February 20, 2014
I don’t have to be asked twice to invite myself over to the FRESH Food kitchen at the O’Brien Community Center in Winooski. Last time I was there, I ate some delicious kale and sweet potato loaded tacos and honeyed carrots with a group of super enthusiastic six year olds, but this time I was after something even sweeter. As a Valentine’s Day fundraiser FRESH Food, an Enterprise of Vermont Works for Women, made tins of delicious chocolate peppermint bark. The proceeds from the sale of this bark not only supported the training program that prepares women to work in restaurants and professional kitchens; it also benefited the residents at Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment facility
I arrived in the FRESH Food kitchen to be greeted by Chef Robin…..and two of her trainees, one of whom was cutting peanut butter cranberry bars to send over to Healthy Living where they are now being commercially sold and the other who was breaking peppermint bark and weighing it into 3oz piles to put into the Valentine’s tins. Robin and her trainees told me about how to make the peppermint bark and said that the most fun part was the swirling of the different chocolates with a tooth pick to make the designs in the top and that it was a great, simple treat to make but people were loving it so much that they were nearly sold out. We talked a lot about peppermint bark and then I heard the words I’d been waiting to hear, “Oh do you want to try some?” It was delicious.
The FRESH Food kitchen runs calmly, quietly and efficiently and there is always more than one thing going on. While this preparation was happening, there were also delivery drivers from the program out around Chittenden county delivering homemade healthy meals to childcare programs. The menu that day was Vermont raised beef burgers with vibrant looking sweet potato fries. Later that afternoon, one of the trainees would continue work on an edible arrangement that she was making for one of her teachers out of fruit and chocolate. The FRESH Food program is only 13 weeks long, but in this time the participants learn fundamental kitchen skills, healthy recipes, preparing bulk food economically, safely and with full attention to nutrition as well as the responsibility of being part of a team. It is evident just walking into the kitchen that the program is a success.
On Valentine’s Day, I waited in the foyer of Lund’s Glen Road Residential Treatment facility for the delivery from Heather Newcomb from FRESH Food. The snowstorm of the night before did nothing to stop her and it was great to see her walking the door with a cooler which was immediately intercepted by a little one in fluffy pajamas (it was a snow day after all) who tried to pry open the lid and climb inside. I didn’t blame him. Heather handed the 26 tins to Jen D’Aiello, Residential Coordinator at Lund who was so thankful to receive them and immediately began passing them out to clients.
It is gratifying and reassuring for staff and clients alike to know that there are people in the community who care about the women and children at Lund. That there are people who understand that just because our mothers are in a treatment program for substance abuse and mental health issues, it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to create holiday traditions and surprises for their children too. Each of these tins was so much more than chocolate, it was a way of saying, “We support you, we validate what you are doing and we spread our love to you too.”
Thank you to FRESH food and Vermont Works for Women for spreading the love this Valentine’s Day.
February 19, 2014
“We are very thankful to have you at the heart of this community” – Heart of the Community Awards 2014
It was a cold and snowy night on Thursday February 13, but nothing was to deter over 200 guests at the Heart of the Community Awards 2014 from celebrating the marvelous achievements and enduring community impact of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips. It was an evening to celebrate the varied and long standing impact that these three honorees have had on Lund and the wider Burlington community. The air was one of gratitude to the Hoehls, Gene and Dr. Phillips for what they have done but also gratitude for the important, life saving work that Lund does in the community.
The Honorable James H. Douglas presented the award to The Hoehl Family Foundation. “The Hoehl Family Foundation is improving the lives of Vermonters each and every day and people of this great state are in your debt,” said Douglas. The Hoehl Family Foundation made a leadership gift to Lund’s 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign and members of the family have also served on the board and helped with fundraising events. The foundation also supports numerous other non-profit organizations and educational institutions around Burlington. John Hoehl, son of founders Bob and Cynthia Hoehl, received the award on behalf of the foundation. “It’s really us that should thank you guys,” he said, of Lund, “because you make our work more rewarding. We get to see what my parents set up in action making such a huge difference for the community and for the women that really really need it.”
