Community Partner Good Beginnings of Central Vermont

August Give Change & Diaper Drive

Every month, Hunger Mountain Co-op customers have the opportunity to support a local community organization by rounding up their purchase at the register. By rounding up to the next dollar, that extra bit of change is donated to a group doing invaluable and essential work in our area. This month, that group is Good Beginnings of Central Vermont. Since 1991, they have been providing a number of services to local families and their newest family member.

With a mission to bring community to families and their babies, the organization’s number one program, according to Outreach and Communications Manager Ashley Roy, is their post-partum angel program which matches trained volunteers with local families, often in the volunteer’s own town. “They go to that family’s home for up to three months post-partum…Once a week, for about two hours, the volunteer snuggles the baby, gives care and respite for the mom. We hear a lot of stories where the volunteer holds the baby so the mother can shower or even nap. The volunteers are not babysitters, so the parents do have to be there as well. We just have so much great feedback from the families that we serve that just really love and appreciate their volunteer.”

“There is no fee for any of our services, everything is free. The hospital makes most of our referrals, but we also get a lot of self-referrals, so people can go on our website and request a post-partum angel,” Roy says. “We do some emergency funding. We have an emergency fund that can help parents pay their rent or their heat. We’ve paid cell phone bills before. There’s a short application that a family and a volunteer both have to fill out, in order to apply for that. We do have a couple of credits with local thrift stores…we came up with this idea where community members can bring their stuff to Heather’s Nearly New and Heather can give them credit for that stuff and they can donate their credit to Good Beginnings and we can send a family with X number of dollars to go shopping for what they need at that store.”

Along with those programs, Good Beginnings also provides early parenting workshops, such as “How to Postpartum like a Boss,” and “Infant Owner’s Manual,” and a parent drop-in space called The Nest. The space, open Wednesday through Friday, from 9am to 1pm, provides a place for parents to have playtime or a group meeting, unwind for a bit or take out materials from the organization’s lending library. Their website also offers numerous links to places where parents can find valuable resources. You can check out all of those links at the Good Beginnings website, where they also have a calendar featuring their own events as well as events around the community.

Along with rounding up at the register, you can support Good Beginnings of Central Vermont in another way. During the week leading up to Member Appreciation Weekend and Kid’s Day, we will be holding a diaper drive in support of the organization. Diapers are their top priority and they can accept any size as well as opened or partial packages. This is an invaluable service to limited income families, who may struggle to cover the expense of diapers. According to the organization, they are most in need of sizes 1 and 2 but they coordinate with the Family Center and the Baby Pantry at the Montpelier Food Shelf to meet every family’s needs. During the drive, they will also accept personal care items which go into welcome bags that are given to every family served by Good Beginnings. These items must be new, unopened, in their original packaging and can include lanolin cream, nursing pads, menstrual pads, nursing teas, baby-friendly skin lotion or soap, and energy bars. Welcome bags are filled with valuable resources, along with the personal care items, to help the family through the postpartum period. We will have a donation box set up at the Co-op’s exit where you can leave items during the week of August 20 to the 26. Donation items don’t need to be purchased from the Co-op.