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It has been a year that strains comparisons. Communities have been tested like rarely before, but the resilience and kindness of Vermonters shines as bright as ever. On March 23rd, the Community Foundation hosted an afternoon of sharing and discussion about the impact of the VT COVID-19 Response Fund, how giving can help Vermont recover and rebuild in the year ahead, and what lessons philanthropy needs to carry forward. Speakers included:
Dan Smith, President and CEO, Vermont Community Foundation
Sarah Waring, Vice President for Grants and Community Investments, Vermont Community Foundation
Stacie Fagan, Vice President for Philanthropy, Vermont Community Foundation
Jean Hamilton, Director, ShiftMeals and Statewide Coordinator, Vermont Everyone Eats
Ted Brady, Deputy Secretary, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
The webinar also served as the launch event for the Vermont Community Foundation's Insight Hub. Powered by the Community Foundation's experience and research, and informed by the lived experience of Vermonters, the Insight Hub offers webinars, events, briefs, and peer-to-peer experiences that help philanthropists understand where their charitable giving can make a difference in Vermont.
Today, the Vermont Community Foundation announced $150,000 in grants to expand Vermonters’ access to mental health and suicide prevention care as part of the newest recovery initiative from its VT COVID-19 Response Fund.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impacts on BIPOC communities, public visibility to senseless police killings, and the brutal treatment of American citizens expressing their free speech, 2020 was a perfect recipe for the United States—and Vermont—to reawaken to the deeply embedded systemic racism that exists in our country. This renewed attention to the circumstances that BIPOC individuals face every day presents an opportunity to put Vermont in a better place post-pandemic that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone.