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Groundworks introduces ‘Give 60 Challenge’

BRATTLEBORO—Unable to obtain a permit to gather at the foot of Mount Wantastiquet for the annual Hike for the Homeless fundraiser this year, Groundworks Collaborative has created a choose-your-own-challenge virtual fundraising event aimed at raising $20,000 to support the organization’s shelter and housing case management programs.

Organizers say they have developed the Give 60 Challenge — an opportunity for supporters of all ages and abilities to choose a challenge that is meaningful to them, set a fundraising goal, and ask family and friends to support them with a donation to Groundworks.

Peter Case, former Groundworks Board member, has pledged to complete a 60-mile bike ride to raise funds for the effort.

“I think it’s a great idea and a way to bring people together in doing whatever feels like a challenge to them,” said Case in a news release. “For me, it might be a 60-mile bike ride. For someone else, it might be 60 minutes, 60 hours, or 60 days of reading social justice literature.”

Why 60?

“We’re working with this idea that dignity has an address. It’s 60 South Main Street, the home of our community’s Drop-In Center — the entry-point for those seeking help with shelter, housing support, and emergency food,” said Libby Bennett, Director of Development and Communications at Groundworks. “Scores of our neighbors in need use 60 South Main Street as their mailing address for lack of permanent housing and will continue to do so when we move back in after restoring dignity to the structure with our current renovation project.”

The renovation of 60 South Main Street and the building of the new drop-in center and overflow shelter is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Give 60 Challenge is raising funds for Groundworks’ operations — not for the building project, which is nearly fully-funded.

Those interested in participating in the Give 60 Challenge are asked to visit GroundworksVT.org/events to register, choose an activity, set a fundraising goal, and ask their networks to support them with a donation to Groundworks. The duration of the challenge is up to each participant — whether completion of their chosen activity takes 60 minutes, 60 days, or anywhere in between.

Those who love the Hike for the Homeless tradition can continue to participate by hiking any number of local hikes, including Mount Wantastiquet. “We just couldn’t gather in numbers there this year,” Bennett said. “We’re posting a list of favorite local hiking trails on the website to inspire those among us who love the Hike.”

Groundworks Collaborative has been providing support to more than three times as many people experiencing homelessness since COVID-19 emerged in the area in mid-March. For more information, visit GroundworksVT.org.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #583 (Wednesday, October 14, 2020).

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