United Way in Rutland processing donations for Bennington County

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BENNINGTON — The Rutland County office of United Way is now processing donations for Bennington County, since the nonprofit organization no longer has an in-county branch.

The United Way of Rutland County began the work of accepting and distributing Bennington County donations on April 1. This came five years after the United Ways of Vermont office took over the tasks when the United Way of Bennington County stopped operating.

Since 2014 — when the Bennington County office lost its charter because of financial mismanagement — local donations have plummeted by tens of thousands to $19,000 a year, according to the United Way.

Nevertheless, the money "should stay in Bennington," Caprice Hover, executive director of the United Way of Rutland County, said.

This year, $7,500 in donations have already been provided to agencies within the county to promote health, education and financial stability. The Bennington County donations constitute pledges from local employees, such as those working at Green Mountain Power, Hannaford and Price Chopper.

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The nonprofit underscored that there has been no merger of its Rutland and Bennington county offices.

The United Way of Rutland County's board of directors "feel very strongly in supporting Caprice and her efforts in Bennington to keep local funds and resources in-state to address needs specific to the Bennington area," board President Brian Kerns said in a release.

While United Way figures out how it should move forward in Bennington County, Hover said the organization wants to remain engaged and try to rebuild trust in the community.

Its established local events will continue to be held, such as the Day of Caring, which brings together volunteers for community service work, and the Peanut Butter & Jam Slam, which last month collected nearly 3,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly for food shelves in Bennington County.

For more information about United Way's work in Bennington County, contact Hover at 802-773-7477.

Tiffany Tan can be reached at ttan@benningtonbanner.com, @tiffgtan at Twitter and 802-447-7567 ext. 122.


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