Have you ever been in a situation where just getting through the week until payday seems almost impossible? What if, because of a call to a tow truck the week before, or an extra box of diapers for the sitter, you found yourself without enough money to put oil in the heating tank? What if the sitter had to raise her prices for a week’s worth of babysitting because her heating oil bill just went up? Or the cost of milk for the children in her care?
What if, by the end of the week or the month, you, a working Vermonter, could not afford to keep your house warm? Or fix the broken water pipe? Well, then you would not be unlike Jody, a single mother who is a childcare provider through a local daycare center. With the price of heating oil at an all-time high, Jody found herself trying to conserve as much oil as she could by keeping the thermostat low enough to keep pipes from freezing – but not enough to really keep the house warm. Jody worked with Resource Specialist, Michelle, who is a certified financial coach, to improve her budget, whittle a few bills down, and get a hand up from the 185 Fund at the same time.
Through Working Bridges, a Green Mountain United Way program that Jody has access to through her employer, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) in St. Johnsbury, she was able to access the 185 Fund and receive a space heater for her son. Each 185 Fund grant is usually $185 (or close) and provides a quick hand up to a hardworking Vermonter struggling to make ends meet when no other supports are available. But more than just a hand up – Working Bridges gives employees a continual support system and the financial counseling they need to move forward.
Everyday, Green Mountain United Way, through their partnerships with employers across Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom, is able to connect working families and individuals to the resources they need to get through a day, a week, or a month. And by staying connected, our resource specialists help each client navigate a path to a more secure future here in Vermont.
With your continuing support, hardworking Vermonters like Jody, and so many others who work at our partner worksites: Central Vermont Medical Center; Weidmann Electrical Technology; Central Vermont Health, Home, and Hospice; ABC Child Care Center, and more throughout Central and Northeast Vermont, not only are we able to help individual employees, but we are helping the community’s employers as well.
By giving to Green Mountain United Way, not only are your dollars staying in the community, helping local businesses by helping local people, you are also showing those members of the community who may be struggling right now, that they matter.