Athena Giving Circle funds Bradley House

BRATTLEBORO — The Athena Giving Circle, a group of 10 Brattleboro area women, made their third annual award in the amount of $5,000 to Garden Path Elder Living, the organization that runs Bradley House, a residential home providing community living for elders in Southern Vermont.

Bradley House can house up to 35 residents. While the stately mansion was recently renovated and updated, it became apparent during the pandemic that its internet service required a major upgrade in order to support the needs of residents and staff.

Gail Nunziata, speaking for the Athena group, said in a news release that “during the COVID-19 lockdown period, we all became aware of the importance of maintaining strong connections. The Athena Giving Circle was moved by the knowledge that in order to communicate with loved ones, elder residents had to struggle to get and stay connected online at the place they call home. We support Garden Path's efforts to ease this burden.”

The Athena Giving Circle formed in 2020 and made awards in 2020 and 2021. “Our process is straightforward,” said Nunziata. “We meet in the spring to identify areas of need, research projects we are interested in, and make a decision. We appreciate the insight we each bring to the conversation. We only wish we had more money to spread around."

According to The Giving Project, an organization dedicated to the concept and creation of giving circles, there are nearly 20 groups making charitable donations throughout the state. Giving circles can be any size, and the financial commitment of the members is a group decision.

Grant awards can support any organization the group decides, as long as it is a not-for-profit recognized by the IRS. The important aspect of a giving circle is a shared wish to make a positive difference through group philanthropy.

“The Athenas think it would be wonderful if another giving circle formed in Southern Vermont,” said Nunziata. “As individuals we make a small gesture to benefit the community, but we feel the combined giving makes the award more meaningful, not only to the recipients, but to us as well."

Nunziata invites anyone interested in creating a giving circle to contact her at [email protected] for start-up help and ideas. Help and information are also available from The Giving Project at

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