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Northeast Kingdom Fund Announces $115,800 in Grants to Support Area Nonprofits

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The Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation made $115,800 in grants to 27 organizations in Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties in fall 2020. This year’s awards represent a combination of grants to organizations supporting education, food access, the arts, and outdoor engagement.

The Northeast Kingdom Fund was established in 2011 by the Community Foundation and local partners as a permanent philanthropic resource to support the people and communities in the region. This year’s grantmaking was funded in part by generous donors from across Vermont. The contributions from these donors demonstrate the importance of philanthropic collaboration and partnership in advancing the good work in communities in the Northeast Kingdom.

“In this challenging year, the Foundation and our donors doubled down on our support of the Northeast Kingdom,” said Sarah Waring, vice president for grants and community investments at the Vermont Community Foundation. “Nonprofits and communities in the region have shown incredible resilience and creativity in the face of this pandemic, and we are proud to help their efforts to keep residents safe and connected.”

To learn more about the Northeast Kingdom Fund, visit

2020 Grants

Abenaki Helping Abenaki (AHA) received $5,000 to support the Nulhegan Educational and Cultural Center, which will promote Abenaki culture throughout the NEK in a hands-on, experiential learning environment that develops leadership potential.

Albany Community Trust received $5,000 to support construction expenses for reopening the Albany General Store.

Canaan Naturally Connected received $5,000 to support Project Pause, Regroup, Move Forward, which will collaborate with Canaan's NEKCA office to provide temporary housing for those displaced due to homelessness and abuse.

Center for an Agricultural Economy received $5,000 to build partnerships and organizational capacity resulting in increased food security in Northeastern Vermont.

Charleston Elementary School received $1,000 to celebrate the 50th birthday of Charleston Elementary, which will include parades, exhibits, and gatherings, as conditions permit.

Craftsbury Saplings received $600 to support expansion of outdoor learning and play opportunities for children at Craftsbury Saplings and the Craftsbury Preschool in the non-summer months.

Derby Elementary School received $3,000 to support the Derby Elementary School Backpack Program, which will work to reduce food insecurity for families in Derby, Holland, and Morgan by providing children and parents with fresh and non-perishable food items.

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain received $3,500 to support ECHO STEM Outreach, which will provide critically needed support for rural educators, families, and communities by delivering virtual and hands-on STEM education programs and career awareness activities.

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium received $5,000 to support transformation of an underutilized courtyard into a safe, inspiring, outdoor teaching space in downtown St. Johnsbury that creates an inviting atmosphere for enhanced, informal learning.

Friends of Dog Mountain received $3,000 to support the Friends of Dog Mountain Storytelling Project, which will ensure the continued vitality of Dog Mountain as a treasured Vermont destination for recreation, folk art, and dog play by strengthening the organization’s storytelling capacity within its local communities.

Green Mountain Farm-to-School received $4,681 to support a network of charitable food access points, filling gaps and improving systems for food access and sustaining connections with local farmers and producers.

Hardwick Area Food Pantry received $5,000 to support the pantry's service area expansion to include Craftsbury-Albany and satellite site locations.

Helping Other People Everyday (HOPE) received $5,000 to support the Feeding the NEK: H.O.P.E.'s Backpack Program, which will provide weekly bags of food to families facing food insecurity.

Journey to Recovery Community Center received $5,000 to assist with relocation expenses, ensuring better access for community members served.

Kingdom Community Services received $5,000 to be a long-term community resource with a sustainable mix of paid and volunteer labor, ensuring no one in Caledonia County goes hungry.

Kingdom County Productions received $5,000 to expand Writers for Recovery, a series of writing workshops focused on stories of addiction and recovery, with outreach in the Northeast Kingdom.

Missisquoi River Basin Association received $5,000 to provide funding to host an ECO AmeriCorps member, enabling the Missisquoi River Basin Association to be more accessible and engaged within its communities, work with landowners, and provide educational programs.

Museum of Everyday Life received $4,000 to support exhibit creation and programming, inviting active participation from the communities that the Museum serves.

Northeast Kingdom Collaborative received $10,000 to provide general operating support to the NEK Collaborative during a leadership transition.

Northeast Kingdom Human Services received $825 to invite and contract with a qualified professional to present virtual hoarding intervention training for employees and Northeast Kingdom community partners.

NorthWoods Stewardship Center received $5,000 to promote regional outdoor recreation by publishing a 2nd edition of the Northeast Kingdom Mountain Trail Guide, highlighting both popular and little known mountain hiking trails in the region.

Orleans County Citizen Advocacy received $3,000 to support Social Connections and Healthy Interactions During the Time of Covid, which will reduce isolation and alleviate loneliness by providing a variety of outdoor and online activities for people with disabilities and their community volunteers in Orleans County.

The Riverside School received $4,994 to create an outdoor classroom to keep young learners safe during COVID and engaged in place-based learning far into the future.

Town of Wheelock received $2,200 to support planning and implementation efforts for making Wheelock Town Hall ADA compliant during the pandemic.

Umbrella of St. Johnsbury received $5,000 to continue refining the pilot program Youth In Power, which aims to develop leadership skills among young women in the Northeast Kingdom through an experiential, paid job-training program.

Vermont Rural Education Collaborative received $5,000 to support Enhancing Social Equity, which will build the social equity of individuals in five communities of the Northeast Kingdom, including educators, students, and parents.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps received $5,000 to support VYCC’s Health Care Share, which delivers free, weekly vegetables and poultry, from July through December, to Northeast Kingdom residents who face food insecurity and/or diet-related illness.