2016 Telegraph Gift Guide: Share Your Blessings

share-your-blessings-insideThis year, we decided that the annual Chester Telegraph Gift Guide would take a different view and look at the organizations that do so much to help others in our communities.

In myriad ways, these organizations are there to help us and our families, friends and neighbors as well as the animals in our lives. No matter how much or little you can afford, these groups will appreciate your help.  Whether its $5 or $100, one can of food or a bag of dog or cat food, these groups need you as much as you one day may need them. NOTE: Tax exempt refers to whether donations to that organization are tax deductible.

If you don’t see your organization listed — or one that you think should be — email me at cprairie@chestertelegraph.org. We’re happy to see this list grow.

So, now, here’s your chance to Share Your Blessings.

Family & individual need

Andover Community Fund

About: The Andover Community Fund is a private, nonprofit that provides grants to Andover residents who have experienced unforeseen hardships. In 2015, the fund gave away $7,600 to those in need of health care and social services, and over the past 28 years of its existence, it has given away $222,264.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Send checks to Andover Community Fund, c/o 561 North Hill Road, Andover, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: No

Chester-Andover Family Center

Nancy Robarts, left, and Jonne Adler stock shelves at the Chester-Andover Family Center.

Nancy Robarts, left, and Jonne Adler stock shelves at the Chester-Andover Family Center.

About: Chester-Andover Family Center includes the Thrift Shop, which takes in good clothing and housewares for resale to the public, helping to fund other projects for those in need in Chester and Andover.  The Food Shelf takes in canned and boxed food stuffs and partners with the Vermont Foodbank to allow recipients to select food items. Limited financial assistance is offered to buy gas and pay heating and other utility bills to individuals and families who live in Chester and Andover.  Payments are either in the form of gas cards or direct payments to utilities.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Mail checks to CAFC, PO Box 302, Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: chester-andoverfamilycenter.org

Grafton Cares

About:  Grafton Cares helps residents of Grafton and Athens in need with gas and utilities support, it gives out nutritional baskets for older residents and those who have had  surgery and provides transportation to appointments.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need:  Financial

To donate:  Send checks payable to Grafton Cares, PO Box 134, Grafton, VT 05146

Website or Facebook page:  www.graftoncares.org

Meals on Wheels

About: Meals on Wheels helps eligible seniors and others meet their nutritional needs by delivering home made meals to seniors in Chester, Andover, Weathersfield, Baltimore and Springfield. An average of 130 meals are delivered daily by a group of volunteers.

Tax exempt:  Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Send checks payable to Meals on Wheels, 139 Main St. Springfield, VT 05156

Website or Facebook page: Meals on Wheels

Neighborhood Connections

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet kids at the Londonderry tree lighting.

Santa and Mrs. Claus greet kids at the Londonderry tree lighting.

About: Neighborhood Connections in Londonderry helps people get employment, housing and transportation assistance, helps them sign up for Medicare and Medicaid and other health programs, and connects a community health nurse with the elderly, new moms and those who have just gotten out of the hospital. It also holds programming on health, food and nature related topics that are free and open to the public. And it serves the towns of Londonderry, Weston, Andover, Chester, Windham, Winhall, Jamaica, Landgrove, Peru and Bondville.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: You can click here and hit the donate button or send a check to: Neighborhood Connections, PO Box 207, Londonderry  VT  05148

Website or Facebook page: Neighborhood Connections

Multi-Purpose

Chester American Legion Post 67 Auxiliary

About: The American Legion Auxiliary not only supports the legion, it supports myriad community efforts through volunteerism. Those include the annual Senior Christmas Dinner and the Grateful Garden at Chester-Andover Elementary School. It also sponsors two college scholarships annually to graduating Green Mountain Union High School and to Girls State, a weeklong program of hands-on education in government. The auxiliary also raises money for a veterans program to aid those with PTSD and one to aid veterans families facing an emergency.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks out to ALA Unit #67, and designate the purpose in the memo line. Mail checks to ALA Unit #67 PO Box 806, Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: ALA Unit #67 on Facebook

education-giftsEducation

Andover Project Committee

About: The Andover Project Committee holds fund-raising events throughout the year to benefit its sole project — the Andover Scholarship Fund to provide a financial boost to college-track Andover students. During the lifetime of the project committee, it has given out $42,000 to 50 Andover students.

Tax exempt: No.

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks payable to the Andover Project Committee, c/o Andover Town Office, 953 Weston Andover Road, Andover, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: No

Chester Academy

About: The Chester Academy gives out annual college scholarships to graduating seniors, renewable every year of a student’s college career.  Since 1984, it has given out $850,000 in scholarships.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Send checks payable to Chester Academy, PO Box 512, Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: No

Green Mountain Union High Booster Club

About: The Booster Club raises money throughout the year to fund college scholarships. It also donates to other school organizations that are in need of money for immediate projects.

