WESTMINSTER >> Southeast Vermon Community Action was on of seven non-profit organizations to receive grants from the USDA to preserve affordable rural housing. SEVCA received $26,021 of the $314,084 in grant funding to assist 58 homeowners preserve their homes.

"Families are safer when their homes are weatherized, seniors with disabilities are safer when their homes are accessible, and our rural housing stock is safer when multi-family properties are well maintained," said Ted Brady, USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director. "The Housing Preservation Grant Program allows Rural Development to work hand-in-hand with local housing organizations to support Vermont and New Hampshire residents preserve and enhance the safety and quality of their homes."

Other recipients included Southwestern Community Service, $26,021; Tri-County Community Action, $26,021; Vermont Center for Independent Living, $26,021; Gilman Housing Trust, $70,000; Northeast Employment and Training Organization, $70,000; and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, $70,000.

Friends of Pisgah receives state grant

CHESTERFIELD, N.H. >> The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development awarded $23,700 to the Friends of Pisgah for a major restoration of the Kilburn Loop Trail along the entire west side of Kilburn Pond in Pisgah State Park, calling for the building up of the surface of the trail in some areas, adding culverts, cutting a trail bypass in one section, and improving the treadway considerably.


AIDS Project, Green Mountain Crossroads, Youth Services receive grants

BRATTLEBORO >> Three local nonprofits received funding from the Samara Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation.

The AIDS Project of Southern Vermont in Brattleboro received $5,000 for HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in Windham and Bennington Counties. Green Mountain Crossroads in Brattleboro received $4,300 to support building a queer social justice movement in Southern Vermont. And Youth Services in Brattleboro received $3,000 to create safe spaces for queer youth in Windham County.

Samara Fund announced awards of $69,500 in grants and scholarships to 18 nonprofits and seven high school seniors. This year's grantmaking was made possible in part by contributions from Vermont Community Foundation fundholders, as well as dozens of gifts to the Samara Fund from supporters of Vermont's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

The projects this year include work to assist transgender individuals in advocating for their rights, three theater projects focusing on LGBTQ themes and characters, a program in the Northeast Kingdom that will create a weekly youth-driven support group in a community setting, and more.

The Samara Fund's vision is to be Vermont's leading source of permanent support dedicated to nurturing the vitality, success, and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities through dynamic and sustained philanthropy.

For more information about the Samara Fund and this year's grants visit vermontcf.org/samara.

Community bike project celebrates move to new location

BELLOWS FALLS >> The Bellows Falls Community Bike Project is celebrating their recent move to 30 Henry St. On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 1 to 4 p.m., visitors can tour the new shop and mingle with volunteers while enjoying bike-powered smoothie samples, popcorn, watermelon and other treats. There will be a solar powered electric bicycle to view as well.

The Bike Project is a volunteer run nonprofit, which was founded in 2013 with a mission to provide community access to bicycles and bike repair skills, encouraging safe bicycling as a means of affordable transportation, self sufficiency and overall wellness. Since opening, it has refurbished and sold nearly 300 bikes to the community.

Many youth and adults have been volunteering and learning repair skills through earn-a-bike and other programs.

The Bike Project is also working with the village of Bellows Falls to increase awareness of bicycles on the roads and to make the streets safer for everyone. For more information, contact Bonnie Anderson at info@bfbike.org.