Welcome to Putney Mutual Aid!

We are a group of community members working to coordinate neighbor-to-neighbor support in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

We help match needs and offerings for things like essential rides, food, grocery pickups, caring for loved ones, organizing neighborhood groups, meals, masks, donations and more.


DO YOU NEED HELP?  CAN YOU OFFER HELP?

Please go to our CONFIDENTIAL Needs and Offerings Form.  A small team of Mutual Aid volunteers will receive your requests and offers and match you behind the scenes. Please know that this team is committed to your privacy and your name will not be shared other than with the volunteer(s) and community organizations who will be supporting you.


DO YOU WANT INFORMATION ABOUT PUTNEY AND VERMONT-SPECIFIC RESOURCES?

Please go to our Putney Mutual Aid Resource Sheet.


DO YOU NEED INFORMATION ON STAYING SAFE WHILE HELPING NEIGHBORS?

To reduce transmission of COVID-19, the State of Vermont has asked us to stay at home and keep social distance of 6 feet. If we go out of the house, we are asked to wear a mask, maintain distance, avoid going into anyone’s home, and wash our hands before and after. Volunteers are being asked to follow Neighborly Best Practices for Helping During COVID-19 to keep everyone safe and healthy. 


DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY OR VERY URGENT CONCERN? 

Please call Tom Goddard, the Putney Emergency Director. You can reach him through the fire station hotline – 802-387-4372. If you can’t get through, please call 911.


FIND OUT ABOUT PUTNEY FOODSHELF RESOURCES HERE

Foodshelf open hours, resources related to food insecurity

FIND OUT ABOUT PUTNEY COMMUNITY CARES RESOURCES HERE 

Meals on Wheels, essential rides, small grants, help with applications and more


PUTNEY MUTUAL AID TEAM (and growing – join us!)

Volunteer Team

Ruby McAdoo, Jaime Contois, Cor Trowbridge

Support and Advisory Team

Ellen Strong and Hannah Pick (Putney Foodshelf), Kathleen Duich, Sarah Armour-Jones, Abd Rababah, Kate Kelly (Putney Community Cares), Laura Chapman (Putney Selectboard), Mike Mrowicki and Nader Hashim (State Representatives)

Neighborhood Point Person Team

Chris Ellis, Elizabeth Christie, Elizabeth Bissell, Maria and Ward Ogden, Nancy Shepherd, Amber Paris, Michael Hornsby, Amanda Perez, Jorika Stockwell, Gerrit Bollin, Ruby McAdoo, Jaime Contois, Betsy Hallett , Maggie Smith, Alison Mott, Sheila Garrett, Dierdre Kelley and growing

• • •

This is a grassroots effort, organized around a value for self-organizing community systems. Please feel empowered to take part.

You can reach us directly at PutneyVTMutualAid@gmail.com

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PutneyVTMutualAid

Dear Friends,

Groundworks needs your help now more than ever. Groundworks staff is working around the clock to provide the best protection and support for the people they serve. This creates an unprecedented financial challenge for Groundworks to house and feed their clients and keep them safe.

The Seasonal Overflow Shelter was closed and everyone was moved into motel rooms to allow for isolation. This effort was very successful, resulting in only one known homeless person in Brattleboro, and this person did not want to move into one of the motels.  Foodworks, the food shelf and part of Groundworks,  has moved to a delivery model, mobilizing volunteers and working to source enough food to deliver to anyone with need in our community. Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for food has doubled.

Foodworks is accepting in kind donations, in particular of items listed on the website. However, monetary donations have the largest impact. For each $25 raised, Foodworks can provide a family of five with items for two weeks due to being able to take advantage of wholesale prices.

Please consider making a donation to Groundworks. Currently, all gifts up to a total of $5,000 are matched by a generous donor.

For detailed information please see: https://mailchi.mp/6812b271af35/heres-the-latest-news-from-groundworks?fbclid=IwAR3ItPOPR3rn3hKLuT1TTY72oJtAxcIOymHP2FfA29EVZzwKcUsK7rdxLtk

Thank you.

For the health and protection of our Meeting community and to support the public health of the wider community in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, Putney Friends Meeting has suspended in-person Meeting for Worship. We are experimenting with using online worship as an alternative, using the Zoom conferencing service. Please be patient, we are all new to this. Many in our community are familiar with Zoom; some are not. For those who are not, instructions for how to set up and join a Zoom conference follow at the end. 

Many have participated in meetings of various kinds on Zoom; few have participated in a meeting for worship on Zoom. To help establish and sustain the quality of worship, we have prepared some advices below. First, for ease of reference, here is the Meeting for Worship information, with details on setup further below:

Online Meeting for Worship

Topic: Putney Friends Meeting – Meeting for Worship

Time: First Day, Sunday, You may go on-line to join the Meeting beginning at 9:00 AM Eastern Time (if you are new to Zoom, begin your sign in between 9 and 9:15 to become familiar with the screen environment). 

