Vermont Catholic Charities Inc. has awarded 24 grants to non-profit organizations that make meaningful differences in the daily lives of individuals and families throughout Vermont.

Funding for these grants was made possible through the generosity of those who donated to a collection on Ash Wednesday at Catholic parishes throughout Vermont.  Mary Beth Pinard, executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities said, “Because of the financial support from Catholics from throughout Vermont, some of the most vulnerable members in our communities will receive critical support and services. We at Vermont Catholic Charities thank all those who participated in the Ash Wednesday collection. What a wonderful expression of our faith — to serve others.”

Since 2011, Vermont Catholic Charities has awarded 230 grants totaling more than $488,000 to Vermont nonprofits that support critical needs in their communities including housing, food, pro-life and emergency assistance.     

The Bishop deGoesbriand grant provides support to Faith in Action’s work to decrease hunger and food insecurity in the Northeast Kingdom and Washington County. “We are sincerely grateful for your continued support as we work to feed the needy in our area,” a representative commented.

Joshua House received a grant to provide emergency aid to clients in the Northeast Kingdom.  One client said, “Thank you so much. You are an angel from heaven sent from God to help others.”

With help from the deGoesbriand grant, HOPE was able to ease the challenge and stress of poverty for more than 3,000 people in Addison County. “Thank you for the generous grant. Your support has a tremendous impact on our ability to respond to the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Addison County. Thank you for your continued commitment and support to our community,” a representative commented.

Last year more than 250 students at the Catholic Center at the University of Vermont prepared and served dinner at the Salvation Army. “We greatly appreciate the grant as it helps the students reach out to those less fortunate in our community. Students experience that we are called to serve less fortunate and encounter Christ in them,” said someone associated with the project.

This year the following organizations received grants totaling $54,860:

ANEW Place ($3,500) Burlington

Funding will support the services the agency provides to adult homeless men and women.

Aspire Together Inc. ($1,000) Burlington

Funding will be used to implement the Choose Life Marketing program.

Cancer Patient Support Foundation ($3,000) Williston

Funding will support the emergency fund which provides financial support for cancer patients and their families while they are in treatment.

The Catholic Center at UVM ($1,500) Burlington

College 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 ($1,500) Burlington

Funding will be used for advertising to increase community awareness of Birthright’s services and to making themselves known to any woman who is ambivalent about her pregnancy.

Committee on Temporary Shelter ($1,500) Burlington

Funding is for support of the COTS Daystation program which serves as refuge from the streets for men and women experiencing homelessness and help people stabilize their lives in times of crisis.

Community Asylum Seekers Project ($2,000) Saxtons River

Funding will be used to provide basic needs to a guest family in the process of seeking asylum.

Community Emergency Relief Volunteers ($4,000) Northfield Falls

Funding will be used to purchase a commercial refrigerator and to purchase food for the food shelf.

Faith in Action Northern Communities ($3,000) Cabot

Funding will support food purchases and food transportation costs to help those in need in the Northeast Kingdom and Washington County.

Good Beginnings of Central Vermont ($1,860) Montpelier

Funding will be used to support low-income families through the Free Carrier Program and the emergency fund.

Grateful Hearts ($1,000) East Dorset

Funding will be used to purchase a reconditioned stove and commercial vacuum sealer so the agency can continue to provide healthy prepared meals to families in need.

Greater Falls Warming Shelter ($3,500) Saxtons River

Funding will help agency’s mission is to provide a safe, warm overnight shelter during the winter months for those in need.

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity ($1,500) Williston 

Funding will help build affordable and energy-efficient homes for low-income working families.

Addison County Community Action (HOPE) ($3,000) Middlebury

Funding will support the organization’s Essential Services Program which provides vital assistance to those unable to meet their own basic needs for food, shelter, heat and medical care.

John Graham Housing and Services ($3,000) Vergennes

Funding will be used to help fund a part-time case manager who will work with homeless families with children.

Joseph’s House ($2,000) Burlington

Funding will be used for the purchase of two new computers to support the work of staff and clients.

Joshua House Inc. ($3,500) Irasburg

Funding will be used to support clients in the Northeast Kingdom who need financial assistance with basic needs like food, rent, fuel, transportation, electricity etc.

Martha’s Kitchen ($3,000) St. Albans

Funding will help sustain expanded hours of operation to include weekends and senior meals program.

Our Place Drop In Center ($1,500) Bellows Falls

Funding will be used for food purchases for the food pantry.

Spectrum Youth & Family Services ($2,500) Burlington

Funding will support the agency’s Basic Needs and A Stable Home programs to help homeless and vulnerable youth address immediate and critical needs.

St. Brigid’s Kitchen ($2,000) Brattleboro

Funding will be used to continue to serve meals to those in need in the Brattleboro community.

St. Brigid’s Pantry ($1,000) Brattleboro

Funding will support the Take-A-Bag Program and the holiday food program which serves the less fortunate in St. Michael Parish and in the Brattleboro area.

St. Peter Parish – Vergennes Rotary Club ($1,500) Vergennes

Funding will help provide afternoon snacks and evening meals to children of the Boys and Girls Club of the greater Vergennes area.

Upper Valley Haven ($3,000) White River Junction

Funding will help with cost of operating the seasonal shelter which is open during the winter.

—Originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.