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SEVCA Offers a Free Workshop Series on Money Management in August

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a series of 4 Financial Fitness workshops to provide training, support, and resources to help participants gain control and manage their money. Workshop topics include: creating a personal, workable budget; reducing debt; setting personal goals; modify spending; basics of banking; plus credit building.

Workshops are free to Vermont residents. SEVCA will provide a gift card cash incentive to those Vermont residents affected by Covid who attend Workshops 1,2, and 3. Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling is available to attendees.
For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Zoom Workshop dates and time for August 2022:

Workshop 1: Wednesday, August 3: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 2: Wednesday, August 10: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 3: Wednesday, August 17: 6pm-7pm
Workshop 4: Wednesday, August 24: 6pm-7pm

Workshop 1: Take Control of Your Money – Create a Budget
Date: August 3: 6pm - 7pm
Understanding and tracking the details of your financial situation is the start to making better money decisions and building a more secure future. When life situations change, and it often does (job loss, illness, birth of a child, new job, divorce, etc.) it’s time to review how to manage your money. This workshop will help you take control of your money by taking the first step by...creating a budget. We’ll learn what a budget is, why use it, and create and review a budget step by step.

Workshop 2: Manage Your Expenses - Set Your Goals
Date: August 10: 6pm - 7pm
After creating a budget, the next step is to review the expenses then identify goals. Goal examples are: paying off debts, saving for a car, or building an emergency fund. Creating a plan and taking control of income and expenses helps achieve goals. We’ll look at ways to lower expenses, increase income, what to do with bills you can’t pay and using strategies to achieve goals.

Workshop 3: Credit – Tame the Credit Beast
Date: August 17: 6pm - 7pm
Let’s face it, using credit to make purchases make life more convenient. But when credit (loans and credit cards) are overused, they become a trap and one of the biggest barriers in reaching financial goals. This workshop reviews credit: The do’s and don’ts of credit, how to avoid credit traps and ways to get out of credit card debt. We will learn about “Your FICO Credit Score”, how it affects your lifetime of interest rates, how interest impacts monthly payments, and how to improve a credit score.
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Workshop 4: Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money
Date: August 24: 6pm - 7pm
Where money is kept, whether it’s in a bank, credit union or under the mattress, does affect finances. This workshop explains the differences between banks and credit unions plus describes the accounts, benefits, and services (and fees) they offer. We will look at checking accounts, debit cards, savings accounts, loans and interest rates, plus strategies to grow and protect money. We’ll look at “Instant Cash” payday loans, how to protect your information and Identity theft.

SEVCA Offers a Free “Ready for Work” Workshop Series

New Program Alert! 

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is providing a free Ready for Work workshop series. These 3 workshops provide training, support, and resources to help participants entering or returning to the workforce. Workshop topics include: creating a resume, customizing a cover letter to fit the job, searching for a job, and tips for a successful job interview.

Workshops are free and are open to all Vermont residents. Sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 workshops. SEVCA provides handouts, resources, and support before and after the workshops. SEVCA also provides a gift card incentive to Vermont residents from Windham and Windsor Counties who attend all 3 workshops.

Courses will be offered on Zoom, an online platform. Additional counseling and resume assistance is available to attendees. For more information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ready for Work Workshop Series – July 2022
• Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop 7/6/22 6pm - 7pm
• Workshop 2: Cover letter and Job Search 7/13/22 6pm - 7pm
• Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 2/20/22 6pm - 7pm

 

Workshop 1: Resume Writing Workshop ¬¬¬¬¬¬ 7/6/22 ¬¬¬¬¬¬6pm-7pm¬¬¬¬¬
One of the most important steps in the job search process is writing a solid resume. Participants will learn how to create or update their resume by representing their interests, experiences, skills, and abilities using action keywords, and interpersonal skills words in a clear, readable and noticeable style. Resume support from the instructor provided before and after the workshop.

Workshop 2: Cover Letters & Job Search 7/13/22 6pm-7pm
Participants will learn how to create and customize a cover letter to introduce themselves
and present their skills and interests based on a job posting. We’ll use several online sources to search for open positions, research potential employers, compare options and learn how to apply for a job online.

Workshop 3: Tips for a Successful Job Interview 7/20/22 6pm-7pm
Participants will learn how to prepare for and be successful in job interviews. We’ll review tips to prepare for the interview, avoiding common job interview mistakes, promote your skills and interests, learn more about the employer, plus how to follow up after the interview.

SEVCA Sets its Sight on Renewal with Hire of New Executive Director

Southeastern Vermont Community Action’s Board of Directors has named Kevin Brennan the agency’s new Executive Director.

Brennan’s background in program development, proven financial management, and PhD focused on the social foundations of education will help the agency to improve programs as well as internal operations at SEVCA. “Kevin brings a terrific blend of experienced leadership, an understanding of our communities and a deep commitment to SEVCA’s mission,” said Tom Dougherty, president of SEVCA’s board of directors. “We are looking forward to working with him, our dedicated staff and our many partners to make real and lasting improvements in the lives of individuals and families across Southeastern Vermont.”

