VSECU makes $50,000 donation to five local nonprofits

Members of VSECU directed funding to Vermont charities through the We Care 2 giving program

MONTPELIER, VT (March 23, 2021)

VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not-for-profit credit union for all Vermonters, is providing a total of $50,000 to five Vermont nonprofits through its member-directed giving program We Care 2. The funds will help these organizations continue to help Vermonters meet their essential needs, with a particular focus this year on food, shelter, heat, and COVID-19 relief efforts. Since the inception of the We Care 2 giving program in 2013, VSECU members have used their votes to direct $261,000 to nonprofit organizations working to improve the quality of life for all Vermonters.

Each year, We Care 2 funds are distributed based on the percentage of votes received by each charitable organization in VSECU’s Annual Elections. This year, VSECU members cast more than 4,000 votes, each amounting to a direct donation to their preferred nonprofit.

“With the effect of COVID-19, Vermont’s nonprofits have been more important than ever as a resource for those in need,” said Simeon Chapin, community impact officer at VSECU. “We’re proud to support these organizations making a difference in our communities and to give our members a voice in determining where our dollars can have the greatest impact.”

Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS) will receive an award of $7,418.

“Thank you so much to the members of the VSECU for supporting GBICS with We Care 2 funding for our programs, which include emergency financial assistance through the Food and Fuel Fund, primary medical care at the Dr. G. Richard Dundas Free Clinic, food distribution at the Kitchen Cupboard, and others. All of you are part of the many collaborations that make Bennington kinder, stronger, more resilient, and a community we can be proud of,” said Scott Winslow, executive director of GBICS.

North Central Vermont Recovery Center (NCVRC) will receive an award of $9,896.

“We are truly grateful to VSECU and its members for the opportunity to be a part of the We Care 2 program. The $9,896 we will receive is a tremendous gift that will significantly enhance our ability to help people in recovery from addictions and their families to achieve healthier, happier, more fulfilling, and more connected lives through our Health and Wellness Program at NCVRC and Jenna’s House. But beyond the difference the funding will make, we are thrilled to have gotten to share what we do and the hope we seek to inspire with the 4,218 people who voted for We Care 2 finalists and other members,” said Daniel Franklin, executive director of North Central Vermont Recovery Center.

ReSOURCE will receive an award of $10,761.

“We are thrilled the VSECU members are behind our commitment to extend our impact in communities we haven’t reached before and where we have increasingly recognized there’s a need. There are many Vermonters who need basic housing repair services and either don’t qualify for existing financial sources or are unaware of those sources; they’re our neighbors, and thanks to this grant supporting Random Acts of Carpentry, our YouthBuild trainees can help them while gaining valuable skills and experience themselves. We can’t wait to get started!” said the ReSOURCE YouthBuild Team.

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Vermont will receive an award of $10,767.

“USCRI Vermont is excited and grateful to be a grant recipient of the We Care 2 giving program. We deeply appreciate the support from VSECU and its members—the fact the gift came directly from our neighbors, friends, and supporters at VSECU is a great testament to the community support of refugee resettlement. The award will allow us to expand our COVID relief efforts for refugee and immigrant families in a number of critical ways as we begin to welcome and help resettle new refugee arrivals in the coming year,” said Amila Merdzanovic, director of USCRI Vermont.

The Clarina Howard Nichols Center will receive an award of $11,158.

“We are so grateful to the VSECU and the We Care 2 member-directed giving program for recognizing the importance of Clarina’s work to end domestic and sexual violence. This funding will directly impact the lives of survivors of domestic and sexual violence by helping to ensure the continued availability of our critical services, including our 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, and advocacy services. Thank you for sharing our vision of a violence free tomorrow,” said Becky Gonyea, executive director of the Clarina Howard Nichols Center.

Each year, the We Care 2 program receives applications from qualifying charities across the state. Finalists for We Care 2 program, as well as all recipients of VSECU giving, are selected based on their positive and direct impact on issues of food, shelter, heat, environment, or financial education for Vermonters. This year, priority consideration was given to programs or organizations specifically focused on COVID-19 relief efforts.

To learn more about VSECU’s member-directed giving program and this year’s award recipients, visit the We Care 2 web page.


VSECU, a division of New England Federal Credit Union, is a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody who lives or works in Vermont, offering a full range of affordable financial products and services to its member-owners. VSECU is committed to improving the lives of Vermonters by empowering possibilities for greater social, environmental, and financial prosperity. For more information about VSECU, call 802/800 371-5162 or visit 


Simeon Chapin, Head of Social Impact


Carrie Stahler, Government & Public Affairs Officer, VT Foodbank / 802-793-4923 

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