Community Sharing

Dorset Church located in Dorset Vermont Serving Danby, Dorset, Pawlet, Rupert and Wells

A collective effort by local residents to provide a bountiful Christmas to needy residents of Danby, Dorset, Pawlet, Rupert, and Wells

Since 1991, the Community Sharing Project has been a beacon of charity in the Northshire, bringing area individuals, businesses, schools and community organizations together to help families in need who live in Dorset, Danby, Rupert and Pawlet. Neighbors helping neighbors provide vital support to those who are so thankful for a helpful hand in times of need. A powerful, warm, loving feeling of community is shared by all who participate.

Helping Families, Children and Elderly in Need

The Project provides new toys, clothes, winter coats, boots and a hearty food basket (including a turkey, potatoes, a fresh loaf of bread and much more) to participating families, so that they may enjoy a more bountiful holiday. In addition, gift vouchers to stores such as Price Chopper, Wal-Mart and K-Mart help these families to round out their holiday table and provide for their children and elderly dependents. More recently, the generous contributions to the Project have allowed the benefits of the program to extend beyond the holiday season, by raising funds that support the area’s Interfaith Council initiatives to provide necessary assistance to families in need throughout the year. In 2006, the Project’s Holiday Distribution served 109 families and more than 200 children.

A Community of Sharing

The ability of CSP to meet individual needs depends entirely on the generous donations made directly to the project. Community organizations, businesses, churches, schools and individuals generously donate food, clothing, monetary gifts and volunteer their time so that others might have a more joyful holiday. Everything is donated to this project from the community through personal, community organization and corporate contributions. There is no subsidy by any government organization.

Many Ways to Participate

There are a wide variety of ways to support the Community Sharing Project. Many area individuals, schools, businesses, church groups and other community organizations contribute generously to CSP in many forms, including food, clothing, monetary gifts and volunteer time. There are a variety of toy and food drives promoted by area businesses and schools. Individual contributions range from monetary gifts, to gifts of clothing, books, toys, food and more.  From a single can of food, to a donation of winter boots for all receiving families, all contributions are welcome!

In addition to the these types of contributions, there are two unique forms of participation for donors wishing to satisfy the complete needs of an individual child or family. The “Angels” program displays Christmas trees in various locations throughout the community. Each Angel Ornament on these trees lists all the clothing items needed for an area child. Individual donors take one or more of the ornaments, purchase the listed items, and return the items to the tree location for collection by CSP, who then distributes these items to the child’s family on Distribution Day. Drawing inspiration from the popular Angels program, several community members told us that they wanted to “adopt” an entire family and provide the complete package — food, clothes and toys — for a family in need. So, in 2005, the “Adopt a Family” program was a successful addition to the program.

Sharing Continues Throughout the Year

With financial donations, Community Sharing is able to purchase additional items not received directly through the various forms of toy, clothing and food donations. While the major focus of the program is to answer the needs of families during the holiday season, we are very pleased that the generous contributions of our supporters have recently enabled the Project to provide support beyond the Holiday season. But we can neither rest on this success, nor take this good fortune for granted! The ability of the program to serve those in need depends on a growing level of support every year.

A History of Sharing; A Growing Circle of Community

Started in 1991 by the Dorset Nursing Association and the Women’s Fellowship of the United Church of Dorset and East Rupert or the Dorset Church located in Dorset Vermont, the Community Sharing Project today is managed by a committed team consisting of Beth Eyre, Becky Shehadi, Karen Allen, Becky Counsell, Elise Anton, Jane Lobrutto and Jane Dapron. However, it is the fantastic corps of volunteers who really make the program such a successful, heartwarming experience for all. There are dozens of volunteers throughout the community who help in planning, toy and food drives, promotional programs, collections and preparations for Distribution Day. And as any Distribution Day volunteer will tell you, the experience is as inspirational

How Can We Help You To Help Others?

We are looking forward to another successful year in 2014. If you have any questions about Community Sharing, or wish to participate in any way, please contact Beth Eyre at (802) 867-2463. Donations are tax deductible. To make a monetary contribution, please make your check payable to the Community Sharing Project, c/o United Church of Dorset, P.O. Box 263. Dorset, VT 05251.

To comply with the IRS requirement regarding charitable donations, we affirm that no goods or services have been provided to you, in whole or part, in consideration for your tax-deductible contribution.