Day of Action Trail Work Day

Last Saturday a great group of volunteers and the great folks at the Mad River Riders got together to work on the beautiful riding, running and walking trails at Blueberry Lake. We brought our rakes, clippers and shovels and hit the trails at 9am to clear debris from the trail, relocate guide stones, fix drainage areas, and buff up the trail. It was a great day with a fantastic group of hard working volunteers. We can’t thank them enough for their time and I hope that everyone who uses and enjoys trails considers contributing their time to keep these resources in great shape for everyone!

Check out photos from the day!

Read More

Day of Action Projects, June 21 in Downtown Barre

Thank you to our many volunteers and a special thanks to our area’s generous employers Northfield Savings Bank and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Vermont for generously offering their employees the benefit of volunteering during the work week! We could not have made such an impact with their individual contributions to this community!

With the help of these 15 giving people we were able to help OUR House and SACT beautify and clean up indoors and out!

At OUR House we:

  • Painted and stained outdoor entrances, stairways and wheelchair ramps and railings
  • Weeded the entire parking area, flower beds, side yard, and building foundation
  • Cleaned the parking area to make it more welcoming for clients
  • Trimmed bushes and trees to clear path areas

At SACT we helped by:

  • Weeding around the foundation (and when I say weeding, I mean pulling roots the size of puppies, in addition to pulling small weeds)
  • Mowing
  • Painting two entry areas and wheel chair ramp
  • Cleaning the shelter kitchens, bathrooms and common areas,
  • Weeding and cleaning the shelter parking area

All of this work could not have been accomplished without these strong and capable hands and many hands made for lots of accomplishment. Thanks you from GMUW, OUR House and SACT and the communities they serve!

Read More

Worksite Wellness Funding Opportunity

The Vermont Department of Health has recently released a request for proposals for a funding opportunity to promote worksite wellness at small workplaces.  These Working Toward Wellness grants will support the development of worksite wellness programs to promote physical activity and nutrition initiatives for employees.  Six grants in the amount of $3,000 each are available this year.  In addition to funding, worksites will be partnered with local health department staff for ongoing technical assistance and support.  To be eligible, worksites must have fewer than 100 employers and must not have an existing wellness program.  This year, we are funding worksites in the following district areas: Barre, Rutland, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Springfield, and White River Junction.

Please click here for more information or contact

The deadline for applications is July 15th, 2016. 


Ashwinee Kulkarni

Public Health Specialist \ (802) 859-5916

Vermont Department of Health

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

108 Cherry Street

Burlington, VT 05401


Please note that my email address has changed to

Read More

Find a Great Place to Campout!

National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation


Happy Campers Protect Wildlife

Dear Friend of Wildlife,

The kickoff of the 12th annual Great American Campout is right around the corner and it’s not too late to be a part of the “wildest” trend of the summer—camping! Join the National Wildlife Federation in this yearly celebration of the Great Outdoors and spend a night under the stars.

I Pledge to Campout!

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of camping resources that tell you everything you need to know, including park and campsite locator tools, amenities offered, and how to camp guides, just to name a few.
Still not sure? Friends of wildlife who have taken the pledge to camp are hosting public campout events across the country that you may be able to join.

See if there is one you can join in your area

Thank you for all you do to support wildlife!

Join the Conversation
© 2016 The National Wildlife Federation, all rights reserved
The National Wildlife Federation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization

Read More

FamilyWize Health and Wellness Newsletter – June 2016


Health and Wellness Newsletter – June 2016


Our Mission at FamilyWize is Simple:

Help people live a healthy, happy life by making prescription medications more affordable.

Here are a few great stories from around the country, all of which exemplify the FamilyWize card and app improving the lives of individuals and families nationwide. We are proud of these stories, and need your help in spreading the word to more people every day!


“As a pharmacist, I see “sticker shock” on a daily basis – people who learn the price of their prescription and then decide to pass on taking them due to cost. The FamilyWize card and app (I see both) help reduce this cost significantly, and most importantly, help lead to more people taking their meds and living healthy!”
Ken, Minnesota

“My husband takes Amlodipine daily for high blood pressure. The cost is usually $270, but the FamilyWize discount resulted in a cost of $22.27; a savings of almost $250!”
Kelley, Georgia

“I am able to save over 75% (Close to $100) on my monthly prescription with absolutely no cost to me. A sincere Thank You for all that you do!”
Colin, Pennsylvania

“Our out-of-pocket prescription costs had been running over $200 per month. We began using the FamilyWize card and these costs were CUT IN HALF! We are a low income household so this is a huge relief and we are so grateful.”
Kara, Minnesota

“When I turned to United Way of Rockland and the FamilyWize prescription discount plan, my prescription costs ($1,100 for 90 days) reduced by 67%. Not only is it free but it’s available to everyone. I don’t know what I would’ve done if it wasn’t for United Way of Rockland and FamilyWize.”
Breast Cancer Survivor, New York

“I use the FamilyWize card for my son, who takes medication for high blood pressure. I save $100 every time I refill his prescription. Thank you, FamilyWize!”
Maria Elena, Florida

“By partnering with FamilyWize, all of us at United Way of The Wine Country have helped over 10,000 people save close to $1,000,000 in the past year alone. Thank you for partnering with us and helping those in need!”
Mike, California

Did You Know?