Mayor Miro Weinberger took to the stage to present the award to Gene Richards. “It is a great honor to be here tonight to speak about my friend and colleague Gene Richards,” he said. “Gene is the most positive person any of us know, he cares about everyone and he cares about everything. We are all very thankful to have you at the heart of this community.” Gene served as a board member at Lund and as a volunteer, contributed his expertise and energy in many capacities – from organizing fundraising events to helping transform Lund’s Glen Road residential building. He has been an outstanding leader in many ways at Lund and at so many other local non-profit organizations. Upon receiving the award, he told a story about a woman that he met at Lund. “She got pregnant and her foster family kicked her out after she had already been kicked out by her own family. ‘Today I have a job,’ she told me, ‘I have a daughter, we live at Lund and I am going to college. But the best part about it is that Lund has given me and my family the skills to be a real family.’ It’s just amazing, these people were able to get through this. They conquered it with all the difficulties of life. This is what makes Burlington and the state of Vermont so very special.”
Dr. Ann Guillot, Chair of the Pediatric Residency Program and a pediatric nephrologist at FAHC presented the award to Dr. Carol Lee Phillips who was the pediatrician at Lund for over 20 years and the first female Chair of Pediatrics. She was joined by a number of her colleagues who referred to themselves as ‘Lee Phillips’ followers’ or the ‘Pediatric Travel Club’. “Lee is at the grassroots of what pediatricians can do in this community,” said Dr. Guillot. “She has taught hundreds of residents and students how to be a pediatrician and how to be a good person. She quietly did what needed to be done at Lund. She is devoted to the needs of families and the notion of what it takes for a woman to succeed. She is a quietly bold and brilliant community pediatrician, teacher, wife and mother.” It turns out that this glowing praise was not enough and actually what was really needed to reinforce how wonderful Dr. Lee Phillips actually is, was a song. Being no stranger to singing, Dr. Lewis First led the Pediatric Travel Club in a rousing version of “My Favorite Things” from ‘The Sound of Music’ because, as he pointed out, “You are certainly one of our favorite things. You are our favorite, Lee.” When Dr. Phillips received her award, the few words she spoke were mostly of appreciation for Lund. “I look at what Lund does and the amazing variety of things they do to help children and families flourish and I am in awe. This is an amazing organization led by a wonderful director assisted by caring, hardworking people.”
Lund could not be the organization that it is today without the assistance, love and dedication of The Hoehl Family Foundation, Gene Richards and Dr. Carol Lee Phillips. Thank you to our wonderful honorees for all they have done.
Thank you to everyone who came to this event and to our sponsors – Main Street Landing, Spruce Mortgage, Wyatt Investment Research, PC Construction, Peoples’ United Bank, LORD Corporation, The Pediatric Travel Club, Hickok and Boardman, Fletcher Allen, UVM College of Medicine, Gravel and Shea, Merrill Lynch, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Liquid Studio, St Michael’s College, and Mirabelle’s. The funds raised from this event will benefit the programs at Lund and the 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign.
February 12, 2014
Dr. Carol Lee Phillips was the pediatrician for babies born at Lund for 20 years. She started in 1966 when she was in the final year of her residency at Fletcher Allen and when her requirement was complete, she was asked by the Director of Lund to stay on. Dr. Phillips would see the babies in the hospital and then visit them at Lund once a week, or when called to consult, until they were placed with adoptive families. During this time she was also teaching at the UVM College of Medicine, working at the hospital and conducting research in pediatric infectious diseases. When she became the first female Chair of Pediatrics in 1984, she had to reduce and finally stop her time at Lund. After ten years as chair, she retired from medicine but remained involved in Lund by joining the board. Dr. Phillips did not sever her link with the university either, serving on many boards and advisory councils and also used her vast medical knowledge volunteering in various capacities for the state.
Along with her illustrious career in medicine, Dr. Phillips is also a mother to four children who were all under the age of five when the family moved to Vermont in the mid sixties so she and her husband could finish medical school. She attended part time – this means only 5 full days a week, no evenings and weekends! The family had relocated from Texas and Dr. Phillips remembers weekends where she would help the children get all dressed up for the snow so that they could play outside and then help them peel off their wet coats, boots and mittens when they came back inside after five minutes of the frigid Vermont winter. She would call her husband at the hospital so he could remind her why they moved from such sunny climes. They all became accustomed to the weather, however, and Dr. Phillips has lived in Burlington ever since and two of her grandchildren currently attend college in Vermont.