The “Meeting for Worship” begins at 9:30 AM; settling into worship early is always helpful. 

To join the Meeting for Worship email the Clerk for the link: clerk@putneyfriendsmeeting.org


Advices for Participating in Online Worship 

 We have three Friends hosting the meeting:

Clerk (Hosting the Meeting for Worship)

Greeter (Welcoming you to Meeting via “Chat”)

Tech-host  (Answering technical related questions via“Chat”) 

– Enter the meeting in silence as you would for an in-person meeting for worship. Do not introduce yourself when you enter. 

– Keep your device on mute unless you are speaking. Everyone will be muted by default upon entering, and the clerk as host has the ability to mute and unmute any participant. Background noise  such as dogs barking or cell phones ringing can be very disruptive to the spirit of worship and make it hard to hear. 

– If you are led to speak 

=As always, allow some silence after any preceding message to allow it to settle in our hearts. 

= Unmute your device. (see instructions)

=Pause briefly in case someone else has also started to speak. If so, wait for the clerk to recognize you. Otherwise, start speaking. 

=Mute your device when you are done. (The tech-host may do so if you forget.) 

– Continuing in worship, the clerk will close the meeting at the appropriate time and invite afterthoughts, joys and concerns and announcements as usual. Continue to follow the same advices for speaking. 

– If you need to get the attention of the tech-host for any reason, use the chat feature to address your message (Be sure to select “tech-host” and not “everyone”)

Respect the privacy of the Meeting. Do not share photos or screen shots of attendees.


Tips for using Zoom and Joining a Zoom Meeting 

– Set up Zoom a day in advance of the meeting time. Allow more time if you think you may need assistance. If you need assistance ahead of time, call Michelle Wright at: 802-689-0716. 

Here is a link to learn how to join a meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-

– Familiarize yourself with the Zoom features you will use during the meeting, such as muting and unmuting, starting and stopping your video, controlling what you see, and the chat feature. 

Here is a link to learn the controls: https://westernfriend.org/media/how-use-zoom-videoconferencing

-Use only one audio connection per room, ensuring all other microphones and speakers are muted. (For example, you might have more than one person in a room and might be tempted to each use your own device to connect.) 

-Before the Meeting begins  log in at least 15 minutes early. 


Instructions for Setting Up Zoom and Joining a Zoom Meeting 

Download and Install to your Computer or Mobile Device 

-Get the latest software for your device at Download Zoom

-New to Zoom? You can test Zoom here: Test Zoom 

 

 

Over the past few days, we have all become more attentive to the growing concerns over COVID19. The US Center for Disease Control urges everyone to take standard precautions by washing hands, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.

We hope we will not need to close our programs or limit our celebrations. We will be following the guidelines of our local and state officials in this regard.

As a close community that invites connections, we reach out now to engage all our members in these simple, common-sense steps to ensure a lower risk environment:
1) If you are feeling unwell, even just with a cold, please stay home from Meeting, and other events at PFM. COVID 19 can appear very mild in some people, but the same mild virus in one person can result in a life-threatening problem for someone else. Please make thoughtful choices, keeping in mind the entire PFM community, when deciding if you or your children are healthy enough to attend an event. Stay home and keep others safe if you are unsure.

2) The most effective method to avoid contracting or spreading this virus is HAND WASHING. Please wash your hands well, using soap and water for 20 seconds, and be sure to dry them fully (viruses like wet surfaces more than dry ones). Be sure to cover coughs and sneezes.

3) For the time being, we’ll avoid handshakes and hugs at rise of Meeting and when greeting each other. Please join us in finding fun and creative ways to say hello, good morning and Peace without touching.

4) At events with food, we will be changing our habits to reduce chances of transmission. We ask that anyone preparing or serving food wear gloves.

5) If you are staying home from services or events because of illness, we want to know! Please contact the Clerk, Clerk of Ministry & Counsel or Pastoral Care Committee  so we can check in with you and hold you in the Light in healing prayer

Please reach out to us if you are in need of support in any way. Let’s care for each other with open hearts and covered coughs!

 

Dear Putney Friends,

Last summer I photographed Putney Meetinghouse.  I have uploaded the best of the photos onto my website, and look forward to getting feedback on them from the people who know the place the best: your members and attenders! .  Which ones do you like best, are there any that are not true to what you know and love about your Meetinghouse?  At some point, I will cull the photos currently on my website to only the best of the best, so your feedback would be really helpful.

Putney Friends Meetinghouse Worship Space
Meeting members voted this photo their most favorite.