You can use the FamilyWize card and app for all of your REFILLS, too?

Every time you go to the pharmacy, make sure you bring along your card or app and show it to the pharmacist. This will ensure you get the lowest possible price on your meds!




Read More

Vermont 2-1-1 Launches Mobile App!


Vermont 2-1-1, a program of the United Ways of Vermont, is a health and human service helpline providing information and referrals 24-7. 

Vermont 2-1-1

Vermont 2-1-1 Earns National Accreditation!

Two months after celebrating its 11th year of providing service, Vermont 2-1-1, a United Ways’ statewide telephone information and referral program, has another reason to celebrate. Read more… 

Emergency Housing 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.

Vermont 2-1-1 Information and Referral (I&R) Specialists responded to 106 calls regarding housing needs. I&R specialists provide needs assessment, problem-solving support, and information and referrals to a wide range of services to each caller. Review Vermont 2-1-1’s Emergency Housing Report for May here.

Vermont 2-1-1 Monthly Call Statistics

A message from the Director, MaryEllen Mendl

May’s call volume of 2,079 begins to reflect the traditionally quieter call pattern that a reduction in emergency cold weather shelter and home heating bill payment assistance that the warmer days of the summer months brings. The average number of calls per day in May dropped to 67 and when compared to February’s daily average of 135 calls, becomes an excellent illustration of just how challenging even the mildest of Vermont winter months is for many residents. An interesting exception to the reduced number of calls for emergency shelter during May was Caledonia County where the number of housing and shelter requests rose. This is potentially a result of the seasonal closing of Caledonia County’s first and only cold weather shelter on the last day of April.

While calls for Housing/Shelter dipped as temperatures rose, calls for utility assistance, primarily due to impending electricity disconnects, increased. Between November 1st and March 31st  there can be no disconnect or termination of electricity if the temperature is less than 10° F or less than 32° F for households with elderly age 62 and older, nor can there be a disconnect of service if a customer agrees to and adheres to a payment plan. For many financially fragile households, pulling together electric utility bill payment funds from family, community support services, and/or local faith-based organizations is the only way to keep the lights on.

Bennington County water quality issues continued to contribute to the increase in calls under Environmental Protection and Improvement in May. The discovery of PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) in private wells and public water systems continued to prompt residents of the area to call for information on water testing, blood testing and agricultural issues.

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

Summer Food

School is out soon and local gardens are already producing! Vermont has an abundance of farmers’ markets and the variety of fresh produce continues to grow each year.  This year over 40 farmers’ markets are able to accept 3SquaresVT food benefits on EBT cards. An added 3SquaresVT benefit is the “Crop Cash” coupon program that can help to stretch the food budget and increase access to healthy food choices, while supporting our local farmers.  If you spend $10 from the EBT card at a farmers’ market for fresh fruits or vegetables, you get an additional $10 in coupons to purchase more!

Summer fun in the sun means that growing kids’ appetites are strong and there are a host of free summer meal programs available statewide for children under 18 years old. By the end of June, updated summer meal program locations, times and registration information will be posted on

Vermont parents can also make use of the University of Vermont Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) that encourages Vermonters to make healthy, affordable food choices through fun hands-on nutrition education program that includes growing and storing fresh food. The Extension programs serve income eligible parents, caregivers and expecting mothers, as well as children and teens.

Remember to dial 2-1-1 and speak with our Information and Referral Specialists to learn more about additional summer food resources.

Vermont 2-1-1 Launches Mobile App!

United Ways of Vermont and Vermont 2-1-1 is excited to announce the launch of the Vermont 2-1-1 mobile app to help community members navigate the complex system of health and human services. The app will allow users to get to the assistance they need quickly, anonymously and from the convenience of their mobile device.

In 2015, the Vermont 2-1-1 call center, which has the most up to date, comprehensive directory for social services information, handled more than 38,000 calls, each representing a person in need of assistance. From mothers who need food for their children, to working families who cannot afford to pay their utility bills, or a dialysis patient trying to coordinate transportation to medical appointments, 2-1-1 can direct users to thousands of social service resources. The app also makes it easy to call 2-1-1 directly when a human touch is required.