Dr. Phillips is an inspiration to women everywhere who wrestle with the balance of work and motherhood. She blazed a trail in the field of medicine where few women had gone before and opened up the way for so many other female medical students to follow. Since her retirement, she continues to be an inspiration through her volunteer work and active social life. When asked what she likes to do in her free time, the first thing she said was, “I like to work with people.”
Everyone at Lund is so thankful for Dr. Phillips’ long and varied engagement with our organization and with the medical and academic communities in Burlington. Congratulations Dr. Phillips on being one of our 2014 Heart of the Community Award winners.
February 11, 2014
Gene Richards is a landlord managing over 250 rental properties in Burlington and Florida, Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport, CEO and founder of Spruce Mortgage, a father, a husband, and the person that many Burlington non-profit organizations call when they need advice or need to get things done. “Initiative is Gene’s middle name! All we do is tell him what we need or the difficulty we are facing and he takes it from there! He is our go to guy and problem solver. If we have a need we can’t meet, we call Gene and he makes it happen,” says Barbara Rachelson, Executive Director at Lund.
Gene met Barbara when he was working on her house (oh, did we not mention that he is also a contractor?) and he soon came to visit Lund’s old building at Glen Road. He was not impressed by what he saw and thought that the clients deserved better than the somewhat run down conditions. He joined the Buildings and Grounds committee and got to work. It didn’t stop there and Gene has served on many committees at Lund and was jointly responsible for creating Lund’s most successful fundraiser to that point – a gala evening for 450 guests.
Gene’s enthusiasm and energy for Lund is infectious. He has recruited many other volunteers to help with all sorts of projects, including his own family. Gene’s wife Julie has been the official photographer at many Lund events including the adoption picnic and the Ride for Children. His sons, Stephen and Eugene have also been involved with collection drives and direct mail initiatives.
It is unclear how Gene is able to be so dedicated to his family and friends, manage all the work that he does for different non-profits, run the airport (have you seen the recent expansions, focus on local businesses and innovative features there?) and his other business interests and still have time to sleep at night. He is also the middle of the six degrees of separation for Burlington, in fact he reduces it to about one degree! If you don’t know Gene, you know someone he knows or you know an organization that he helped to make strong. He probably built the house that you live in and your boss in his brother-in-law. There aren’t enough hours in the day for this to add up but however he does it, we’re so thankful that he does.
“Gene is one of those amazing can do people. He is eternally optimistic, has boundless energy and ideas and thinks big and creatively. He is a fundraising force not to reckon with and has the biggest heart I know,” says Barbara. Everyone at Lund is proud and delighted to be honoring Gene with a Heart of the Community Award this year.
February 10, 2014
The Hoehl Family Foundation was founded in 1993 by Robert and Cynthia Hoehl with a mission to enhance the lives of Vermonters. The Foundation is dedicated to helping those in need, honoring the legacy of the generosity of the Hoehl family over time. The Board is committed to their mission to enhance the lives of Vermonters through the support of nonprofits that help meet Vermonters’ basic human needs, education, religious beliefs and health. With Robert’s passing in 2010, the Foundation lives in legacy of his philanthropic spirit, and the family’s continued dedication to helping those most in need. The Hoehls were named the Most Outstanding Vermont Family Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2002.
The Hoehl Family Foundation made a $1 million grant to Lund’s 50 Joy Drive Capital Campaign. This leadership gift helped to realize the 20,000 sq. ft. building at 50 Joy Drive. The Hoehl family has been close to Lund for many years and have supported a variety of Lund’s activities. In addition, Martha Hoehl has served as a Lund Trustee.
As well as supporting Lund, the foundation has supported the Stern Center, St. Michael’s College, The Boys and Girls Club, the Burlington Land Trust and numerous other deserving organizations. Alison Calderara, spokeswoman for the Community Health Center of Burlington one of the other local non-profits that the foundation supports, said in a 2010 Burlington Free Press article, “Bob Hoehl not only helped transform the Community Health Center, but also his Burlington community. His warm-heartedness, compassion and generosity set a standard that few can follow.”
