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Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit.
Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees.
Zoom Workshop dates and time for June 2021:
Workshop 1: June 15: 10am-11am or June 16: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 2: June 22: 10am-11am or June 23: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 3: June 29: 10am-11am or June 30: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 4: July 6: 10am-11am or July 7: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget
Date: June 15: 10am – 11am OR June 16: 6pm - 7pm
Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.
Workshop 2: Set Your Goals – Manage Your Expenses
Date: June 22: 10am - 11am OR June 23: 6pm - 7pm
After creating a budget, the next step is to identify goals. Examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll focus on successful strategies to achieve goals by using ways to lower expenses and to increase income, and what to do with bills you can’t pay.
Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast
Date: June 29: 10am - 11am OR June 30: 6pm - 7pm
Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.
Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money
Date: July 6: 10am - 11am OR July 7: 6pm - 7pm
Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We will look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and Identity theft.
Thursday April 29: Restaurant Meal Providers Celebrate Community Milestone
[Westminster, VT] - On Thursday April 29, Vermont Everyone Eats, a community driven COVID-19 response program is celebrating one million restaurant meals served to Vermonters experiencing food insecurity. Community partners across the state will be hosting local and online celebrations and invite media partners to visit distribution sites to help tell the story of successful statewide collaboration.
Vermont Everyone Eats has been developed through innovative cross-sector, public-private partnerships. 14 community “hubs” execute the programming on the ground in all 14 Vermont counties. These hubs represent hundreds of community organizations who have worked together to contract meals from participating restaurants, manage delivery logistics, promote the program, and ensure the meals are delivered safely to meal recipients.
Jean Hamilton, Vermont Everyone Eats statewide coordinator acknowledges the important role of the community hubs, “Vermont is well-known for its community organizations and thank goodness for them. In less than 9 months, our program was launched from a concept to this moment, 1 million local meals delivered to neighbors all across our state. We were able to do this because of the community organizations that stepped up and got right to work. They are the backbone of our community resilience.”
Vermont Everyone Eats program design draws on many of Vermont’s strengths. It puts Vermont’s independent restaurants and robust local food system at the center of feeding their communities. Over 200 Vermont restaurants have contributed to the one million meals, which have contained nearly $1 million of Vermont produced ingredients.
Vermont Everyone Eats provides nutritious meals to Vermonters in need of food assistance as well as a stabilizing source of income for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and food producers. Vermont Everyone Eats is made possible by federal funding contracted through the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA). SEVCA administers the program with guidance from a Statewide Task Force and in partnership with the following community organizations.
For information about Vermont Everyone Eats Community Hubs around the state:
Counties Served Community Hub Contact Person Contact Email
For more statewide information about Vermont Everyone Eats visit www.vteveryoneeats.org
'Mittens Gift' will support agency’s mission to alleviate and eliminate poverty in S.E. Vermont
(Westminster, Vermont; 3/16/2021) Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) announces a generous gift from the Friends of Bernie Sanders, made possible by sales of items bearing ‘the Mittens Meme,’ which raised over $1.8 million. This unique unrestricted donation will help SEVCA both relieve the hardships caused by poverty and attack its causes in Windham and Windsor Counties, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19.
As this year’s mitten season draws to a close, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic drag on, and full economic rebound is still a long way off for many residents. For example, even prior to the ramp-up of COVID a year ago this week, 1 in 12 Vermonters were food insecure, but the pandemic spiked that number to a level not seen since the recession of 2008: since then, 1 in 3 Vermonters have experienced a lack of adequate access to food. And it’s caused similarly deep impacts in many other areas of basic need – health / mental health, employment, housing, energy, and general financial security & well-being, to name a few.
“This amazing Mittens Meme gift is an unprecedented opportunity to address a wide range of needs that have been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic,” noted SEVCA’s Executive Director Steve Geller, “and it allows us to collaborate with our clients, service partners, and communities to determine the highest priorities and customize how we use it to produce the most effective impacts. Very few other funds allow that level of flexibility, and even fewer on the scale of this one.”
SEVCA will be receiving $100,000 in “Mittens Money” and is one of the five Vermont Community Action Agencies receiving that amount. Other groups benefitting from the fund include Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels, Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation, senior centers in Vermont, and Bi-State Primary Care for dental care improvements. Together, the recipients of these generous contributions reflect Sen. Sanders’s longstanding passion for and commitment to addressing the needs related to poverty, the elderly, youth, and health care.
Community Action Agencies (CAAs) like SEVCA and its four partners in Vermont – BROC, Capstone, CVOEO and NEKCA – are among the over 1,000 nationwide who share the mission of easing the effects of poverty and eliminating its causes for all Americans. “The importance of unrestricted funding like the Mittens Fund to fulfilling that mission cannot be overestimated,” said SEVCA’s Director of Planning & Development Carolyn Sweet. “SEVCA receives millions of dollars in grants every year, but most of them are tightly restricted as to their purpose and what they can or can’t be spent on. This gift enables SEVCA to use it in the way it will do the most good…for immediate relief, long-term recovery, and/or capacity-building to prevent, prepare for, or respond to future impacts of this or future crises, based on all the relevant and significant factors involved.”
SEVCA is currently engaged in a process to determine the most effective uses for this donation in the context of other funding it has received or that may be available to address a number of different needs and issues. According to Geller, their intention is to “optimize its use to best complement all other potential funding so that it does the most good for the most people for the longest possible time. This extraordinary resource deserves no less.”
Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) was established in 1965 as part of the national War on Poverty to address the needs of low-income residents of Windham and Windsor Counties. In addition to providing the “safety net” for households in financial crisis, its services help them stabilize their lives, make their homes safe and energy-efficient, take strides toward becoming self-reliant, and enable their children to escape the generational poverty cycle. These goals are achieved through such programs as VT Everyone Eats, Family Services, Crisis Fuel and Housing Assistance, 3SquaresVT (Food Stamp) Outreach, Head Start, Weatherization, Home Repair, Small Business Support & Assistance, Financial Fitness Education, Matched Savings, Job Readiness Training, Tax Preparation Assistance, Thrift Stores, and Health / Recovery Navigation.
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