Dear Families and Community Partners,

This is 4th grade artwork of the Northern Lights.  Everyone at MES hopes you have a wonderful holiday in this season of lights and love and hope.  And here’s wishing all of you a much better 2021!!

So far, the Morristown schools have been very fortunate in containing any spread of the virus within our schools – and we know this is because of our parents who are being so diligent in following all of the safety guidelines during this pandemic: keeping everyone home if someone in the household is sick, giving up multiple family gatherings, playdates, sleepovers, visiting relatives out of town, and so many other sacrifices.  These are such hard decisions to make during the holiday season, but we know this will not last forever.  There will be another Thanksgiving, another Hanukkah and Christmas, more New Year’s parties after this is all over (and we can all get the vaccines!).  Please remain safe during this vacation break so that all our schools can open on Jan 4th and resume our in-person learning.  We are all in this together, supporting each other, because we truly care about the children in our community.

And speaking of caring, below you will see a very long list of Community Resources available to serve lots of different needs.  Look it over, and spread the word to others who may be in need.

Happy Holidays, stay safe and healthy, and Happy New Year!

Kate Torrey, MES Principal

From the Lamoille Area Health and Human Services & Emily Rosenbaum, tons of resources for everyone in our community:

“Every time a Vermonter gets vaccinated, all of us benefit,” — Commissioner Mark Levine.

Sharing Priority
NCAL Meals will provide and distribute quality pet food to those in need at no cost on a regularly scheduled basis. Their goal is to keep families and pets together through these difficult times. North Country Animal League (NCAL) aims to partner with local community organizations and businesses to identify and support clients from Lamoille County who would benefit from this program, so if you know of people who need help with pet food, please share this with them. 802-888-5065 x101.

Last week, hospital and medical staff began to receive COVID-19 vaccines as part of Priority Group 1A. Click here and here to see two doctors in our community get the vaccine, and watch for the Dad joke in there. And here’s a video explaining mRNA vaccines in layman’s terms.

Vaccine
The state is building on a strong existing primary care and medical home infrastructure to deliver the vaccine, calling on their experience with vaccine distribution in past public health crises to guide efforts. Valuable partnerships across the state with health care and community partners will also be important to make sure all Vermonters have access to the vaccine. Many of us wish we could be vaccinated tomorrow, and so it will require patience to wait until those in the highest priority groups are vaccinated.

Gifts for Children
Lamoille Family Center has completed its Holiday Project, serving 290 children in our area with five gifts apiece.

United Way of Lamoille County (UWLC) had an incredibly successful teen gift card drive this year, serving 56 teens, plus providing additional gift cards to serve about 30 more families in General Assistance (GA) housing in hotels. UWLC also provided gifts to 59 seniors through Help Our Precious Elders.

In case you missed it, children who celebrate Christmas can rest assured this week. If, however, you know of a family who needs a little extra help to get gifts this year, you can email me at emily.rosenbaum@lah2s-rcc.org and I’ll connect you with those able to help out. Thank you to everyone who has helped bring a little joy this season.

If you are purchasing a gift, please consider supporting a local business or buying Vermont made.

Get Information
Sign up for the state’s Weekly COVID-19 Newsletter here.
Visit the United Way of Lamoille County resource page to find a repository of information.

Healthy Living Education
Just in time for the school break, Healthy Lamoille Valley offers Live Your Why at-home activities designed to help children and youth develop good life choices. Click here to learn more.

My Healthy Vermont provides research-based education to help Vermonters live healthier lives. The courses include:

  • Diabetes management and diabetes prevention
  • Quit smoking
  • Chronic disease management
  • Chronic pain management
  • Emotional wellness

Help someone register today to improve their quality of life.

Healthy Lamoille Valley’s next coalition meeting:

  • January 5th from 6:00 to 7:00pm
  • “Youth Vaping: what our coalition needs to know and what we can do about it”
  • Guest presenter Marcella Bianco, the Program Director for the CATCH My Breath youth e-cigarette prevention program. 
  • Register here for this and upcoming meetings.

Questions: alison@healthylamoillevalley.org
Eat Smart, Move More is a six-class distance learning opportunity through UVM extension, supporting families to be healthier and more food secure. Includes interactive instruction, recipes, and workouts. Click here to learn more.

Youth group leaders: Youth groups in the Lamoille Area interested in registering for a 6 week nutrition education series for youth grades 3-6, email katie.black@uvm.edu.

Parents get the Vermont Parent’s Home Companion when they first become parents, and it is an incredible list of resources. Here’s an online version.

Racial Equity Alliance of Lamoille (REAL) has started a BIPOC Affinity Space for youth and adults to develop a sense of self while living in a predominantly white state and country.

Seniors
Central Vermont Council on Aging offers Seasonal Fuel Assistance, a program that can help pay part of home heating bills for seniors to help stay warm during the long Vermont winters. Benefit amounts are based on income and average annual heating costs. Call 888-1393 or visit this website to apply.

Meals on Wheels of Lamoille County has started sending home weekend snack bags to seniors and is currently sending out about 1200 meals each week. They are open for takeout lunch ($5.00 for over 60, $7.00 for under 60), 888-5011 to reserve.  To volunteer to help serve our elders, click here.

Lamoille Neighbors is a lifeline to area seniors, offering help with errands, groceries, and transportation. Seniors interested in membership and volunteers should click here.

Marvelous, Outstanding, and Stupendous
The Vermont Food Bank received a $9 million donation last week, which should make a big difference in food security in Vermont this year.

Northern Vermont University has been given a $3.5 million gift to seed the Learning and Working Community.

The State of Vermont is hiring across skill sets for its COVID-19 response efforts.

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