Brennan had been serving the agency in the role of COVID Projects Manager and was responsible for the development and oversight of the Vermont Everyone Eats program. Since accepting the position of Executive Director, he has focused on cultivating a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the agency while enhancing his understanding of potential program improvements in order to continue to provide high impact services to Windham and Windsor Counties.

"As a long-time resident of Windham County, one who has benefitted from SEVCA's assistance, I am proud to take on the role of Executive Director of the organization,” says Brennan. “As we look to a post-pandemic future, I look forward to working with my SEVCA colleagues to build a renewed sense of connection within the organization, as well as with the people of the towns we serve. I look forward to building a stronger SEVCA!" As the agency’s federal statute requires the input of those with lived experience informing program development and impact, the appointment of a local resident and prior beneficiary of SEVCA’s services as Executive Director is intended to strengthen its capacity to mobilize and support community action for improvement.

For information about all of SEVCA’s programs and services, and to get help to navigate and access the maze of available resources, visit https://sevca.org/, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call (800) 464-9951. All of SEVCA’s services, and the vast majority, if not all, of the services SEVCA will refer you to or help you access, are provided free-of-charge to all eligible individuals and households.

SEVCA Seeking Community Input on Forming New Community Health Equity Group in Greater Springfield

SEVCA is forming a new group that will have the opportunity to fund the work of community organizations addressing the health equity challenge of its choosing. We invite the public to join us virtually on June 30th at 5 pm to learn about this opportunity and to provide feedback on forming the group and taking the work forward. 

SEVCA has been contracted by the VT Public Health Institute (VtPHI) to facilitate the new Community Health Equity Partnership (CHEP) for the Springfield Health District through at least May of 2023. The Springfield CHEP is one of 12 partnerships statewide, which will assist the Vermont Department of Health to meet the goals of the CDC Grant to Address Health Disparities – specifically to “mobilize partners and collaborators to advance health equity and address social determinants of health as they relate to COVID-19 health disparities among populations at higher risk and that are underserved.”  

As a part of this work, SEVCA will convene, facilitate, and support a Learning Collaborative which will decide upon a health equity challenge the community is facing, and distribute about $150,000 in low barrier grant funding to community organizations addressing that challenge. This effort will be community-led, and the Learning Collaborative will decide upon its own vision, process, and goals for this work.  

We are currently in the process of hearing from community members and local service providers about how they would like to approach this work and form the Learning Collaborative. Want to learn more? Have ideas to share? Join us for our virtual information and feedback session on Thursday, June 30th from 5 – 6:15 pm. More information/registration available here and event flyer available here.

Please contact Kelsea Burch, Health Equity Network Development Specialist, with any questions, feedback, or to express your interest in getting involved: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 800-464-9951 ext. 1107. 

VT Legislature Supports Continuation of Vermont Everyone Eats Beyond July 1st

Thanks to a $1.3 million allocation included by Vermont legislators in the final version of bill S.11, signed by Governor Scott on June 8th, the groundbreaking Vermont Everyone Eats (VEE) program now has the necessary funding to continue to leverage FEMA support in providing COVID relief for Vermont restaurants, farmers, and meal participants.

Everyone Eats is an innovative, multi-sector COVID relief program providing economic support to local restaurants, economic benefit to farmers, and restaurant-prepared meals for food-insecure Vermonters negatively impacted by COVID. All three pillars of the program —
restaurants, farmers, and eaters — continue to benefit significantly from the relief this program provides.

“Kudos to the many supporters in the state legislature who worked tirelessly to make this allocation possible.The innovation and impact of VEE means $1 will be spent many times over, statewide. This is strong, sound policy in its ability to triply serve economic resilience in small businesses, the economic health of agriculture and food producers, and the hardest hit members of our community,” said Stephanie Bonin, Executive Director of the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance and Program Director for the Brattleboro Everyone Eats Hub.

In July 2020, the Vermont legislature enacted the Restaurants and Farmers Feeding the Hungry program "to provide assistance to Vermonters who are food insecure due to the COVID-19 public health emergency by engaging Vermont restaurants that have suffered economic harm due to [this] emergency to prepare meals using foodstuffs purchased from Vermont farms and food producers." This initiative, known as Vermont Everyone Eats, has provided over 2.4 million meals since it began in August 2020.

Participating restaurants are required to use a minimum of 10% local ingredients grown or produced in Vermont, with many far exceeding that minimum, for a program-wide average of 35% local ingredients. Over 260 restaurants and over 300 farmers have benefited from the program, which currently distributes 30,000 meals/week through 11 community hubs. Beginning July 1, 2022, FEMA’s COVID relief funding will shift from 100% federal funding to 90/10 federal cost-share. The new allocation of state funding provides the 10% non-federal match for Vermont Everyone Eats to continue for no more than one year, as long as there is both a federal pandemic emergency and a COVID-related need within the state.The program has brought over $31M of federal revenue into the state to date.

For more information on the program, to find out how to access local meals, or to request the inclusion of a restaurant in this program, visit the Vermont Everyone Eats website at https://vteveryoneeats.org/.

“If SEVCA hadn’t provided heat this winter, I might not be alive to write this.”

SEVCA Client