With everything going on in the world lately (I mean… huge parts of it are literally on fire), I have been thinking about ways to give back and support the good things happening. Even more so knowing that if I am lucky, I’ll be receiving a tax refund soon.
It’s true, tax season is upon us. Soon, many of us will be getting W2s in the mail and will head to an accountant to complete annual tax filings. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll wrestle with it at home and drink far too much coffee in the process. Many of us will be fortunate enough to receive a refund, and when our family receives ours each year, we think about what to do with it. Usually, we put part of our refund into paying off those pesky and persistent student loans. I also like to set aside a small portion for donations to Vermont charities, and I’m encouraging you to do the same.
When it comes to charitable giving, there is an organization with a mission that speaks to pretty much everyone. This is especially true in Vermont, where we have the highest amount of non-profit organizations per capita in the country.
Below is a list of my 20 favorite Vermont charities – along with their mission statements – that could use your support in 2020.
Vermont Arts Council supports the arts and artists, through funding, advocacy, and programs designed to increase public awareness.
Inclusive Arts Vermont uses the magic of the arts to engage the capabilities and enhance the confidence of children and adults with disabilities.
Clemmons Family Farm works to actively promote the deeper understanding and appreciation of African-American and African diaspora history, arts, and culture particularly with regard to farming in Vermont.
Shelburne Museum is one of the country’s most diverse museums of paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, and New England history and architecture.
Children & Families
Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation promotes the well-being of children and families in Vermont by raising funds for community-based prevention programs.
Let’s Grow Kids works to ensure affordable access to high-quality child care for all Vermont families by 2025.
Spectrum empowers teenagers, young adults, and their families to make and sustain positive changes through prevention, intervention, and life skills services.
Ronald McDonald House creates a community to provide families with a welcoming home, offering hope and refuge so that children can be close to their families when they need them the most during hospital stays at UVM Medical Center.
Kayla’s Directory enriches the lives of Vermont’s special needs children through greater community involvement and increased access to developmental services and recreational activities.
Basic Needs & Human Services
The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) provides emergency shelter, services, and housing for people who are homeless or marginally housed in Vermont. COTS advocates for long-term solutions to end homelessness.
Turning Point Centers of Vermont provide recovery support to people in and seeking recovery from substance abuse and support to their families and friends.
Vermont Food Bank gathers and shares quality food and nurtures partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry.
Lund offers education, treatment, adoption, and family support services to ensure that every child in Vermont grows up in a safe, secure and loving family.
Hunger Free Vermont is an education and advocacy organization with the mission to end the injustice of hunger and malnutrition for all Vermonters.
STEPS to End Domestic Violence assists in the transition to a safe, independent life for all those who have been affected physically, sexually, emotionally, or economically by domestic abuse and promotes a culture that fosters justice, equity, and safety.
Green Mountain Club makes the Vermont mountains play a larger part in the lives of people by protecting and maintaining the Long Trail System and fostering, through education, the stewardship of Vermont’s hiking trails and mountains.
NOFA promotes organic practices to build an economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just Vermont agricultural system that benefits all living things.
Vermont Land Trust protects farms, forests, habitat, water, and places to get outdoors. They work to make land more accessible to farmers and communities.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) motivates individuals to care for the natural environment through education, research, and avian wildlife rehabilitation.
Lake Champlain International engages local, regional, and national stakeholders, both public and private, in addressing complicated issues facing Lake Champlain.
There are also plenty of other ways to give to Vermont charities that don’t involve money:
Donate your time and talents. Organizations are always looking for volunteers to support their work. This is a great way to get involved in the work a non-profit is doing, and your time is so valuable!
Spread the word. Is there an organization whose work you admire? Tell your friends and family about it! Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement for an organization, especially when it comes from a trusted family member, friend, or colleague.