Tax exempt: Unknown

Need: Financial

To donate: Mail checks c/o GMUHS Booster Club,  716 Vt. Route 103 Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: Booster Club Facebook Page

Keewaydin

About: Keewaydin is an environmental education camp on Lake Dunmore in Salisbury that every other year offers 5th and 6th graders from Chester-Andover Elementary School a weeklong hands-on experience with nature. An average 70 students are sent to camp every other year no matter their ability to pay.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Send checks payable to CAES/Keewaydin Fund, 72 Main St., Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: Keewaydin Environmental Education Center

library-artLibraries

Whiting Library

About: The Whiting Library receives a portion of its funds from the towns of Chester and Andover, but it also raises money to pay for programs, books, computers, magazines, audio and video materials, supplies, postage and much more.

Tax Exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks payable to Whiting Library and mail to PO Box 68, Chester, VT 05143 or visit the library’s website and donate through PayPal.

Website or Facebook page: www.whitinglibrary.org

Wilder Memorial Library

About: The mission of the Wilder Memorial Library is to provide the greater Weston Community with access to the educational, cultural, recreational and research benefits of a free public library. Donations help the Wilder maintain and care for its historic building, purchase new computers and technology for patrons, provide high-speed Wi-Fi, pay for programs and buy books and movies.

Tax Exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks payable to Wilder Memorial Library and mail to PO Box 38, Weston, VT 05161

Website or Facebook page:  Wilder Memorial Library

South Londonderry Free Library

About: The South Londonderry Free Library is home to almost 20,000 books and other media. The library is undergoing automation with bar codes for scanning of borrowed materials. Donations help with all of these activities.

Tax Exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks payable to the South Londonderry Free Library and  mail to PO Box 95, South Londonderry, VT 05155

Website or Facebook page:  Click here for the website.

Grafton Public Library

About: About two-thirds of the Grafton Public Library’s budget comes from fundraising. Those donations cover programs and services (like Wi-Fi) as well as the purchase of books, audio, periodicals and other materials.

Tax Exempt: Yes

Need: Financial

To donate: Make checks payable to the Grafton Public Library and mail to P.O. Box 129, Grafton, Vermont 05146

Website or Facebook page: Graftonpubliclibrary.org

Windham Public Library

About: The Windham Public Library is a small lending library housed in the Windham Meeting House. It is run by volunteers and open Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.

Tax Exempt: Unknown

Need: Financial

To donate: Donations may be sent c/o the Windham Meeting House, c/o Windham Town Clerk, 5976 Windham Hill Road, Windham, VT 05359

Website or Facebook page:  windhamlibrary.wordpress.com/

fire-department-sceneVolunteer Fire Departments

Grafton Fire & Rescue

About: Together, these two local organizations — the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department and Grafton Rescue — go out on about 50 calls every year to local residents in need.

The two organizations are manned by about a dozen volunteers, many of whom are trained in both fire and emergency medical work. Grafton Fire’s annual budget is about $75,000; Grafton Rescue’s annual budget is about $25,000.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial and volunteers.

To donate: Send checks to the Grafton Fire Department at PO Box 191, Grafton, VT 05146 and to the Grafton Rescue at PO Box 54, Grafton, VT 05146.

Website or Facebook page: Grafton Fire and Rescue

Chester Fire Department

About: The Yosemite Engine Company is the tax-exempt fund-raising arm of the Chester Fire Department. Money goes toward upgrading safety equipment used in it firefighting and rescue work.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial with a goal of $20,000 over the next two years.

To donate: Make checks payable to Yosemite Engine Company, PO Box 631, Chester, VT 05143

Website or Facebook page: Chester VT Fire Department

Cats & Dogs etc.

cats-dog-christmasSpringfield Humane Society

About: The Springfield Humane Society serves the entire region by taking in homeless dogs and cats and caring for them until they can be adopted.  It also takes in other animals and finds suitable caretakers for them. According to its website, animals are only euthanized if a veterinarian deems them too ill to humanely save or if their behavior would be a hazard to the community.

Tax exempt: Yes

Need: Financial and animal, laundry and office supplies

To donate:  Send checks or drop off goods such as canned cat and dog food, liquid laundry  and dish detergent, paper towels, garbage bags, rubber gloves, cat beds, copy paper, postage stamps at 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156

Website or Facebook page: spfldhumane.org

Historic Preservation

Friends of the Meeting House

About: This volunteer organization works to preserve and maintain an 1802 structure in the Town of Windham

Tax Exempt:  Yes

Need: Financial

To donate:  Make checks payable to Friends of the Meeting House, c/o Windham Town Clerk, 5976 Windham Hill Road, Windham, VT  05359.

Website or Facebook page: No

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeFeaturedIn the Community

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Judy Cenate says:

    Feeling grateful for the Share the Blessings with suggestions to help the helper in our communities 😊 Very nice.