evidence by the 245 total requests received by Emergency Housing Specialists. Read November’s Emergency Housing report here.



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1 in 4 Americans Gives the Gift of Volunteering!


I thought I would share these interesting statistics to the community which I received this morning…

The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends, and of course, gift-giving. One of the greatest gifts, any time of year, is service to others. So it is great to know that volunteering and service to others is a priority for millions of Americans according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America survey.

1 in 4 Americans Gives the Gift of Volunteering

The holiday season is a time of celebrations, special moments with family and friends, and of course, gift-giving. I think that one of the greatest gifts, any time of year, is service to others. So it was great to hear that volunteering and service to others continues to be a priority for millions of Americans.

Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2014,” just released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), found that in 2013, 62.6 million (25.4 percent) Americans volunteered through an organization, contributing an estimated value of $173 billion. In addition, more than 138 million Americans (62.5 percent) also engaged in informal volunteering in their communities, helping neighbors with such tasks as watching each other’s children, helping with shopping, or house sitting.

The Volunteering and Civic Life in America data include profiles for all 50 states, 51 large cities, and 75 mid-sized cities, including data on volunteer rates, civic indicators, rankings, area-specific trends, and analysis. This research provides the government and nonprofit leaders like United Way with in-depth information on volunteering and civic trends to help us develop strategies to mobilize more Americans to address local needs through service.

The top volunteer activities identified in the new research included fundraising or selling items to raise money (25.4 percent) and collecting, preparing, distributing, or serving food (24.2 percent). Our own research shows that more and more people are volunteering with United Way, in part because we focus on the three cornerstones of education, financial stability and health. Addressing these interconnected issues, we believe, will achieve greater impact in the long run.

Informal volunteering is important, but volunteering through a group is critical because, according to the NCoC, getting involved with a group or organization is a key indicator of how healthy our civic life is. Group participation has declined, which has an adverse effect on our economy and feeling connected and secure in our community. By promoting volunteering, United Way aims to reverse that trend, bring people in and connect them to causes that matter. Your local United Way can help you give the gift of service now, and throughout the year. Your gift of service will help improve your own health, and perhaps that of others, and will strengthen our civic health as well.

* * *

United Way’s mission to improve lives and strengthen communities is fueled by the passion and hard work of people from all walks of life. Learn more about how United Ways engaged community and corporate volunteers from the most recent Database 2 survey

Volunteer Engagement Results and Trends from 2014 Database 2 Survey


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Project RoadSafe E-Newsletter – December 2015



The Associated General Contractors of Vermont

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street

Montpelier, VT 05601

Tel: (802) 223-2374

FAX: (802) 223-1809



 December 21, 2015

Vermont Highway


2015 Year-to-Date: 52

2014 At this time: 42

2013 At this time: 67

2012 At this time: 75

Source: Vermont AOT


Project RoadSafe is funded by a grant from  


Governor’s Highway Safety


A Pledge to End  

Distracted  Driving

I pledge to:

 * Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.

* Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is


* Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.





Talk with us about traffic safety: contact 

Norman James (


A preventable collision is one in which the driver fails to do everything

reasonable to avoid it.

Snow Time in Vermont attracts countless thousands of people to our world-class recreation destination locations.


Cold weather is no barrier to year-round fishing in Vermont.


AGC members are builders of roads, bridges and buildings. Some of their jobs  require workers to be outside in the stifling
heat of the summer and the frigid cold of the winter.




OD in the Workplace

  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013, a four times
increase in the last 15 years.

  Researchers found that 65% to 85% of injured workers in most states received narcotic painkillers.

  Opioids – a group of drugs that include oxycodone and morphine – are prescribed by doctors to relieve pain, but, according to the CDC, can affect safety, health
and productivity, as well as increase workers’ compensation costs.

  The highly addictive drugs also can result in side effects such as confusion, drowsiness and nausea.

Nearly half of the users participated in a potentially unsafe activity while using an opioid – 39% went to work, 35% drove a vehicle, and 14% operated heavy machinery.


The Member-Firms of the Associated General Contractors of Vermont would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and a
very successful 2016!!!


 Drive Like You
Really Care!!



A typical drive on Vermont roads at this time of year calls for extra alertness and caution. Speed will only increase the chances of a life-changing incident.



Snow Storm Precautions

  Snowy winter weather calls everyone’s attention to safety on our roadways. Vermont Emergency Management developed the following checklist of safety measures that
should be followed in the event of significant snow storms.

 ** Check road and weather conditions before leaving; visit or call 511 for this information.

 **Avoid traveling unless necessary and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination.

 **Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with snow tires and winter windshield wiper blades.

 ** Watch for and expect changing road conditions, black ice, blowing snow, high winds or whiteout conditions can appear when you least expect them to.

