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Since COVID-19 emerged in our community in mid-March, Groundworks Collaborative has been providing:
  • emergency food to twice as many area households through our Foodworks food shelf program; and
  • support to over three times as many people experiencing homelessness between Groundworks Shelter and the emergency motel program.  
We greatly appreciate the support of our community and donors during this exceptional time.  Please help us spread the word about our fall events:  
  • The 17th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser; and
  • The GIVE 60 CHALLENGE—an enhanced virtual version of our Hike for the Homeless fundraiser ...
both of which have been made virtual to prevent any risk of COVID-19 transmission.  If you're so inspired, we would love your support and participation!  

We were unable to obtain a permit to gather at the foot of Mount Wantastiquet for the annual Hike for the Homeless fundraiser this year—so, we've created a choose-your-own-challenge virtual fundraising event aimed at raising $20,000 to support our shelter and housing case management programs.  The GIVE 60 CHALLENGE is an opportunity for supporters of all ages and abilities to choose a challenge that is meaningful to you, set a fundraising goal, and ask family and friends to support you 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.  “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 and housing support,” 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 at the tail end of 2020.  The GIVE 60 CHALLENGE is raising funds for Groundworks’ operations—not for the building project, which is nearly fully-funded.)   

REGISTER TODAY!  Choose an activity, set a fundraising goal, and ask your networks to support you with a donation to Groundworks.  The duration of the challenge is up to you—whether completion of your chosen activity takes 60 minutes, 60 days, or anywhere in between.  


Lists of activity ideas continue to grow, with ideas such as:

Give 60 minutes of:

  • Hiking, Walking, Running, or Biking
  • Yoga, Meditation
  • Kayaking, Paddling, etc. 
Work with a team to:
  • Make 60 masks
  • Bake 60 loaves of bread
  • Volunteer for 60 hours at Foodworks!
Commit to 60 days of:  

“The possibilities are endless,” says Josh Davis, Groundworks’ Executive Director.  “Whether you’re athletically inclined and you want to do 60-second planks every day for 60 days or if you want to send 60 postcards to friends or visit 60 Vermont towns to support our local economies and the postal service, there’s something for everyone—and we encourage people to bring their own ideas to the effort.”  


DO YOU LOVE AND MISS THE HIKE?  No problem. This event is for you! 
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.  We’re posting a list of favorite local hiking trails on the website to inspire those among us who love the Hike.


Visit our GIVE 60 CHALLENGE fundraising site today to register and/or donate!  

Donations can also be made by mail to: 
Groundworks Collaborative
PO Box 370
Brattleboro, VT 05302
(checks should be made payable to Groundworks Collaborative and “Hike” or “Give 60” should be written in the memo line to ensure proper designation of the gift).  

We are grateful for the generosity and flexibility of the sponsors of this year’s Hike for the Homeless and GIVE 60 CHALLENGE: 
Silver Forest, Against the Grain Gourmet, Abatem Exterminating, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Connecticut River Conservancy, Trust Company of Vermont, Brattleboro Tire, Farnum Insulators, Costello Valente & Gentry, Goodenough Rubbish Removal, and Richmond Auto Repair.



17th annual

a virtual approach to our annual
fundraiser for

Many thanks to all of the amazing potters making and donating their beautifully handcrafted bowls!  These are just a few of the many bowls donated by potters at Brattleboro Clayworks.
These beautiful bowls from Naomi Lindenfeld—Colored Clay, are ready to be fired in the kiln!
Buy one or more bowls online to be picked up curbside or pick out the bowl of your choice in one of 9 local storefronts!
CLICK HERE on Saturday, October 10th at 6pm to JOIN US FOR THE LIVESTREAM BROADCAST! Or watch it live on BCTV Channel 8 & 1075

In a “normal” year, the Empty Bowls Dinner raises anywhere from $25,000 to $30,000 to support Foodworks—the food shelf program of Groundworks Collaborative. The need is even greater this year as Foodworks is feeding twice as many families and individuals as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

Social distancing requirements and an abundance of caution have led us to redesign this critical fundraiser for 2020 as follows:

Bowl Sales
Handcrafted bowls made by local potters are being sold online HERE and in local business storefronts—including the Brattleboro Food Co-Op, Zephyr Designs, the Kitchen Sync, Everyone’s Books, The Shoe Tree, Putney Food Co-Op, and the Putney General Store!

Online purchases will be picked up contact-free at one of three curbside pick up sites in Brattleboro and Putney on Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th. Bowls will be sold for $25 each or as a 12-bowl Party Pack with soup recipes for $250 (a 6-bowl "mini-Party Pack" is also now available for $125)—allowing you to “Host Your Own Empty Bowls” with a small group of family and friends.

Curbside Bowl Pick-Up
12-bowl Party Packs will be delivered for free anywhere within a 30-minute drive of Brattleboro.

Bowls purchased HERE online will be available to pick up at one of three locations:

  • Saturday, October 3rd, 9am-noon at The Memorial Park Skating Rink Lot, 61 Guilford Street, Brattleboro
  • Saturday, October 3rd, 1-4pm at River Valley Credit Union, 820 Putney Road, Brattleboro
  • Sunday, October 4th, 1-4pm at River Valley Credit Union, 52 Main Street, Putney

Livestream Broadcast Event
In lieu of an in-person gathering—on Saturday, October 10th at 6pm—Groundworks will host a livestream broadcast on YouTube and BCTV Channel 8 & 1075 featuring staff, volunteers and Board members, as well as music and the latest updates on Foodworks’ impact in the community.  Click here for the livestream on Saturday, October 10th at 6pm or visit ahead of time to submit your questions to be answered during the broadcast!

More information is available on both the “Groundworks Collaborative” and “Empty Bowls – Southern Vermont” Facebook pages.

For more information, please contact the Empty Bowls Committee at:

A number of sponsors have graciously and generously supported Empty Bowls this year despite a challenging economic landscape, including: 
Silver Forest of Vermont, Trust Company of Vermont, Brattleboro Food Co-op, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Ceres Natural Remedies, King Arthur Baking Company, Southern Vermont Wellness, Rod’s Towing & Repairs, Savings Bank of Walpole, Dead River Company, Farnum Insulators, Abbiatti Monuments, A.L. Tyler & Sons, Howard Printing, Sidehill Farm, West River Marina, Downey Pieciak Fitzgerald & Company, Burrows Specialized Sports, Costello Valente & Gentry, and Richmond Auto.

Many thanks to Akhil Srivastava, Groundworks Shelter Advocate and Owner of Lifestream Films for helping us to create this video

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world." - Anne Frank
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Groundworks Collaborative · PO Box 370 · Brattleboro, VT 05302 · USA

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