Friends of Families recently got some sad news: Hinesburg and all of the other Chittenden County towns will no longer be receiving any Building Bright Futures grant funding. We are reaching out to the community to raise funds in the short term until we can find a new funding partner and put a plan in place for sustained support. If you would like to contribute or help us spread the word, please visit www.youcaring.com/hinesburgfriendsoffamiliesprogram-870020 or mail donations to HCRC
Friends of Families, PO Box 444, Hinesburg, VT 05461.
Friends of Families is a program of the Hinesburg Community Resource Center and has existed for over 25 years. Friends of Families works with many community partners and volunteers to offer weekly playgroups, free clothing and book swaps, parenting support during transition times (e.g., welcoming a new baby or sending a child to kindergarten), early literacy activities, support with basic needs, and educational and social opportunities for families in Hinesburg and the surrounding towns. We are committed to continuing these programs for families for many years to come!
Through all of our programs, we work to provide a “village” for our families, and we maintain contact with many families from the birth of their child up through the start of school. We have strong ties to school district supports for families with concerns about their child’s development, and the Resource Center also offers a food shelf, emergency financial assistance and volunteer rides to families in need. Studies show that families are most successful raising kids when they feel connected to the community and when they know where to go to find help and support.
Here are some quotes from families about what our programs have meant to them:
“The playgroups and the relationships I have made through them have really been invaluable to me and my family. We feel more connected to the community. We have people and places we can turn to when we need resources or support. The friendships and connections have helped lessen the isolation and anxiety I felt when we moved and have allowed me to be the best parent I can be.”
“I had never lived in a community that provided so many resources for young children and families, especially at no cost to the parent. It was clear that our new community valued children and families and made us feel grateful and confident in our choice to move here.”
“As a second grade teacher at the Hinesburg Community School, I have seen first-hand the benefit provided by this group to all Hinesburg children…Several years ago when my children were babies and toddlers, the weekly playgroup was my first opportunity to meet other moms and for my children to form their first friendships. Without this outlet being available in the future, both children and parents will miss out on all of these pro-social and early educational benefits.”
We thank those who have already donated and helped us spread the word. Thank you also to the Hinesburg Public House for offering to do a community supper for us in October and to the group of LuLaRoe consultants who have offered to do a fundraiser for us. We are cheered by the response from our community, and are grateful to you all!
Rachel Kring, Coordinator, Hinesburg Community Resource Center