We at Building Bright Futures are profoundly grateful for the support of foundations, businesses, and individual donors. On this Giving Tuesday, please consider donating in support of our mission to improve the well-being of young children and families in Vermont.
Here are just two of the many BBF initiatives that have made a difference for Vermont children and families this year:
1. Through the Vermont Early Childhood Fund (VECF), BBF gave $100,000 in grants to 7 Vermont organizations. The funds supported workforce development for future early childhood educators in Addison, Lamoille, and Rutland counties; vision and hearing screenings for children in Bennington County; transportation assistance for families in Franklin-Grand Isle; home visits and perinatal support in Central Vermont; and anti-racism training and educational materials for teachers in Chittenden County. BBF is grateful to the Sunflower Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation and the private donor who made this fund possible for 2022 and 2023.
“The VECF funding supported us in ordering books for our classrooms that align with the demographics of our families and the interests of our kids. I recently read Gabrielle Union’s Welcome to the Party to our student Mahir. As we read, Mahir kept exclaiming things like ‘He looks like me!’ and ‘She looks like my auntie!” Whenever he saw images of a little girl who reminded him of his little sister Zainab, he would say, ‘That’s my baby!’ It was wonderful to see how excited he was to see his family represented in the book.”
—Wiley Reading, assistant director of the Burlington preschool at ONE Arts Community Schools, part of the Racial Justice within Early Education Consortium, a 2022 VECF initiative
2. As part of a $100,000 grant from the University of Vermont to address substance use disorder, BBF co-hosted Seeds of Hope, an event where parents affected by substance abuse shared their stories, in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health and the City of Burlington’s Racial Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee. As the UVM grant period concludes, BBF is seeking additional funding to continue this important work in collaboration with our partners, who include Howard Center, KidSafe Collaborative, Champlain Valley Head Start, Northwestern Counseling & Support Services, and Child Care Resource.
“Giving people unconditional love each time they fall is so important. Feeling seen at your worst and at your best is so important. Meeting people where they’re at, no matter where they’re at… Just being there for them is just so important.”
—Chip, a Vermont parent in recovery who spoke at Seeds of Hope
To round out a powerful year of impact, on June 18, 2022, my dad, Randy Crossman, completed his 365th summit of Pico Mountain in 362 days, raising awareness and more than $18,000 in donations for Building Bright Futures. By the end of the year, he had climbed a vertical distance equivalent to 25 summits of Mount Everest. My dad was inspired to undertake this extraordinary project in honor of my 5-year-old daughter, Amelie, and in honor of all of Vermont’s young children. And he did it to support the work that he knows is close to my heart. Find out more about this journey through a video produced by Vermont Public and through the PicoSummit365 Facebook page.
Please donate today if you can. Thank you for your support.