Project Success!

Hello friends – board president Laura Hale here! Just wanted to share a story of how good things can still happen these days even when everything feels really difficult. A few months ago, a friend got in touch because a family she knew with a member who uses a wheelchair was living in a very small, very inaccessible apartment in our neighborhood and was dealing with all the trauma that comes with unstable and inadequate housing. Finding housing in Burlington is hard enough with a 1% vacancy rate, and finding wheelchair accessible housing that is vacant is nearly impossible with just 3% of all housing stock accessible (whenever possible, please advocate for affordable AND accessible housing!). But we were undeterred. With a whole lot of networking and private fundraising, we were able to find a rental home in Burlington with an owner who would let us install a stair glide and wheelchair ramp. The stair glide and ramp were just installed yesterday, the family moved in, and is now safe and stable for the first time in a long time. My friend who reached out to me and I are both volunteers, so we did nearly a full time job’s worth of work for three months unpaid to make this happen, along with a seriously awesome Medicaid case manager, and the truly wonderful family. It was a combination of hard work and pure luck that got us here. It gives me hope that a small group of people can come together and make some magic happen.

I’m going to get up on my soapbox for a second but please bear with me. The reasons I mentioned that we’re volunteers and that the fundraising was private were two fold. First, it haunts me to think of all the people who don’t get connected by essentially chance to people who have the time to make that effort and who have the connections to get it done. We as a society need to do a much, much better job with our social safety nets. People fall through cavernous cracks every day. Second, raising funds privately without very public gofundmes means no one has to share their story if they don’t want to just to survive. People with means are able to get help all the time without ever needing to share their trauma publicly. Privacy is something everyone should be afforded – not just those with financial security.

If you need hope, know these small wins happen all the time. I don’t promote this work that happens outside our grant rounds at the ONE Good Deed Fund often because I truly believe that supporting people in our community is something that is done without strings attached and without publicity that pushes them into the limelight. It probably makes me a terrible marketer for this fund that I started seven years ago and put my whole heart into, but I’d rather stay under the radar and do good work that respects the privacy of those we work with than raise our profile and grow. It’s an honest privilege for me to be able to put a some good out into the world without requiring anything in return. I prefer to work side by side in solidarity and I’m grateful I have the chance. I just want you all to know that even when it looks like everything around is fall apart, there is so much you don’t see that shows just how amazing we humans can be. Also check out the sweet wheelchair ramp! Big thanks to Chad at Access Mobility in Williston for being frickin’ awesome to work with ❤

January 2021 Update

Dear friends,

How are you doing? I hope you’re ok. “Ok” seems like a good goal. I don’t know anyone who is 100% great right now, and I don’t blame them. I think many of us are deep down in our soul tired. 2020 tested all of us in different ways. I miss everyone. I’ve lived here in the Old North End for 13 years, and have been in the Burlington area for 20, and I didn’t realize how much I rely on running into folks I know around town for my well-being. If you know me, I miss you. Let’s have coffee when this is over!

Though I wish none of it was necessary, I’m so proud of the work we did in 2020. We raised and gave out over $30,000 in COVID relief to people who lost their jobs, we provided a financial structure for several grassroots groups who needed to be able to accept donations, and we built and installed a network of little free pantries throughout Burlington to supplement all the excellent hunger relief work going on. 
Speaking of the Little Free Pantries, they are open for everyone to access! They are available for anyone to leave or take nonperishable food and toiletries, so please use them! They are located at:

You can always find the locations and an interactive map on our projects page. And good news – we’ll be looking for homes for more in the spring! If you’re in Burlington and would like to host one, let me know and I’ll send you the application as soon as it’s available.

The one thing that has given me hope in the last year is the tremendous number of people who have stepped up and helped out wherever they’ve seen a need. Here are a few of the grassroots groups around here who have been doing incredible work getting food, clothing and other basic needs out to neighbors. I like to think of all of us as partners instead of competitors for resources (that scarcity mentality just drives us all apart) so please consider giving them you’re financial and volunteer support too:

In addition to installing more Little Free Pantries this spring, we’re also working on ways to get free gardening materials out to neighbors and, of course, giving out grants to support good deeds and neighborhood projects, so stay tuned. Thank you for caring, thank you for your support, and thank you for being part of my community, no matter where you are.

All the best,

Laura Hale
ONE Good Deed Fund Board President

Clean Soil for Old North End Residents Growing Food

Thanks to a partnership with the Sustainability Academy and the City of Burlington, along with a generous donation from Gardener’s Supply, we are happy to offer soil for container gardens in the Old North End if you are growing food for yourself or others! Because the Old North End has high lead levels in our soil, we want people growing food to be able to do so safely.

The soil is available at the Sustainability Academy’s parking lot at 108 N Champlain St in the back right hand corner of the parking lot. Please bring your own containers to fill. Happy gardening!

SA soil location

COVID-19 Fund Update and New Project Announcement

The last month has been a wild ride! Since we opened the COVID-19 special relief fund on March 18th, we have raised a little over $31,000 and given out $27,000. We expect to give out the remaining $4,000 by the end of next week. Our goal when we opened this emergency fund was to fill the gap for people who lost work because of COVID-19 closures while unemployment and other long-term funds came online, and we had expected to only be running this for a few weeks or a month. But given the difficulties with unemployment, we decided to keep going. Now that people are finally getting unemployment and state and federal dollars are available through other nonprofits, we feel we’ve done what we set out to do and will be closing this emergency fund next Friday, May 1st to new applications. That will be 45 straight days of providing financial support and we’re proud of the work we’ve done. We’re also ready to transition to working on projects that support multiple people at once.

