Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: United Way offers thanks

On behalf of the 30 nonprofits that United Way of Addison County (UWAC) funds, I would like to thank the towns that have waived the petitioning process for organizational town funding requests. In addition to the health-related concerns nonprofits face during this time, the workforce shortage has increased the challenge of collecting signatures. Businesses and organizations across our region are short-staffed, having difficulty hiring, and/or their workload has increased substantially due to the pandemic. There simply are not enough boots on the ground to meet the demand. Many social service staff have been pulled from their regular duties to fill a gap created by the increased needs caused by COVID-19.

Under normal circumstances, many organizations struggle to meet the petitioning requirements each year; each town has different standards, signature rules, and application procedures. The steps to request funding can be daunting.

While we are making significant progress towards rebuilding our communities and returning to normal, many emergency operations, services, and programs are still hard at work. The people leading this work must have the opportunity to remain focused and continue to provide the essential support and services our communities need to get through this difficult time. UWAC wants to recognize the community leaders who have allowed local organizations to remain steadfast in their mission to secure the health and safety of all people in Addison County by removing the obstacle of signature requirements for funding requests. This action may seem like a small gesture, but it provides great capacity for local nonprofits to achieve positive outcomes. Thank you.

If you are curious if your town has voted to waive the petitioning process, you are welcome to contact me directly.

With gratitude,

Jesse Brooks,

Director of Advocacy

United Way of Addison County

Middlebury

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