News

Increase in Local Support for SEVCA This Year

Each year, along with many other nonprofit organizations, SEVCA applies for town funding to support the services we provide to residents of the towns in our service area. This year, 34 Windham and Windsor County towns voted to provide funds to SEVCA amounting to a total of $81,575, a slight increase over last year’s total allocation of $80,052.

SEVCA utilizes these funds to help meet the needs of town residents with lower incomes, enabling us to provide our full range of program services to them, including crisis fuel assistance, housing assistance and homelessness prevention, home repair, weatherization, early childhood education, financial fitness education, budget counseling, small business counseling, job readiness training, matched savings accounts, income tax preparation, and emergency clothing and furniture.

The actual cost of the services we provide typically exceed town allocations many times over, as SEVCA is able to leverage significant state, federal, and private grants with the funds contributed. Typically, our town funding is only 1–2% of the total value of services provided to residents.

The following towns voted to allocate funding to SEVCA for the 2016-17 fiscal year:

Andover, Athens, Baltimore, Brattleboro, Bridgewater, Brookline, Cavendish, Chester, Dover, Dummerston, Grafton, Guilford, Halifax, Hartford, Hartland, Jamaica, Londonderry, Ludlow, Marlboro, Newfane, Norwich, Putney, Rockingham, Springfield, Townshend, Vernon, Wardsboro, Weathersfield, West Windsor, Westminster, Weston, Windham, Windsor, and Woodstock.

“We would like to thank the many towns who have consistently supported SEVCA over the years. This is a critical flexible source of revenue, and we simply could not do as effective a job of meeting community needs without it,” said Steve Geller, SEVCA’s Executive Director.

SEVCA Announces Free “Financial Fitness” Classes in Springfield

March 23, 2016. SEVCA announced today that there is space available in its upcoming workshop series, “Your Money, Your Goals,” to be held in Springfield starting April 13. This 7-part workshop series will help participants improve their relationship with money, develop strong financial habits, and take steps toward prosperity. Topics covered include: saving, spending, credit, home buying, insurance, purchasing a car, and saving for college. The instructor will review participants’ credit reports and offer recommendations to build healthy credit or resolve credit issues, as well as provide individualized financial coaching to help participants and their families become more financially secure.

The workshop series is free and open to the public. Those who complete the course may be eligible to join SEVCA’s Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program. IDA participants earn $2 for every $1 they save (up to $1,000) if they save a minimum of $25 each month toward purchasing a home, obtaining education or job training, or starting or enhancing their own business.

The course will be held at the Meeting House, Springfield Hospital, in Springfield, VT from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays, April 13 through May 25. Pre-registration is required. Please call to register at 802-722-4575, ext. 151, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Need to get a job or upgrade your workplace skills?

SEVCA and Vermont Adult Learning Present "Ready for Work" Program

“Ready for Work” consists of a free, 6-week employment readiness course along with intensive, one-on-one support to help participants improve their resume writing and interviewing skills, overcome employment barriers, search for and apply for jobs, and transition successfully into the workforce. Classes begin February 2 at Vermont Adult Learning's facility in Brattleboro.

Click here for all the info.

SEVCA Consolidating “Good Buy” Thrift Stores in WRJ

Sales Will Accompany Close Out

SEVCA’s Board of Directors recently made the difficult decision to close its “Good Buy” Thrift Store at the White River Junction Recycling Center and consolidate its operations with the “Good Buy” store at 676 Hartford Ave., which will remain open for business. Despite SEVCA’s best efforts to keep the Recycling Center store open, which included expanding into additional space provided by the town on a 6-month trial basis, revenues were not sufficient to sustain operations. The last day this store will be open is Saturday, January 23.

The sustainability of the Recycling Center store has been challenged by a variety of factors. Since curbside recycling was introduced, fewer people visited the Recycling Center, which cut down on customer traffic considerably. In addition, the location is not accessible by public transportation and is no longer a stop on the Wednesday senior bus route. It has also become clear that the local market is not strong enough to support two thrift stores in close proximity to one another—SEVCA’s two stores are only seven miles apart. Consolidating SEVCA’s thrift store operations at its larger, higher volume, and more accessible Hartford Avenue location simply made good business sense.