  The single most important rule is to drive at a speed that matches the prevailing visibility, traffic and road conditions. The posted speed limits are for dry,
clear conditions only.

  Be sure to leave yourself plenty of extra room, extend the following distance from other vehicles ahead

  If you get stuck in deep snow, do NOT let your engine idle if your exhaust pipe is buried. Idling with a buried exhaust pipe risks carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you must idle your vehicle pending assistance, clear snow from the exhaust pipe.



Attitude Drives Behavior


Myth vs. Reality

   Myth: Drivers can multitask

   Reality: Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multitask!   Driving and talking on a cell phone (hands-free OR hand-held) are two “thinking” tasks
that involve many areas of the brain. 

   Instead of processing both (driving and talking), the brain rapidly switches between two cognitive activities. 

   The difference between driving and talking and walking and chewing gum is that driving and the driving and walking scenario they are both “thinking” tasks. Walking
and chewing gum involve a “thinking” (walking) and “non-thinking” (chewing) task.


Vermont’s highway maintenance is ever vigilant for stormy weather. When it does storm crews are out around the
clock to keep roads clear. The adage is: 


Hands Free Creates More Distraction

   Findings from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicate hands-free systems create additional distractions for drivers.

   Dr. David Strayer, professor of psychology at the University of Utah, co-authored the study on the effects of hands-free technologies on drivers. Employing methods
used to test the brain functions of pilots, the research shows a surprising level of driver distraction, even inside newer vehicles with built-in communications systems.

   “We’re looking at this kind of activity and finding that voice-based interactions aren’t free of costs. That it takes a considerable amount of attention,” Strayer

   “There’s this myth in our culture that we’re good at multi-tasking, but it’s not true.”

   According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a total of 257 drivers ages 21-70 participated in the study of 2015 model-year vehicles. An additional 65
drivers ages 21-68 tested three phone systems. 

   “When we try to multi-task, in pretty much any domain, what happens is something doesn’t go well,” Strayer said.

   “When it comes to driving, the driving suffers.”

   According to Strayer, “it takes up to 27 seconds to get attention back on the road as it would have been had you not been interacting with that technology.”



Reasonable Suspicion

   One of the most important issues to confront the business community in recent years is the issue of drugs in the workplace. This issue is fast becoming a serious
impediment to a safe workplace regardless of the type of place where work is being done.

   Whether in office, in the plant, on a job site, or the myriad of workplaces that use motor transport to deliver products and services, Reasonable Suspicion can
be very confusing for the owner, manager, or supervisor of a business.

   AGC/VT is collaborating with the Vermont Truck & Bus Association to repeat a highly successful Reasonable Suspicion clinic that was held at the AGC offices in

   The clinic is tentatively scheduled for February 10 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at the AGC/VT Training Center in Montpelier.

   Confirmation of dates and times will be made shortly.



 A Free Driver Safety Class

   * Does your company have a motor vehicle fleet (two or more vehicles) with above average insurance premiums?

   * Do you feel your fleet has more than its share of motor vehicle crashes?

   * Does your company have a safe driver program?

If these questions cause concern, contact Norman James at AGC/VT (
to talk about a free two-hour driver safety class for your drivers.



Electronic Logging Devices

   A federal rule to require truck operators to use electronic logging devices to keep records of duty status has been cleared to be published in the Federal Register.

   The new rule will take effect two years after its publication, giving carriers and owner-operators a two-year window to comply with the rule’s requirements.

   The rule calls for all drivers currently required to keep paper records of duty status to fall under the rule’s ELD requirement to keep an electronic log.

   In addition to requiring the installation and use of the devices, the rule will also spell out the minimum hardware and software requirements for the devices.

  The rule also outlines several provisions to try to prevent the devices from being used to harass drivers, such as carriers messaging drivers during off-duty
time and limits on location tracking. 



Attitude Drives Behavior


“Over  the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go. . . . . . . ” A vision of quiet, calm, and serenity away from the madding world. Would that we all could venture there. 


Associated General Contractors of Vermont | (802) 223-2374 | |

PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries. RoadSafe, produced by The Associated Contractors of Vermont, is an electronic newsletter concerning workplace driver safety. The purpose of RoadSafe is to distribute data, facts, and other materials to help employers create, maintain, and/or improve their workplace driver safety policies and programs.

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.



Associated General Contractors of Vermont
PO Box 750, 1 Graves Street |
Montpelier |
VT |

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Welcome to our new web site

Green Mountain United Way is pleased to introduce this new and updated website. We hope you enjoy our new look and find it easy to navigate.

We sincerely thank Mike Healy for his assistance in designing and making our site as user-friendly as possible.

Because the site has been reorganized, many page names have changed. If a bookmark to one of our old pages no longer works, try our navigation menu and site search. If that fails or if you have other questions, leave us a comment below.

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