Albany store rendering for website

VEC Community Fund Issues New Round of Grants

June 27, 2019

Johnson, Vt – A range of non-profits that support downtown and community revitalization, energy education, and public safety received grants this spring from the Vermont Electric Cooperative’s Community Fund. (Among the grants was support for the reconstruction of the Albany General Store, as seen at left.)

The Community Fund is a program voluntarily funded by VEC members who round up their electric bills, and from one-time donations, and donation of patronage capital dollars. The fund makes grants to local organizations that support economic security, energy education, emergency and disaster relief, and community development.

“VEC is a community-focused organization and we are proud of our ability to support – through purely voluntary contributions from our members – non-profit organizations in our territory,” said Jake Brown, energy services planner for VEC. “The VEC Community Fund is a simple and effective way VEC members can support other members.”

Here are the projects that the Community Fund supported this quarter:

The rebuilding of the Albany General Store. Nearly six years after a devastating fire put the Albany General Store out of commission, the community has rallied to get it up and running before the end of the year. The loss of the store left a big gap in the small community and it’s hoped that the renovations will not only re-establish a place for residents to buy food and other items, but also be a place to gather.

Communications improvements for the Alburgh Volunteer Fire Department. The Community Fund supported the purchase of cellular boosters for the department’s two ambulances, a move designed to compensate for patchy cell service in the area. With the boosters, first responders will be able to transmit important patient information to hospitals faster.

Boosting energy education.  A new science curriculum involving hydropower, designed by the Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP), will be offered this fall to Vermont students. The new science curriculum will help students understand how hydropower generators function while also exposing them to renewable energy career opportunities.

Community and economic development in the Northeast Kingdom. The NEK Annual Summit, organized by the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative, will be held for the first time in the fall of 2019 with a focus on leadership and a specific goal of encouraging individuals from underrepresented groups to step into leadership roles in their communities.

Applications for the Community Fund are on a rolling basis, and grants are issued quarterly. If you know an organization that could benefit from the support of the Community Fund, or you want to support the fund, you can learn more here: https://www.vermontelectric.coop/community-resources/community-fund.