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The MRV Interfaith Council has published a brochure which should help clarify the services that they offer to those with emergency needs in The Valley. The purpose of the brochure is to highlight these services so that people in The Valley know when to recommend someone to the Council. It also serves to highlight the contribution that the Interfaith Council makes to the community and hopefully encourages people to make cash donations. Assistance printing the brochure was provided by Eastern Systems, and the Council is very appreciative of their support. The brochure will initially be available through members of the Interfaith Council and at Valley churches.
The Mad River Valley Interfaith Council serves the people of the MRV through outreach and the fostering of unity and understanding in God’s love. The guiding principle of the Council is “neighbor helping neighbor.” All churches and faith groups are welcome and no one is excluded. The Council strives to assist people with emergency needs or inadequate food supplies. As far as they are able, they provide limited financial grants and guidance for items such as fuel bills, car repairs, rent or medical bills. The Council usually sponsors other assistance programs, including Thanksgiving food baskets and vouchers for children during the holiday season. On an ongoing basis, the MRVIC operates the Mad River Valley Food Shelf located in Waitsfield to address the nutritional needs of anyone in The Valley
Mad River Valley Food Shelf and the Food Commodities program is located discretely behind Evergreen Place in Waitsfield. Food at the Food Shelf is available to those who can self-certify their financial need. It is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to noon on Thursdays and Saturdays. Guests may come for groceries once a week, and some items are limited.
Those who have a need or those who know someone in need of assistance can contact any of the Valley churches or faith leaders and they will provide guidance as to what services and assistance can be offered in a specific situation. Those who need access to the Food Shelf should just present themselves to a volunteer when the Food Shelf is open.
In some situations, especially if funds are not available, the MRVIC may encourage those in need of assistance for fuel, electric or other basic services to call 211 first. This state-wide number is staffed by personnel trained to help connect you with broader services provided by the state or an agency that addresses a particular need.
As a nonprofit group in The Valley, the Interfaith Council is dependent upon the gifts of congregations and individuals to sustain the requests that are presented to us each year. If you can help, even with small donations, please send them to Mad River Valley Interfaith Council, P.O. Box 341, Waitsfield, VT 05673. You can be confident that all of your donation goes directly to those in need. This group truly represents the spirit of the Mad River Valley. We wish to thank Eastern Systems who helped greatly in the creation of this brochure.
Kearns is chair of the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council.