To the Editor:

For more than 30 years, the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund has been quietly supporting residents of the Waterbury area by providing emergency financial assistance.

When I took over the administrative responsibilities in the fall of 2001, I wrote one check a month for an average gift of $35. Three years later, donations to our neighbors totaled $1,800 and by August 2011, we had become a nonprofit, run by a board of community members who also had fiduciary responsibilities to the Waterbury Area Food Shelf.

The flood that month resulted in money pouring into our state; the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund received its fair share. In the 12 months following the flood, we received and distributed just over $385,000.

While the pace of our work greatly lessened a year later, the fund continues to serve more and more of our neighbors who are facing a rough patch. In the past year (since last September), we have written 69 checks totaling just over $16,000.

Where does all this money come from? That's the beauty of this — it's neighbors helping neighbors. I write to thank you for your past generosity and to encourage you to consider making a donation as we gear up for the heating season. One of our most consistent supporters over the years has been Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Currently, the coffee roasters cafe and visitors center is holding a countertop fundraiser — you can toss in your change after that cup of coffee, or you can be more expansive and write a check.

Of course, there are other ways to give as well. You can send a donation by mail to the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund at 57 S. Main St., No. 3, Waterbury, VT 05676, or you can pay through a PayPal link on our website: waterburycast.wordpress.com. The Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund is a 501(c)3 and your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Thank you for making the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund a truly unique and important local resource.

Peter Plagge

Waterbury

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