“The Vermont 2-1-1 app will streamline access to social services information, ensuring crucial information is available when and where it is needed,” said MaryEllen Mendl, Director.

Users can simply download the app from the app store and enter their zip code to connect to the most relevant resources based on their needs and location. Users can either find these resources through a robust set of resource-matching tools to obtain a list of services that closely match what they are looking for, such as a food source, utility bill assistance, low-cost child care and many others.

Download the app by searching “Vermont 2-1-1” in your phone’s app store.

Help Me Grow Update

Help Me Grow Vermont staff and partners attended the Help Me Grow National Forum in Greenville, North Carolina May 23-25th. This yearly forum offers an opportunity to network with providers from other Help Me Grow affiliate states, attend site visits to local Help Me Grow programs/partners and attend breakout sessions on a variety of topics to improve and inform our work. This year’s session topics included capacity building and collaboration, developmental monitoring, parent engagement strategies and early childhood integrated data systems. The Help Me Grow Vermont team returned with insights and ideas to inform and strengthen our work with Vermont families.

Help Me Grow continued our efforts to provide informational materials to programs and providers statewide. As part of this effort we staffed a Help Me Grow/VT 2-1-1 information table at the Vermont Youth Conference sponsored by the Spectrum Multicultural Conference.

Three Ring Binders for the Taking!

United Ways of Vermont has an abundant supply of 1, 2, and 3 inch three ring binders to donate to a good home. Some are new and some gently used. For more information or to arrange pick up, please contact Karen at or call 861-0146 ext. 208.

Vermont 2-1-1 · PO Box 111 · Essex Junction, VT 05453 · USA

Read More

Volunteering is fun! Check our Network

Good Morning Everyone:

Please share this message with all your fellow employees and anyone else you know who might be interested in volunteering.  It can be very rewarding.


This month we have a few new opportunities to bring you, the first of which is with Green Mountain United Way on our annual Days of Action on June 21 and June 25:


    • We have two projects in downtown Barre at OUR House to help do some outside spring cleaning and staining a handicap ramp and doing a bit of gardening.
    • Then, also in downtown Barre at SACT just down the street from OUR House where more outside spring cleaning will take place.
    • Then on June 25, we will be in the Mad River Valley to help do some trail maintenance for the Mad River Riders.  For more information about these three projects, please contact Carrie at GMUW at 802-622-8056 or at
    • Greensboro:  Circus Smirkus is looking for volunteers for their summer season
    • In all 5 counties, Rural Community Transportation (RCT) needs volunteers to provide rides for people going to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, etc.
    • St. Johnsbury:  Kingdom Community Service food shelf needs people to help customers with food orders, stocking shelves, etc.
    • St. Johnsbury:  The hospital there, NVRH, is looking for a gift shop volunteer/cashier, and is looking for an Information Desk volunteer who will also sell newspapers and flowers, deliver flowers to patients, straighten book shelves and man the coffee cart for patients’ families.



Give volunteering a try.  You may find that it’s just what you need after a long winter cooped up in the house or in your place of work.


Thanks and give us a call if you have any questions about our Volunteer Network.



Madeleine C. Roy / Development & Marketing Director / Green Mountain United Way
Orleans/Northern Essex Office
PO Box 33, Derby Line, VT 05830 / Tel:  802-647-2148

Read our blog at:

Read More

Vermont Gives & Update From the Field


Dear Hikers,

Beaver Dam CabinWith hiking season well under way, I thought I would take some time to update you about our camps at one of my favorite places, Wheeler Pond. Since 2003, the Green Mountain Club has owned and managed two cabins that have provided a setting for people to enjoy the natural beauty of the Northeast Kingdom.

About a month ago, we made the difficult decision to close Beaver Dam Cabin for structural safety reasons. (Hadsel-Mares, is still open for rent year round.)

These camps at Wheeler Pond are a special place and we are excited about the opportunity to rebuild Beaver Dam Cabin with an improved structure that honors the history and feel of the original cabin. We are lucky to have a loyal community that use and enjoy Wheeler Pond Camps – it’s one of the reasons they are so special!

I look forward to sharing our plans as staff and leadership move forward to begin the rebuilding process for Beaver Dam Cabin.


Michael DeBonis
Executive Director

P.S. If you want to help us rebuild Beaver Dam Cabin, you can donate to the project.

Camel's Hump ViewVermont Gives, Today!

One Day to Celebrate Giving Across Vermont

Thanks to Common Good Vermont, across the state of Vermont, individuals are spending the day donating to the essential nonprofit organizations.

