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VSECU and FHLB Boston Award $100K in Grants to Vermont Nonprofits

MONTPELIER, VT—VSECU is distributing $100,000 in grants to seven Vermont nonprofits significantly impacted by COVID-19. Ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, the grants will help preserve and create job opportunities, support local economic development, and further important community services.

The grants are funded by Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Jobs for New England Recovery Grant program. The program was specifically created in 2020 to provide member financial institutions with grants to support local small businesses and nonprofit organizations experiencing significant losses because of the pandemic.

"VSECU is always looking for ways to support our members, create an inclusive economy, and help our local communities prosper,” said Gregory Huysman, VSECU’s director of business lending and services. “We are grateful to FHLBank Boston for being such a great community partner and helping us increase our impact on Vermonters’ quality of life. We look forward to our continued partnership through FHLBank Boston programs."

“We are pleased that VSECU was able to successfully access grant funding through the Jobs for New England Recovery Grant Program to support and provide some financial relief to organizations that are contributing to the overall health and well-being of Vermont residents,” said Kenneth Willis, senior vice president, director of housing and community investment at FHLBank Boston. “Too many local businesses and nonprofit organizations have experienced severe hardship because of the pandemic, so we are proud that we have been able to offer some assistance.” 

Grant recipients include the Vermont Performing Arts League, Central Vermont Humane Society, Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), The Center for Arts and Learning, Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC), Washington County Youth Service, and Catamount Film and Arts.

"An organization like ours is based on the principle of people coming together as a group to learn, experience and interact with others in the ways they choose. We suddenly had to reinvent the ways we do everything to continue our mission safely through this pandemic,” said April Werner, executive director of the Vermont Performing Arts League. “It caused significant financial strain on us and finding out that VSECU was aware of our struggles—and wanted to help!—was an unanticipated and heartwarming surprise.”

"We are so grateful to receive this generous grant,” said Laurie Garrison, executive director of the Central Vermont Humane Society. “We take in and care for over 1,000 pets a year, and this grant will significantly increase our capacity to help animals and people at a time when it is urgently needed."

“We deeply appreciate the support of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and VSECU, for our work in COVID recovery, building community leadership and advancing economic development that contributes to climate solutions,” said Paul Costello, executive director at VCRD. “Vermonters are standing up to lead local recovery efforts today, and their work and leadership can be a springboard to economic renewal and a resilient future.”

"During the pandemic, we have seen one of our founding partners, River Rock School, close its doors for good,” said Alice Dodge, executive director for The Center for Arts and Learning. “This grant will make a tremendous difference helping us make up for the impact of that long-term loss to our community and our income, as we find new partners and develop new programs that will use their space. It means we can keep offering studios to local artists and musicians, and it will help us find the best and safest ways to support our creative community through this difficult time.”

“Every day vulnerable youth turn to us for help with crises and challenges in their lives,” said Kreig Pinkham, executive director for the Washington County Youth Service Bureau. “This important grant will help ensure that we are here when they need us with counseling, emergency shelter, housing supports, substance use treatment, support as they transition out of foster care, and more.”

“This FHLBank Boston grant funding will provide critical capital needed to adapt our facility, which is currently closed to the public, to the new COVID-19 reality,” said Jody Fried, executive director of Catamount Film and Arts, which supports over 3,000 artists and creatives throughout the Northeast Kingdom.

About VSECU

VSECU 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 www.vsecu.com.

About FHLBank Boston

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is a cooperatively owned wholesale bank for housing finance in the six New England states. Its mission is to provide highly reliable wholesale funding and liquidity to its member financial institutions in New England. The Bank also develops and delivers competitively priced financial products, services, and expertise that support housing finance, community development, and economic growth, including programs targeted to lower-income households.


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