We are so grateful and proud to be honoring the Hoehl Family Foundation at the 2014 Heart of the Community Awards for their huge impact on the lives of so many .
For more information about the Hoehl Family Foundation, please click here.
February 7, 2014
It’s hard to get away from heart themed activities, marketing campaigns and decorations at this time of year but at Lund we don’t mind at all. Our Heart of the Community Awards dinner is coming up next week (stay tuned for more information about that) and we are taking as many other chances to use the heart in our logo while it’s seasonally relevant. Not that we don’t have heart the rest of year! We’re really thankful to Creative Habitat in South Burlington for diving head first into Valentine’s season as well with their ‘Have a Heart for Lund’ campaign during the month of February which will collect art supplies, paper, yarn, puzzles, and more for the programs at Lund.
Visitors to the store will be greeted by a beautiful display of rainbow hearts each with something from our wishlist on them. Everyone who takes down a heart and purchases the item will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift certificate. The items purchased will go directly to the children and families at Lund.
It’s not just the Early Education Program that uses art supplies. There have recently been water color and clay classes at New Horizons Educational Program and a group at our residential program where the women made quilt that reflected topics that they were discussing as part of their treatment program – forgiveness, reflection, being present. Women at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility who are connected to Lund through the Kids-A-Part program have regular knitting groups and often do craft projects with their children when they come to visit. All across the programs at Lund there is consistent need for art and crafts supplies.
During a recent visit to Creative Habitat, I overheard a shopper muttering under her breath, “Construction paper, construction paper, where is the construction paper?” As she passed me, I saw that she had a Lund heart in her hand. “It’s right here,” I said to her, pointing to the shelf that we were standing by. “Thank you for having a heart for Lund,” I said. She smiled and said, “It’s the least I can do.” She walked away with a large stack of construction paper.
Can you join in and have a heart for Lund?
If you have any questions or would like to see items from the wishlist, please visit creativehabitatvt.com or call Amy at 448-3617.
January 31, 2014
“One of the Greatest Privileges of My Life” by Sara Byers, Vice President of Lund’s Board of Trustees.
Waking up at 4:55am this morning to meet my board colleagues for our ride to Montpelier, it felt early. The sun was beginning to rise over the mountains as we made our way south along I-89. The frigid temperatures were evident as my toes curled inside my boot for warmth. However, the trip was worthwhile. We were headed to the Vermont State House to represent Lund.
Opening the broad, heavy doors, we experienced the peace and beauty of the State House during the early morning hours. As a former page in the legislature, I was immediately transformed to my days in a green jacket, feeling a pull to the Sergeant at Arms office to receive my daily tasks. However, this time, as a grown up, I headed to the empty coat room to hang my jacket. One of the most wonderful things about our State House is the ability to just walk in. It truly does belong to the people.
Making our way up the stairs and into the cafeteria, there wasn’t a whole lot of activity. Cleaning crews were apparent throughout, and the hustle and bustle of the day’s work was soon to begin. We got to our destination and waited for a few minutes when our Lund staff team arrived. They quickly focused on setting up our display, paperwork outlining our work, pins with our Lund logo. As board members, we stood in awe – it was apparent they were used to this work and very committed to it. A few other Board members joined us, along with more staff and our executive director, Barbara Rachelson, who was doing double duty as a legislator from Burlington. As legislators, lobbyists and administration officials began to filter in, they were welcomed with free coffee, desserts and smiling faces.
The room quickly filled up with people eager for their caffeine infusion. As they engaged in conversation, they were immediately drawn in by our amazing staff. These dedicated people were able to answer any questions directed to them. Their passion and dedication was infectious. They were superstars, dedicating their lives to improving the lives of others. It is no wonder that Lund is able to achieve the outcomes they do with these individuals working at it day in and day out. It got me thinking about my own family. These staff members are one of the reasons two of my young relatives are thriving today. If there was ever a question about their work, I could validate it. With a drug problem and nowhere to go, Lund took in a close relative when she was pregnant. The Lund program was incredibly comprehensive, teaching life skills along with parenting skills, helping her see the light at the end of a long tunnel. Months later, her children were born free of illicit substances and ready to take on the world. Today, they are almost eleven. I can’t imagine our family without their smiles, life and humor. If it wasn’t for Lund taking her in when she needed it, I’m not sure where these beautiful children would be today…..I shudder thinking about it. These compassionate Lund professionals cared enough to make a difference. The individuals who supported Lund with financial help made a difference. The State who supported many of Lund’s programs made a difference.
