The staff at Cota & Cota have a tradition of honoring the Cota Family by making a donation in their name to various local charities. The gift is presented to the Cota Family at our annual Christmas party. It is also a way of honoring the communities we serve. We have enjoyed presenting the gifts over the last month and wanted to share some information about the organizations we chose.
Bellows Falls, VT - “The Bellows Falls gift was presented to Parks Place located in Bellows Falls, VT by myself and Rod Miller. Rod is heavily involved with the center and has proudly served as a board member for the past 8 years. Parks Place is a community resource center. Beneficiaries include AA, Parenting Classes, Economic Services/Eligibility, Housing Support, Vermont Adult Diploma Program (VADP), and Sevca Family Services to help with fuel assistance and emergency needs. Our donation to Parks Place will be used towards the replacement of the lights on the handicap accessible ramp that were vandalized in November of last year. Barbara, Nancy and the rest of the staff were so thankful and appreciative of the gift we gave in the name of Casey Cota, Chris Cota and Jim Tully. ~ Jaimi Russell
Pictured from left to right: Barbara Ternes (Director), Jaimi Russell, Rod Miller, Nancy McAuliffe (President of the Board)
Brattleboro, VT - The Brattleboro area gift was given to The Women’s Freedom Center, an organization in Windham County, VT working to end domestic violence. This organization is committed to offering support and advocacy to survivors of violence, as well as prevention and educational activities to create a community in which violence is not tolerated. They offer individualized safety planning based on their belief that women are the experts in their own lives. They also offer a weekly drop-in peer support group. The shelter is a safe, confidential, emergency space for women and their children fleeing violence. They also offer several youth outreach programs and educate the community by hosting enriching, powerful events throughout the year in order to build awareness, involve the broader community, and give voice and action to women’s freedom.
Jamaica - The Jamaica area gift to the Cota’s was split into two different donations and was given to the Townshend Food Shelf and the Jamaica-Wardsboro Food Pantry. The Townshend Community Food Shelf is an emergency food shelf offering supplemental food assistance to people in need. It serves families and individuals in the towns of the West River Valley. The food shelf is located at the Townshend Church (on the common) in Townshend, VT. The Jamaica-Wardsboro Food Pantry has been providing food assistance to residents of the community for 15 years. The service is available to anyone who asks – no requirements and no questions asked. They work hard to provide for the special needs of their clients: families with young children, the elderly and those who by illness or circumstances find themselves in crisis. The service is confidential, supportive and non-judgmental.
Ludlow, VT - The Ludlow area gift went to Black River Good Neighbors (BRGNS) in Ludlow. This program serves families and individuals in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Plymouth, Belmont and Mt. Holly, VT. The services they offer include a food shelf program, financial assistance for heat, housing, and utilities, as well as other miscellaneous assistance at BRGNS’ discretion. They also have a thrift store and a furniture store. Proceeds from sales are used to defray/pay the operating costs associated with their food and financial assistance programs and to provide funds to distribute directly to those in need.
The organization began modestly in the 1960s when a group of United Church of Ludlow members started the Community Welfare Committee to distribute food and other assistance to their neighbors who needed help. From that small beginning, they grew, moving through many locations in Ludlow. They receive funding from individuals and business donations, some grants and local public sources.
Springfield, VT – The Springfield office designated their donation to the Springfield Senior Center’s Meals on Wheels Program. The gift will help fund a breakfast program serving 90 year old clients. There are currently 14 receiving breakfast through the program. Board Treasurer, Maria Contro says “It’s supporters like you who help and it is very much appreciated”.
“A hot meal delivered daily by a friendly volunteer may be just enough support to enable someone to continue to live independently in their own home. For those who enjoy dining in the company of others, we also provide a congregate meal from 11:30 to 12:30 Monday through Friday at the meal site on the corner of Union and Southridge in Springfield.” ~ www.springfieldseniorcenter.org
White RIver Junction, VT - “Here is a picture taken as we donated our gift to Jan Bunnell. Jan founded the Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry in 1983. The Claremont Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry serves the less fortunate with hot meals, and puts food on the shelves for the local homeless shelters. Jan and the board of directors are busy planning how to raise money to support the needs of many people, including a new low cost medical service that is supported by local doctors who meet with and treat those that cannot afford to pay for the services otherwise.” ~ Brad Rostron, Office Manager