Success Stories: Our Community Collaborations
United Way is more than just a pass through organization for your donations. United Way works collaboratively with local nonprofit agencies and State government to find solutions to the problems our friends and neighbors face. We thought you would like to hear about some of our recent successes in addressing community need.
Days of Caring
For twenty one years, United Way of Addison County have organized community volunteer in an event called Days of Caring. Seven years ago, the volunteer day drew 100 volunteers and had reached a total of 1,000 volunteers since its inception in 1994. Last year, United Way, in collaboration with the RSVP and The Volunteer Center, placed 803 volunteers during Days of Caring. With 3,328 hours of volunteer service at the average hourly wage for Vermonters means that volunteers contributed $69,921 worth of service. More importantly, volunteers gained a greater understanding of our community’s needs. Click here to get involved in our 2015 Days of Caring! https://www.unitedwayaddisoncounty.org/DOC-volunteer-registration
The Volunteer Center
The Volunteer Center is a partnership of United Way of Addison County and RSVP of Addison and Rutland County. United Way's Lizzy Reed matches people under 55 years of age with volunteer opportunities around the county. This year, 182 registered Volunteer Center volunteers were active in Addison County; forty-seven new volunteers are included in that number. Want to be part of the team? Click here to see a listing of our volunteer opportunities! https://www.unitedwayaddisoncounty.org/volunteer
Vermont 2-1-1, a program of United Ways of Vermont, was launched in 2005 to help Vermonters connect with private, local, state and national agencies that can help meet their health and human service needs. United Way, as a member of United Ways of Vermont, fully supports this resource and referral service that connects Vermonters with trained information and referral specialist who are available 24/7 to refer callers to the appropriate community service. To read one persons 2-1-1 experience click here. https://www.unitedwayaddisoncounty.org/211successstory
Last year, Vermont 2-1-1 received 1,679 calls from Addison County residents—more than 5 times the number of calls received the first year. This wouldn’t have happened without your support of United Way of Addison County and the collaboration UWAC has with the other United Ways in Vermont.
Tax Preparation and Earned Income Tax Credit Program
Our FREE tax assistance program helped 443 Addison County households receive over $408,000 in refunds this season!
In February 2015, RSVP and the United Way of Addison County began offering two free programs to help you file your taxes!
RSVP had AARP-trained and certified volunteers available to prepare state and federal income tax returns and answer tax questions for low- and middle-income residents of Addison County. Special attention was given to those ages 60 and older.
The United Way had My Free Taxes volunteers available to guide people of all ages through the process of filing their taxes electronically. This service was free for anyone whose income is less than $60,000.To read a story from this years tax services click here: https://www.unitedwayaddisoncounty.org/Tax-Story For more information, please go to: www.myfreetaxes.com or call 802-398-0004. This program will begin again in mid January of 2016.
United Way Executive Director Kate McGowan worked long and hard to bring the State and the many agencies that grant emergency funds for housing together to come up with a more efficient, accessible, and sustainable way to help people keep their housing and receive support. UWAC, the State and other helping organizations pool their funds and each month review applications for emergency funding and discuss “wrap around services” that can help the applicant(s) take a step toward financial stability. Over the past three years, 406 families (1,109 individuals) have been able to remain in their homes; $306,000 has been granted. This wouldn’t have happened without your support of United Way and its community leadership program.
Peer Support Outcomes Measurement Project
United Way of Addison County and the Vermont Community Foundation are working together to facilitate a year-long pilot project with local nonprofits to support their efforts to identify, measure, evaluate and communicate their community efforts. Participating in the pilot program are organizations that serve teens: Addison Central Teens, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vergennes, Counseling Service of Addison County, Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program, the HUB and Pathways Program of MT Abe. Each agency has committed one to three key staff and volunteers to this year- long study to develop relevant and meaningful evaluation systems for their own organization.
At the same time, UWAC and its Board have developed “logic models” to illustrate our own work and are now in the process of developing measurement tools to evaluate how we are succeeding.
One immediate outcome is that a participant in the Projects is going to take what she has learned to statewide meetings here the outcomes for State funding under Challenges for Change are being defined with the hopes that our local work can influence the process in a positive and meaningful way.