This commentary is by Liz Gamache, a longstanding resident and former mayor of St. Albans. She presently sits on many nonprofit boards and is a member of United Way of Northwest Vermont's senior leadership group.
Living in Vermont is one of the many things I enjoy about it because of how we look out for one another and cherish strong communities. We are moving towards a season of thanksgiving as the days grow shorter and darker when many of us consider our blessings and ways we may give back.
Giving On Tuesday, November 29, there will be a worldwide giving day that aims to "unleash the power of radical generosity throughout the world."
This day offers me the chance to think about how I can help out locally; to assess the needs in my neighborhood and to contemplate how I might improve things here.
Every citizen in Vermont gains from the organization’s mission-driven activities, either directly or indirectly. When I began working for my local United Way 20 years ago, I first learned how crucial organizations are to creating great communities in Vermont.
Since then, I've committed my professional and civic life to assisting regional initiatives and organizations with noble missions. I've had positions in both municipal government and large and small organizations. I've worked as a volunteer for numerous organizations, frequently on boards.
I even served six years as St. Albans' mayor (a volunteer position).
By their very nature, nonprofit organizations serve the public good and frequently fill in the gaps left by the for-profit sector and the government. So much important work is being done in our nearby towns.
I can personally attest that there is no shortage of neighborhood organizations in need of your help. In addition to cultural groups that enhance our lives through the arts and historic preservation, some organizations assist individuals and families in meeting their basic requirements. Environmental organizations work to preserve the environment, and charitable organizations that support underserved communities and promote a just and inclusive society also exist. And a whole lot more.
It can be challenging to get started given that Vermont has the second-largest nonprofit sector (per capita) in the nation. I advise starting with issues and organizations that are close to your heart. Has a problem or a worthy cause affected a friend or member of your family? A good way to start is by asking locals for recommendations or looking out for Vermont-based charities on Common Good Vermont.
I enjoy contributing to a range of neighborhood causes and organizations. I've previously served on the boards of the St. Albans Museum, Local Motion, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Franklin County Home Health, and the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp.
I enjoy giving to my local United Way because I know I'm addressing a variety of issues in my neighborhood. I am motivated every day by United Way's efforts to bring community members together to solve problems as a member of staff and contributor at United Way of Northwest Vermont.
local issues. We concentrate on the local issues that are most crucial to our community and that have been communicated to us, such as providing necessities (shelter, food, and transportation), advancing mental health, assisting families, preventing substance abuse, and encouraging financial stability.
United Way manages its programs and heads specific efforts like the new Mental Health Initiative and Northwest Vermont Regional Prevention Network that are aimed at long-term change in addition to providing financing to nearby groups doing vital work.
We observe Vermonters' readiness and generosity to assist their fellow citizens in need, and we are aware that there are numerous ways to give. Some people donate money, others volunteer their time, and still, others speak out on behalf of those in need. A few folks perform all three!
We can accomplish things as a group that no one organization could do on its own. We can take care of urgent needs while also trying to solve structural issues. That is #LivingUnited's strength!
For more information on how to donate, advocate for causes, and serve in your community, go to www.unitedwaynwvt.org.
I encourage you to consider your community on Giving Tuesday. Giving locally helps the area where you spend the most time in the world develop and improve.
You contribute to creating a better community and a better future for your loved ones, close friends, and neighbors in addition to yourself.
The above article is selected by CoolDeeds.org. The information and the assets belong to their respective owners (original link).
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