To that end, we are thrilled to announce our Little Free Pantry project! We originally set aside funds for this early last year, but it’s turned out to be quite timely. Local contractor and woodworker extraordinaire Nick Carr has built Little Free Pantries for us to share with the neighborhood. We will be donating three to Old North End residences and then subsidizing half the cost of four more for residences anywhere in Burlington. More information and the application is online now.

Partnerships are the lifeblood of relief work and we are going to continue to support grassroots groups by serving as their fiscal sponsor, free of charge, so they can access foundation dollars. We became a 501c3 partly to provide structure and support for small groups and that has turned out to be very necessary these days. We’ve provided fiscal sponsorship for three groups so far, and are going to partner with the Food Relief Project, organized by Will Clavelle, that is purchasing groceries and getting them to local restaurants, who then cook meals that are distributed to nonprofits in Burlington, who are getting them out to their clients. We will be providing both fiscal sponsorship and funding to this excellent resource.  We have also been partnering with the Old North End Arts & Business Association and Mascoma Bank to get gift cards at local ethnic markets to New American families who don’t have access to culturally appropriate food. It’s been a win-win of getting money to businesses and getting resources to folks who need them.

It’s been a heck of a month and a half for this small, all-volunteer organization, but it’s been a gift to be able to help in any way we can. We look forward to continue to organize and fund relief efforts for the next few months at least, while also filling grant requests through our main individual good deed and neighborhood projects funds as always.

Creative Reuse Website Success

Back in November we approved a grant to support a neighborhood art project to help educate people on the waste stream through in-person events. Times have changed, so that project has now become a website with lots of creative ideas for projects and challenges, along with educational content. One of the best things about being a small fund is that we can be flexible when a project may not go as planned, and we are thrilled to have been able to continue to fund the Creative Reuse Project, even as the planned in-person events were no longer possible. Alissa Faber and Renee Greenlee have done a great job and content is going up weekly. Take a look!

COVID-19 Relief Fund

We are living through times that many of us have never experienced before, and certainly weren’t on our mind when we founded the ONE Good Deed Fund six years ago. But we started the fund to help those who needed financial assistance to do something to help their neighbors and neighborhood, and it’s our turn to step into that roll. In response to the unprecedented business and venue closures, we have opened a special relief fund for Burlington residents who have lost income due to the pandemic. For more information and an application, please see our COVID-19 Relief page.

What gives us hope is that the kindness and generosity of Vermonters in a crisis is incredible. We will all make it through together. Let’s remember that at the end of the day, we all belong to each other.

On Giving Tuesday, We’re Thanking You for What You’ve Given

It’s Giving Tuesday, and instead of asking for your support, we’re saying thank you for what you’ve already given. For all of you who donated your warm clothes and gave financial gifts, we are so grateful. We collected and bought over 100 coats, sweaters, snow suits, and boots, and bought 60 pairs of gloves that are getting distributed to families and seniors. When the world seems dark, the kindness and generosity of community members is a bright light.

Here are just some of the clothes waiting to be picked up. Thank you to the ever wonderful ONEderful award winner Mellisa Cain for not just spearheading the organization, but also washing all the clothing and then sorting it all!


Help Us Keep Our Neighbors Warm

As those of you are local know, winter came early in Vermont this year and there is a significant need for high quality winter clothes for adults and children in Burlington. There are a lot of agencies doing a great job of working with the area thrift stores and getting donations for their clients, but there is a lot more need than they can fill, and the folks who aren’t clients are desperate for warm gear. To help fill that gap, we are asking for your support in two ways:

1) If you have the ability to donate, you can help us raise funds to buy clothing and gear. You can make a tax deductible gift through paypal here.

2) If you have high quality warm clothes and boots in good condition (think
clothing without tears or stains that you would give to a friend) we will
happily take those too. Please contact us and we’ll connect you with the amazing Burlington grassroots organizer (and ONEderful Award winner!) Mellisa Cain, who is matching those with donations with those who need them.

2019 ONEderful Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to this year’s ONEderful award winners! The ONEderful awards recognize people who live in the Old North End and make it a better place through their volunteer work. The winners are:

Jean Waltz – nominated by Mellisa Cain, who shared that “Jeanie has been organizing the Ramble for years. This is no small task. Now, organizing a large scale festival is a difficult undertaking no matter what the circumstances. When adding in the red tape of bureaucracy in Burlington, the MANY, MANY, MANY, MANY ideas and voices of the people of the O.N.E. and serving the diverse needs of the population, organizing the Ramble has to be one of the most difficult tasks of all! Yet, Jeanie handles it with grace, humor and her natural teacher shows in every project she manages. Jeanie goes out of her way to engage folks in the process of the Ramble who may otherwise not engage, which sets her above and beyond the typical leader. Jeanie is a true community leader, mentor, and mother of the O.N.E.”
Cooper Cudney – nominated by Cheryl McDonough who wrote: “Cooper is a teen-ager with a BIG heart. He quietly shoveled my driveway (and walks and cleared car!) after each storm and left before I could thank him!”
The volunteer team behind the ONE Community Dinner – nominated by both Mellisa Cain and Jen Berger who both wrote about the way the monthly dinner takes a lot of effort by a large team of volunteers, and creates connections between neighbors while they sit together an enjoy great food.

We will be celebrating all of these fantastic winners at the BTV Brunch Connection on May 5th from 11 – 1 at North End Studios.