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The Vermont Community Foundation Announces $447,500 in VT COVID-19 Response Grants to Support Summer Activities for Youth and Adults

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Image courtesy of MENTOR VT

The Vermont Community Foundation has announced $447,500 in grants from its VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support activities and events that re-engage Vermonters, particularly youth, in community events during summer 2021. Since it was created in March 2020 to support a coordinated response to the pandemic, the VT COVID-19 Response Fund has distributed more than $9 million in grants to over 800 organizations, beginning with basic needs and adapting to ensure nonprofit partners have the resources they need to meet the challenges at hand, particularly when federal aid is not yet available.

“The story of Vermont’s response to the pandemic is incredibly inspiring,” says Vermont Community Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith. “At the Community Foundation, we witnessed the generosity of hundreds of Vermonters giving through the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support their neighbors in need, as well as the resilience of their communities looking forward. The grants announced today have been made possible by friends, neighbors, businesses, and countless others. Vermonters look out for one another.”

Sarah Waring, vice president for grants and community investments, adds, “This summer provides an opportunity for Vermonters, especially young Vermonters, to return to doing the activities they love, whether that’s sports, music, theater, or volunteering, and to begin healing from the trauma of the last sixteen months. It’s also a critical time to reboot our local economies and downtowns, which means supporting gatherings that bring consumers back to restaurants, venues, and stores that have been missing patrons.”

The organizations and initiatives that will receive funding in this round include:

  • $100,000 to Vermont Afterschool for the Summer Matters program, a set of supports for young people through community-based nonprofits and youth-serving organizations designed to expand access to summer learning programs. The VT COVID-19 Response Fund grant will be used to compliment the state investment in summer 2021, with a specific focus on diversity, inclusion, and affordability.
  • $90,000 to NOFA VT for its Farmers Market mini-grant program to help vendors with costs for additional marketing, safety signage, digital pads, or other resources that promote the safety of customers and the success of businesses.
  • $50,000 to MENTOR VT to support its Vermont Mentoring Grants program that focuses on sustainably increasing the quality and quantity of mentoring matches statewide.
  • $25,000 to the Vermont Arts Council for its Stages in the Sun mini-grant program for art organizations and community-based groups to put on events that bring community members together through arts and culture.
  • An additional $182,500 will support other community programs around the state that are designed to engage youth in outdoor recreation and summer learning opportunities.

The VT COVID-19 Response Fund will continue to make grants throughout summer 2021. For a historical overview of the Fund, visit vermontcf.org/COVIDReportMay2021 to view the May 2021 progress report, as well as Vermont Community Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith’s reflections on the fund and the opportunities ahead.

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