If you go to JeanSchnell.com, find the Meetinghouse gallery in the top menu bar.  If you scroll over that, there is a dropdown selection, and you will find your Meetinghouse listed alphabetically.  I may also post one or more of these photos on my Facebook page called Framing the Light, and also on my Instagram site call jeanschnellphoto, so keep an eye out in those places!

And I also want you to know that beginning on March 18, some of my photos( tho not of your Meetinghouse)  will be exhibited at the Center for the Study of World Religions ( AKA Harvard Divinity School, 42 Francis Ave, Cambridge, MA).  The Opening Reception will be on March 26 from 5-6:30.  I am very happy to say that Noah Merrill will be with me at the Opening Reception.  One of the fears one has with Opening Receptions is that no one will come, so I hope for many Friends, and friends,  to join me.   Showing these photos in a place where people are interested in spirituality and religion is a wonderful opportunity for outreach.  I have attached the info….please let people know!

Jean Schnell, Exhibition invitation

I loved photographing in your Meetinghouse, and I have appreciated the opportunity you gave to me to do so.  Thank you again for making this work possible.

Jean Schnell

 

 

VTDigger Report

Chloe Learey: Strategies to increase child care slots

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Chloe Learey, executive director of the Winston Prouty Center for Child and Family Development in Brattleboro, and a member of the Building Bright Futures State Advisory Council. The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce recently named her Entrepreneur of the Year.

In the recent survey by the Child Care Counts Coalition of Windham County employers indicated that challenges around child care create a burden on business. A lack of quality, affordable child care impacts existing business as well as healthy economic development. The shortage of child care spots, especially for infants and toddlers (ages 0 to 3), has been well researched. We cannot afford to ignore this issue if we want our region and our state to attract a vibrant workforce and support thriving communities.

This is not a new issue in Vermont. Twenty years ago, a group called the Child Care Fund of Vermont issued a report titled “A Vermont Employer’s Guide to Child Care Solutions” which offered strategies for employers to consider in order to support employees who juggle the demands of parenting. Today, several organizations have picked up this idea of investing in a variety of projects aimed at supporting child care in Vermont. These initiatives are working to identify statewide opportunities and develop local initiatives to make a difference. While individual employers can develop their own strategies for supporting employees, the issues around child care are larger than any one company, and it will take a coalition to move the needle on some of the biggest challenges we face in maintaining and increasing the child care slots needed to support economic growth.

Challenge #1: There are not enough early educators.

Early care and education are not babysitting. The field has become more professionalized with the need for more qualifications. Right now, there are two local programs that are reducing their available spots for children due to a lack of staff, and one that has a classroom ready to open but cannot find teachers.

Strategy 1: Invest in workforce development.

Investing in workforce development, from creating opportunities for people to get in on the ground floor to subsidizing their education at the college level, addresses this challenge. For instance, the Windham Regional Career Center is sponsoring a course for people interested in getting the baseline qualifications for being able to be hired into a classroom position. “Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education” will run from Sept. 24 to Nov. 19 and could help generate up to 12 potential employees.

Strategy 2: Subsidize post-secondary education.

In a field that boasts some of the lowest wages of any job classification, college credits are a requirement for climbing the early educator career ladder. Supporting people to pursue advanced degrees will make the field more attractive. The United Way of Windham County has a Fund for Quality Early Education that provides resources for a range of activities that help improve the field, including money for professional development. Growing this fund can help more people enter and stay in the profession. This local solution can be adapted to other regions. More broadly, the state could consider some sort of loan forgiveness program or subsidizing the education of students in early education at Vermont state colleges.

Challenge #2: There are not enough slots.

“Stalled at the Start” estimates that 73 percent of infants in Windham County likely will not have access to a regulated program, and people get on waiting lists as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

Strategy: Provide funds to increase infrastructure.

Vermont Birth to 5, an initiative of The Permanent Fund, has created a statewide grant program, “Make Way for Kids,” to give funds towards projects that will increase quality child care slots. This concept could be expanded locally using the Windham County United Way Fund for Quality Early Education as well. So, for instance, if someone considers opening a program out of their home and needs to make some renovations, they could apply to the fund for assistance.

Challenge #3: Child care is too expensive.

Strategy: Increase scholarships and subsidies for families.

One of the conundrums in solving the child care puzzle is how to cover costs of providing the service and pay a wage that attracts a strong workforce without increasing tuition which already costs as much as housing every month. Employers can offer benefits that help alleviate the financial burden such as Flexible Spending Accounts and direct financial assistance such as a child care allowance. The costs of turnover and absenteeism help pay for the investments employers might make in this way. Child Care Fund of Vermont laid out these and other options 20 years ago!

There are concrete steps we can take together to solve the child care puzzle. If all the pieces fall in place, our future workforce gets the strong foundation they need to succeed, our current workforce can participate in the local economy, and our communities will grow and thrive the way we hope.