How One Day and One Small State Can Make a Difference
In a state with a population just over 600,000 Vermont Gives Day shows how a small group of people can make a big difference. On June 7th, the state of Vermont launched its first giving day, using social media as a way to get the message out. A simple hashtag #VTGives was found trending on Twitter and leads people to learn about this day of giving.
Here at Vermont Woods Studios we are committed to staying active within the community around us. That is why each year we volunteer and donate as much as we can to organizations local to the Vernon, VT area.
Earlier this week, we partnered with the Vermont Foodbank (VFB) in Brattleboro, VT to help distribute 500 holiday food boxes to those in need as part of the Foodbank’s annual Pack to Give Back event. Families in and around the Brattleboro area that are struggling to put food on the table are given a chance to collect their holiday food items so they too, can enjoy and celebrate the holiday season.
Volunteers help with traffic control, gather food vouchers, mark the amount of food each family gets and help distribute the food to each person.
The day started bright and early on a blustery but sunny Monday morning. We gathered in the VFB’s office to warm up with coffee and tea and from there we were taken through their warehouse of donations and back outside to an assembly line of food. For every voucher a family had, they were given that amount of corresponding food at each point in the assembly line.
The first stop in the line was bottled water donated by FEMA, which is able to donate as long as there isn’t a need from a disaster, so that the supplies don’t go to waste. Each family that wanted it, was given an extra pack of water as a lot of the families in need don’t have regular access to clean water. The next stop in the line was butternut squash, then they were given care packages, pies, onions, apples, carrots, bread and frozen chickens.
Volunteers helped move the food from the stations into every person’s car so they wouldn’t have to get out.
This event was the third and final stop for the Pack to Give Back tour and we are delighted to have been a part of it. During 2015, the Vermont Foodbank was able to distribute 10 million pounds of food through food rescue, direct donations and gleaning. Volunteers are a crucial part of the Foodbank, assisting with distribution, food collection and food packing.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can help out year round at your local foodbank, visit Feeding America today!
Monday, people across the globe were doing good deeds to help our planet and celebrate nature. Here at Vermont Woods Studios, every day is spent helping our planet (we are the top retailer for locally sourced, sustainably produced furniture, after all) so we took some time out of the day to donate blood at the Vermont Advent Christian Home.
While Peggy has donated before, this would be my first blood donation experience. Being a first time donor, I was a little bit nervous going into it. I had always wanted to donate before, but I am kind of a wimp when it comes to pain so I have always talked myself out of it. But after the events during the Boston Marathon last week, a city near and dear to my heart, I knew that this was a fear I had to get over.
Looking back now, I have to say I kind of enjoyed it! We decided to walk over, since it was only a five minute walk from the office. After a little bit of paperwork and a quick check-up, I was in the chair, ready to donate. The volunteers and American Red Cross workers were very helpful and talked me through every step of the process and answered all of my questions, which helped to ease my mind. The actual donation only took about 10 minutes and it was not as painful as I was expecting it to be. My other fear was fainting after I gave blood (I’ve never fainted before, but there’s a first time for everything!). But after drinking some juice and enjoying some homemade baked goods, I felt fine and was ready to head back to work. For anyone nervous about signing up for their first time blood donation, you have nothing to worry about! It was easy, fun and you’ll feel great about making a difference!
It is a great feeling being able to help those in need. At Vermont Woods Studios, part of our mission is to be an active part of our community and participate in local service projects. I am so lucky to work for a company that is willing to support the causes that not only matter to our mission, but ones that matter to me as an employee. When I brought up to Peggy that I was interested in the blood drive, she, Kendall and Liz all signed up with me. Now who wouldn’t want to buy furniture from people like that?