If you give today to support the Green Mountain Club‘s work to protect and maintain the Long Trail and Northeast Kingdom Trails, you will be entered to win some great prizes. (Hint: they involve hiking!) You can check out our Facebook page for details.


Arts in the MountainsArt in the Mountains
Your Guide to Art along the Trail

Thanks to a collaboration with the Vermont Arts Council, we have a great list for you that combines two of Vermont’s best attractions: hiking and the arts.

Learn more on how you can fill your days on the trail and reward yourself with a nearby gallery, studio, or festival.



Vehicle Donations Received!Truck.jpg
We Asked, You Heard, the Trail Benefits 

Last month we asked you to help us with vehicles to complete our work on the trail. And what a response we got!

Thank you to Dave Birmingham, from for donating three vehicles from his Subaru, Toyota, and Honda Dealerships, and to Scott Holloway from Holloway Buick, GMC, Cadillac in Portsmouth, NH for donating a one-ton GMC pickup truck!. These vehicles are essential to the work we do to protect and maintain Vermont’s hiking trails.

We still need a few more vehicles for our crews. Do you have a vehicle that can help the Long Trail? Email Matt Krebs.


Green Mountain Club. © 2016 All rights reserved.
Green Mountain Club ~ 4711 Waterbury-Stowe Rd. Waterbury Center, VT 05677


Read More

Dale Carnegie: Attend A Free Session On How To Present


Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 1.17.42 PM


Do People Listen To You? 

Attend a free session of the
Impactful Leadership Through Strategic Presentations Program
and be a more compelling presenter.

Impactful Leadership Through Strategic Presentations
Free Preview Session

Thursday, June 9

8:30AM – 12:00PM

Windjammer Conference Center

1076 Williston Road, So. Burlington, VT



There is absolutely no obligation!  You will be our guest.

This will be the first 3.5 hours of the actual 2-day program, so you will be experiencing the real thing.




Seating is limited and we will close the offer once capacity is reached.  So reserve your seat now by
clicking here.



By attending this free session you will have an opportunity to:

  • observe and assess your current presentation skills
  • make immediate improvements in your presentations
  • create a vision of what kind of presenter you’d like to become
  • learn how audiences judge presenters
  • create a more powerful ‘Platform Presence’
  • obtain tips on the effective use of ‘Powerpoint’


Click here to reserve a seat.

Read More

Green Mountain United Way Expands Tatum’s Totes to Newport Area

MRoy Tammy Lalime DCF Npt 004

(Photo of Madeleine Roy, Marketing Director of GMUW (left) and Tammy Lalime, Resource Coordinator at State of Vermont Dept. of Children & Families – Newport District)

Last summer, a game-changing project for children who are headed for foster care was begun by a couple in Rutland, Elizabeth and Alex Grimes.  They named it Tatum’s Totes after their 5-month old son, Tatum, who died suddenly of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  It was a devastating loss to the whole family, but just two months later Elizabeth’s decision for them to become licensed foster parents was what turned that devastation around.  Along with that, her creation of the Tatum’s Totes project is bringing hope to foster children throughout Rutland County that has also spilled over into Addison, Windham and Bennington Counties.

This past winter, Green Mountain United Way (GMUW) partnered with Tatum’s Totes to also bring this program to children in Washington Co. and has just recently expanded it to Orleans and Northern Essex Counties.

GMUW is collecting backpacks and other totes and fills them with age-appropriate personal hygiene items, basic clothing, a stuffed animal, some books and games, a fuzzy blanket and other items to be given to children going into foster care.

Many times, children and teenagers are moved into a foster home at a moment’s notice and arrive with only the clothes on their back.  Having one’s own bag of items they can call their own can make a world of difference when entering an unknown home.  GMUW is working closely with the State of VT Dept. of Children and Families in the Newport office to make sure that backpacks are ready when needed.  “On behalf of our foster children, I want to thank the local United Way for the generous donations.  Their gifts mean that children will no longer be moving into foster care using a plastic bag and will have new backpacks, water bottles and other needed supplies to call their own.  Your generosity is overwhelming and much needed for our children and families,” says Tammy Lalime, Resource Coordinator at the Newport DCF office.

There are nearly 1,400 children currently in state custody yet only about 1,200 licensed foster families.  Nationally, there are approximately 300,000 children in foster care and almost half of those wait three years or more before being adopted, meaning that those years are spent bouncing from foster home to foster home.

A full list of suggested items that go into the backpacks can be found at  For information on how you can help on this project, call the GMUW Derby Line office at 802-647-2148.  GMUW is proud to be leading this Tatum’s Totes effort with the hope of easing the transition of children and teens into new home situations.

Read More