As I looked at the crowd of legislators around our table, I was overcome by the attention and dedication shown by our elected leaders. These individuals truly cared about Vermont and its people, and were genuinely interested in hearing about Lund’s work. Many legislators were eager to stop by and visit our facilities, others spoke of their personal connection with Lund and some were looking forward to joining us at our Heart of the Community celebration. The people working under the Golden Dome understood the value of Lund’s work and its place in our greater community.
As the Board Vice President, I was incredibly humbled this morning; humbled to be surrounded by so many people doing amazing work; humbled by our Lund team and their passion for improving the lives of families; humbled to be able to give back to an organization that had given me so much; humbled for the opportunity to represent this almost 125 year old institution. When the legislative day was called to order, the Speaker recognized Barbara Rachelson, who in turn welcomed the Lund team to the House Chamber. As I stood to be recognized, the applause was overwhelming. I was honored, filled with pride and emotion. The opportunity to work with Lund’s incredible board and talented staff in this wonderful state is one of the greatest privileges of my life.
January 28, 2014
Staff and board members from Lund hosted a coffee hour at the Statehouse on Tuesday morning to raise awareness amongst legislators about Lund’s integrated, family-centered programming for pregnant and parenting women and the impact it has statewide. Lund provides treatment, education, family support and adoption services to over 4,250 people from 1,500 families statewide annually. With a mission to help children and families thrive, Lund helps break the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse through enduring and nationally acclaimed public-private partnerships.
Later Tuesday morning, Kim Coe, Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the House Committee on Human Services on the topic “Opiate Addiction Treatment Programs”. Here she described Lund’s treatment program as well as stressing the need for integrated, family-centered services for pregnant and parenting women struggling with substance abuse disorders. “Addiction is a disease that profoundly affects the entire family system; it cannot be treated effectively without using a family-centered approach. Lund recognizes the critical importance of concurrently treating women for substance abuse while also developing employment and life skills, providing parenting supports and access to educational services. Lund individualizes treatment in response to the needs of the individual as well as the family,” says Coe.
Lund is on the only residential treatment center in Vermont where a woman can receive treatment without separation from her young children, which can be a prohibitive concern for many women as they seek help for substance abuse disorders.
Also on Tuesday, Courtney Farrell, Assistant Director of Residential and Community Treatment Services at Lund testified to the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare on Lund’s substance abuse treatment programming. The committee will also hear from a young mother currently engaged in treatment at Lund to gain a first hand insight. Both committees were interested in hearing what might be missing from treatment programs currently offered in the state so that focus can be put into comprehensive solutions. Farrell, Coe and other experienced clinicians and counselors at Lund applaud the Governor’s initiatives as laid out in his recent State of the State Address, “We are very pleased that the Governor is committing dollars to address this public health issue, and while increased resources are critical, the thoughtful and intentional implementation of services will be as important to ensure the investment pays off,” says Coe.
Lund believes it is crucial to build on the strength of the current system while also investing in the following key areas.
• Ensure a multigenerational treatment approach in breaking cycles of addiction and poverty.
• Provide effective outreach and early intervention. An effective screening and assessment process requires strong collaboration and a holistic perspective. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to assessments that will meet the needs of all people.
• Implement continuing care plans that recognize treatment for addiction must be flexible and responsive to the nature of the disease, which is chronic and relapses should be expected and planned for.
• Address systematic barriers to treatment. Ensure that families are not caught in the middle of conflicting mandates and demands from State Agencies and community providers.
• Offer seamless transition of services for families throughout the continuum of care.
