Vermont Business Magazine The Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation made $110,243 in grants to 29 organizations in Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties this year. The NEK Fund was established in 2011 by the Vermont Community Foundation and local partners as a permanent philanthropic resource for people and communities in the region. In a new initiative for 2019, the NEK Fund grantmaking committee invited a small group of continuously supported NEK partners to apply for multi-year funding to provide for programmatic and operational grant requests. The committee awarded three multi-year grants, which make up a portion of the Fund’s total grantmaking for the year.
This year’s grantmaking total was supported in part by donors from across Vermont who participated in our Giving Together program—contributing more than $60,000 to projects that inspired them. This collaboration and co-funding partnership further advance the impact of philanthropic work in Northeast Kingdom communities.
“This work extends far beyond the NEK-based review committee and NEK residents,” said Sarah Waring, the vice president for grants and community investments at the Vermont Community Foundation. “This year’s grantmaking round demonstrated how special this corner of the state is for fundholders throughout Vermont, who came together to support the largest grantmaking round in the Kingdom since the Fund’s inception.”
The Vermont Community Foundation will celebrate this year’s grantees on December 11 at an event at the Town Hall in Albany, Vermont. Guest speakers include Roland Bluto from the Nulhegan Band of the Abenaki Tribe and Kristin Urie from Albany Community Trust. Light refreshments will be served.
All Things Lyndon received $1,000 for the Family Fun Fridays series of social events to ensure that all families in Lyndon will thrive by feeling connected, supported, and empowered in their community.
Catamount Film & Arts received $10,000 to support the NEK Creative Economy Development project, which is focused on strengthening the regional economy by establishing creative hubs to amplify the intersection between the recreation, creative, and local food economy sectors.
Coutts-Moriarty Camp received $1,000 to acquire a trailer to more easily transport biking and recreational equipment so the camp can increase after-school outdoor experiential learning programming across the NEK.
Craftsbury Saplings received $4,970 to provide learning and growth opportunities for childcare providers and families of young children in the NEK by offering free monthly workshops and trainings.
Encore After-School and Summer Programs, North Country Supervisory Union received $10,000 for NEK Cares—a proactive, health-focused summer program to help elementary students navigate choices about risky behaviors while also building confidence, bolstering student voice, and supporting healthy habits.
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium received $4,965 for a project that delivers fundamental astronomy content to after-school programs, libraries, community centers, and clubs throughout the NEK with on-site visits and educational outreach.
Friends of the Cobleigh Library received $300 for the third iteration of the Bookmobile visits that help children in rural communities develop life-long learning skills by increasing their vocabulary, listening skills, and other emergent literacy skills with read-aloud programs.
Glover Ambulance Squad received $2,500 to provide emergency medical services and education that is currently difficult to obtain for rural populations in the NEK.
Green Mountain Farm-to-School received $10,000 in general operating funds to support organizational growth that strengthens local food systems by promoting positive economic and educational relationships among schools, farms, and communities.
Green Mountain United Way received $5,000 for the ABC-LOL Working Bridges Family Support Pilot—a new initiatve that aims to create financial stability for families and ensure children enrolled at ABC-LOL have a stable family environment to positively impact their early learning and future success.
Helping Other People Everyday - H.O.P.E. received $1,000 to support the Feeding the Northeast Kingdom—Backpack Program, which works with eight schools and supplies 60-100 children per week with food for weekends.
Kingdom East Afterschool Program received $4,866 to transport students for the Ecological Adventures Spotlight project, which provides unique opportunities for students in grades three to five to engage in hands-on outdoor education learning.
NAMI Vermont received $1,550 to support free workshops and presentations for family members, professionals, and community members that provide better understanding of mental illness and the treatments and resources available to improve quality of life and raise awareness about mental health.
Newport City Elementary School received $1,500 for the Peace Project. Children will make posters about multi-generational activities, hold a peace walk, participate in a mentor program where stories of peace are written and shared, and sponsor a community dinner before the culminating Peace Concert.
Northeast Kingdom Human Services received $700 for the Individual and Family Recovery Education Library to purchase books/workbooks that support group activities for parents/adult caregivers of any age and gender who are in recovery for addiction.
Northeast Kingdom Learning Services received $5,000 to open Ready, Set, Grow Childcare in Newport. The childcare center, created in partnership with Northeast Kingdom Community Action Head Start, will deliver a blended programming model to serve 40 three- to five-year-olds, 16 toddlers, and 16 infants.
Northeast Kingdom Young Professionals Network received $3,000 to engage young professionals in leadership development and to attract, retain, and ease their transition into the region.
Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC) received $5,000 to support the infrastructure task force for One Burke Downtown Development 2019 as it works to revitalize community economic development in downtown West Burke.
Northern Forest Center received $4,960 for the NEK Digital Marketing Assessment Project, which will work to help small farm/food, recreation, and creative businesses in the NEK improve their ability to use digital marketing to reach new customers.
NorthWoods Stewardship Center received $5,000 to upgrade and install new features at the Leadership Challenge Course for All, an extensive high- and low-ropes course used by student groups as well as during retreats and workshops for adults.
Orleans County Restorative Justice Center received $1,000 for the What About the Kids? project, which will address the needs of Orleans County youth who have one or more parents incarcerated or under correctional supervision.
Salvation Farms received $1,500 for Nourishing Northeast Kingdom Seniors through Gleaning, which will capture locally grown surplus food and then deliver it via Meals on Wheels to vulnerable aging adults—many with chronic health conditions—who are unable to leave home and/or prepare meals.
Scrag Mountain Music received $1,000 for Scrag Mountain Music's Musical Storytelling for All Ages, which will feature acclaimed artists and will introduce school groups and local low-income families to music and arts education.
St. Johnsbury Senior Citizens Center received $2,500 for Keep Our Seniors Moving, which will offer day trips for Northeast Kingdom seniors, especially those who live on fixed incomes and have limited independence, mobility, and social interaction.
The Umbrella of St. Johnsbury received $4,432 for the Umbrella Youth Team to empower girl-identifying young women to learn leadership skills, become peer educators on healthy relationships, experience financial independence, and develop and practice positive work skills.
Vermont Journalism Trust (dba VTDigger.org) received $2,500 to support a local investigative reporter working in the Northeast Kingdom who will cover issues affecting the region including economic development, education, criminal justice, energy, environment and conservation, and health care.
Vermont Land Trust received $5,000 to support the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation in maintaining the Nulheganaki Tribal Forest. The tribe’s goals for the land include economic development, education, self-sufficiency, and environmental protection.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps received $5,000 for The Newport Food & Farm Crew: Shaping Futures and Feeding Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, which supports 8-10 youth participating in hands-on farming projects on Vermont Land Trust’s Bluffside Farm in Newport.
WonderArts Vermont (formerly Wonder & Wisdom) received $5,000 for Food Security for All: Farm to Kids Table & Grow Your Own, which works to increase food security and accessibility for the NEK’s underserved populations and helps create a community where local, fresh, and delicious food is a right, not a privilege.
About the Vermont Community Foundation
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. The heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. We are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future.
Source: The Vermont Community Foundation 12.6.2019. Visit vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.