The GIVE60 Challenge is a “choose-your-own-challenge” fundraiser, which this year includes the in-person “CHANGE-OF-PACE CHALLENGE”event—a no-pressure, family-friendly walk, run, stroll and roll event, October 23rd at the West River Trail.
The GIVE60 Challenge offers opportunities to join the new in-person event or take part virtually as participants feel comfortable. Supporters of all ages and abilities can participate by devoting time and raising funds for Groundworks in a way that is meaningful to them.
Virtual participants determine whether to create an individual challenge or form a team, then choose a goal to complete before Thanksgiving (November 25th). The organization’s website (GroundworksVT.org/EVENTS) has more information, registration links, and challenge ideas.
“Last year’s participant challenges included 60 minutes or 60 miles of hiking or biking, 60 minutes of yoga and/or meditation—and we had a team that sent 60 postcards to friends and family during quarantine,” said Libby Bennett, Groundworks’ Director of Development & Communications. “A number of individuals and teams committed to 60 days of an activity or practice, including completing daily 60-second planks. Another team taught 60-minute online yoga, pilates, and mindfulness classes. There’s just about no limit to what interested participants could do—and every action helps further our mission to provide emergency shelter and supportive housing services.”
Groundworks Collaborative continues to provide supportive services to over 130 individuals (in over 100 households) sheltering in local motels through Vermont’s GA emergency motel housing program. Eligibility for the motel program was extended by 30-days in a Scott Administration decision on September 21st, the alternative to which would have seen approximately 50 individuals turned out to the street as Groundworks Shelter on Royal Road and the organization’s new Groundworks Overnight Shelter on South Main Street are both operating at capacity.
“There is a severe shortage of housing, coupled with our shelters being full in the midst of an ongoing pandemic,” said Groundworks’ Executive Director Josh Davis. “There is just no way we can accommodate more people leaving the motels at this time. We need to work together with partners statewide to come up with a better solution before the temperatures get colder.”
New affordable housing, prioritized with $190 million in this year’s State Budget, will be a lengthy wait in Windham County, as projects often take years to plan, fund, and build before leases can be signed.
Participants choosing the CHANGE-OF-PACE Challenge can start their walk at the parking lot behind the Marina Restaurant (at the head of the West River Trail) between 10am and noon on Saturday, October 23rd.
“This event is a great way to get in 60 minutes or more of walking, running, biking or even yoga by the water’s edge to meet a goal for the GIVE60 Challenge,” states Groundworks’ Development Coordinator Julianne Mills. “And the walk can be completed anytime if the weather doesn’t cooperate on the 23rd.”
“Some people will probably ask: Why 60?,” predicts Davis. “We’re working with this idea that dignity has an address. It’s 60 South Main Street, the home of our community’s Drop-In Center—the entry-point for those seeking help with shelter, housing support, and emergency food—for decades. Scores of our neighbors in need use 60 South Main Street as their mailing address for lack of permanent housing and continue to do so in our new building. The history at 60 South Main is significant to us and we want to commemorate what this address has meant for our community for over 30 years.”
The original cape building on South Main Street is in disrepair and is slated to be removed in early October. The historic 3-sided fireplace will remain and a new structure will be built on the same footprint to house Groundworks’ Representative Payee program as well as the Case Management and Healthworks teams.
Groundworks Collaborative would like to thank the following sponsors of this year’s GIVE60 Challenge: Silver Forest, Brattleboro Food Co-Op, Trust Company of Vermont, Abatem Exterminating, Brattleboro Tire, Farnum Insulators, Goodenough Rubbish Removal, Altiplano and Richmond Auto Repair.
Donations to support the GIVE60 Challenge can be made online at GroundworksVT.org/events or by mail to: Groundworks Collaborative, PO Box 370, Brattleboro, VT 05302. Checks should be made payable to Groundworks Collaborative and “GIVE60” should be written in the memo line to ensure proper designation of the donation.
Anyone with questions can contact Julianne at JMills@GroundworksVT.org or 802.257.5415 x1002.