The most vulnerable victims of increased opiate use in the state are children. Children impacted by parental substance abuse are more likely to experience maltreatment and lack the essential care necessary for their well-being. Families affected by parental substance abuse need early identification and timely access to effective treatment to optimize recovery and avoid family disruption.The Governor’s focus on this pervasive problem is a practical and timely call to action to help Vermont families combat opiate addiction.
December 31, 2013
The end of one year and beginning of another is, in a very basic way, nothing more than the turning of the hands of the clock representing another episode of the perpetual cycle of the sun rising and setting. But this particular episode is heavily weighted. It is a sunrise that heralds an important new start or a time to begin again with new resolve.
But before the new beginning there is the natural time of introspection and looking back at the accomplishments of the past year. Lund’s Annual Report recounts these accomplishments in statistics and the stories of four of our families. Only four stories because we cannot tell all the stories of the 4,839 individuals that we worked with last year. But please know that every number represents a woman, child or family whose lives were positively impacted by the work of this organization. You can read the Annual Report here.
Many of these 4,839 individuals are mothers in our programs who are resolved every day to be the best they can be for their children. Mothers who are battling substance abuse disorders or mental health issues or coming to terms with their own traumatic pasts. They are brave, determined and resilient. It doesn’t matter that this is the last day of the year or the first day of a new year or any other day in between. They struggle every day with challenges and obstacles that they need to meet with resolve and sometimes yet another new beginning.
As you celebrate New Year’s Eve please remember the women, children and families at Lund who take stock of their past and make new resolutions every day. Their achievements in the past year are monumental. Women change their lives with Lund’s help.
Hope. Opportunity. Family.
To all our friends, partners, and supporters – Happy New Year.
December 17, 2013
It was a swell time, a jingle bell time, in the halls of 50 Joy Drive as staff members came to “shop” for the families that they work with from the huge amount of wonderful donations from our friends in the community. I had lofty ambitions to count all the donations so that I could tell you how many diapers, bottles of shampoo, towels, hats, snowsuits, toys, books, puzzles, pajamas and more that we received but it soon became clear as the drop off days continued that this would be a mammoth task. I couldn’t do it. There were just too many things. It was inspiring to see the community stepping up to help our children and families at this time of year.
It’s cold outside, very cold, 13 degrees today. It’s not the kind of weather that you can bring your children out in without warm coats, hats, gloves, socks and boots. Thanks to the generosity of the community we have enough resources to make sure that every child who need winter clothes will have them. Other basic needs will be met too with the numerous boxes of diapers and wipes, toothbrushes, clothes, shampoo, sheets, sippy cups and other essential items that we received. But it’s not just about the basics of course, there were toys – legos, baby dolls, shopping carts with food, books, trucks, arts and crafts supplies, stuffed animals, playdoh, puzzles and more – for children who would not receive gifts without the help of this program. Once the basic needs were covered the staff members had the fun task of picking out toys and gifts that they know will bring joy to the women and children that they work with.
“I have one of my mothers on the phone,” said one of Lund’s community based counselors as she shopped. “She’s crying she’s so happy.”
From everyone at Lund and on behalf of our women, children and families, we send out a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to the holiday giving program this year. There are too many individuals to name but we are thankful to every single one of you. I am hoping not to have missed any community groups or businesses from the list below but if I did, please know that we are so very grateful to you too, of course. So our thanks go out to:
NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, All Saints Episcopal Church, Kelliher Samets Volks, Windows and Doors by Brownell, St John Vianney Church, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Acadia Insurance, Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, Human Capital and Training, Fletcher Allen OSC Rehabilitation Therapies, Hand in Hand, Hampton Direct, Vermont Systems Inc, Downs Rachlin and Martin, Alpha Kappa Delta, Charlotte Congregational Church, Vermont Children’s Hospital, Harbor Industries, Gap, Keller William Realty, Tetra Tech, Fairpoint Communications, UVM Registrar’s Office, GE Healthcare, Gardener’s Supply, Gravel and Shea, PC Construction, State of Vermont Department of Health Lab, Green Mountain Coffee, Discovery Preschool, and Kids and Fitness Preschool.
If you missed the holiday giving program but would still like to donate to Lund, please follow this link. DONATE NOW.
Thank you and Happy Holidays to all our generous friends!