May 11, 2020: It's Been a Month!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been one month since we launched the Woodstock Area Relief Fund (WARF). It’s even harder to believe that we have received over $360,000 in donations and another large chunk has been pledged. Although when you think about it, it’s not that surprising. Neighbors pull together to help neighbors when needed, especially in this area.
WARF is a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides financial assistance to residents of the Windsor Central Supervisory Union. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to help with rent, food, and other household expenses. So far, we’ve helped 111 households, a mixture of Woodstock, Reading, Pomfret, Plymouth, Killington, Bridgewater, and Barnard residents.
The majority of the funds have been used for rent/mortgage payments. “Thank you SO much for the relief payment for my family’s rent, which I just received in the mail,” said one applicant. “I have never been in a position where I have needed to accept help or relief like this, and I am so humbled and appreciative. Our case worker was amazing—she made this seem so normal and was so helpful and kind. I can’t tell you how much this means to my family.”
In addition to getting much-needed money for rent, auto expenses, utilities, and food to applicants, caseworkers make sure they know about local resources such as health foundations and food banks. One applicant thanked us for reaching out with such a generous helping hand and said they were grateful for the ideas and contacts we gave them.
The application process is completely confidential and extremely EASY. So, please, reach out to us if you need help.
May 4, 2020: The Woodstock Area Relief Fund Thanks Donors
Once again, friends and neighbors of the Greater Woodstock area have come together and found strength in supporting each other. As soon as word went out that we were creating a relief fund, people came forward to offer donations and their assistance.
One week after launch, the fund had $118,000 in the bank and had awarded money to 31 local families. Today, the fund has grown to $270,000 and has assisted more than 90 families.
Without this help, I’m not sure what would have happened next. You have made my next month a little less stressful, and you did so with such humility and grace.
Being able to quickly get aid to those devastated by the shutdown has been essential. “I can’t express how much gratitude I have toward you and the WARF team,” said one applicant. “Without this help, I’m not sure what would have happened next. You have made my next month a little less stressful, and you did so with such humility and grace. I was amazed how in our conversations I never felt diminished. I can’t thank you enough. I particularly appreciate the other resources you suggested I tap, which I have now done, with ongoing benefit to me and my family.”
We'd also like to thank several local businesses who have come forward to support our cause. Clover Gift Shop is donating all profits from the Woodstock tote bag, the Woodstock Farmers’ Market is donating half of all money collected when customers round up their orders (the other half goes to the Food Shelf), the brand-new Vermont Eclectic Co. is donating $5 for every t-shirt sold from now until the end of June, and Artistree’s Grange Theatre and the Woolen Mill Comedy Club’s is donating all proceeds from “Socially Irresponsible” Distancing: A Phony Phonathon (May 8 at 8pm).
It’s difficult to express the joy we feel about the way this community has come together to help those of us who need it in this overwhelming time. Thanks to all of you, and stay healthy!
April 26, 2020: We Can Help! (Woodstock Area Relief Fund)
Asking for help isn’t easy—we all know that. But these times are unlike anything we’ve ever seen. That’s why the Woodstock Area Relief Fund (WARF) has made getting money for household necessities as simple as possible.
The Woodstock Community has a long history of coming together during tough times. And that’s what WARF is about: neighbors helping neighbors. So even if you’ve never asked for help before, you can feel comfortable reaching out to us.
More than 160 neighbors and 50 friends from other states have contributed over $215,000 so far to help those in the Windsor Central Supervisory Union. All the money will go toward grants of up to $1,000 for those needing help with rent, groceries, and other household expenses.
All you have to do is fill out a simple form on our website. You’ll be contacted by one of our volunteers who will verify your information and point you toward other resources that may be helpful.
WARF has received almost 100 applications for assistance from Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Pomfret, Plymouth, Reading, and Woodstock and has funds to help many more. So if you need help, PLEASE let us know.