To thank the community for its longstanding support of SEVCA’s Good Buy Stores at both locations, the organization is holding a 4-week sales event. From January 16 through January 23, all items at the Recycling Center site will be sold at a 20% discount. After that site closes, customers will receive discounts at the Hartford Avenue Good Buy Store. From January 25-30, customers will get a 20% discount on their purchases at that site; then for the week of February 1-6 the discount will be 15%; and finally, from February 8-13 all customers will receive a 10% discount.

SEVCA Executive Director Steve Geller expressed SEVCA’s continuing commitment to serving White River Junction and the Upper Valley community at the Hartford Ave. store, saying, “We have greatly appreciated the town’s help in our effort to keep the Recycling Center store open, but it is now clear we need to ‘right-size’ the business to ensure the long-term sustainability of our thrift stores and thus preserve this affordable source of clothing, furniture, and household goods to meet the community’s needs. We regret any inconvenience to our loyal customers, and urge everyone to visit our Hartford Ave. store.”

The closing of the Recycling Center store will affect three part-time employees. SEVCA is committed to working with the dislocated employees to help them obtain unemployment compensation and identify suitable opportunities to enable them to make a successful transition to new jobs.

The “Good Buy” Thrift Stores are part of SEVCA’s multi-pronged strategy to combat poverty in Southeastern Vermont. In the past year, SEVCA served over 10,000 people in Windham and Windsor counties through a range of programs such as crisis fuel assistance, homelessness prevention, weatherization, home repair, business start-up and support, job readiness and skills training, financial fitness, asset building, Head Start, food stamp outreach, access to affordable health care, budgeting/savings, and information & referral, as well as the thrift stores. Not only do the stores offer products that meet people’s basic needs at very low prices on a daily basis, they often provide those items free of charge to households experiencing especially difficult crises. In addition to assisting its own clients, SEVCA has a strong partnership with The Upper Valley Haven, providing free clothing and household goods to help the homeless families they serve to get back on their feet.

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Annual Appeal Highlights Stories of SEVCA's Impact

Dear Friend,

The holiday season is upon us, and we know you must be wondering how to sift through the many appeals from worthy organizations asking for your support and choose those nearest to your heart. As you consider your gifts, Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) would like you to know about the impact that the generosity of so many people like you has had on some of our most vulnerable neighbors, such as:

*  the young, single mother doing her best to care for her children while upgrading her employment skills through  SEVCA’s “Ready for Work” program so that she will be able to get a decent job;

*  the family who would have become homeless if not for the assistance SEVCA’s housing case manager provided to help pay their back rent and create and stick to a sustainable budget so they could afford to remain in their home;

*  the elderly man in poor health who was freezing cold each winter in his mobile home before SEVCA weatherized it;

*  the middle-aged couple, in a financial crisis due to a recent job loss, who found themselves unable to afford their next heating fuel delivery and turned to SEVCA’s Crisis Fuel program to stay warm;

*  the families displaced by the recent fire at an affordable housing development in Brattleboro, who are being helped by SEVCA to meet their basic needs, secure alternative housing, and acquire essential personal and household items to help them begin again.

Families and individuals who are struggling financially come to us with their own unique histories, circumstances, and stories to tell. We listen, empathize, assess, and determine the support needed to get them back on their feet and moving forward with their lives.

To help them, SEVCA offers a comprehensive array of programs and initiatives developed over the course ofour 50-year history and continually adapted to meet local needs. Crisis fuel assistance, housing assistance and homelessness prevention, home repair, weatherization, early childhood education, financial fitness education, budget counseling, small business counseling, job readiness training, matched savings accounts, income tax preparation, and emergency clothing and furniture are some of our key services.

We can provide these critical services to the thousands of Windham and Windsor County residents who fall on hard times each year because you and others like you are willing to provide the resources needed for us to respond quickly, effectively, and compassionately.

CLICK HERE to read just a few of the many true stories of determination, caring, and hope that are made possible by SEVCA’s supporters. We hope they help you understand how your donation directly benefits your neighbors, and we urge you to give what you can to help us maintain a strong safety net for those who need it the most. 

Your support is especially important because, unlike many of our other funding sources, it provides us with the flexibility to respond to whatever our clients’ specific needs are, from resolving all types of immediate crises to developing innovative solutions that help people stabilize their lives and move toward self-reliance. Please DONATE HERE today.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

Steve Geller,                                                                     Amanda Rundle,
Executive Director
                                                         Board President   

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world. ”

Jane Addams (U.S. social worker, 1860-1935)