winwinner Wednesday: The King Street Center

The King Street Center is a nonprofit community organization in Burlington, VT that provides children and families with programs that build academic skills, physical fitness, and other skills necessary for a healthy and productive future.

The idea: To provide support for children and their families through educational and recreational programs. The center engages with families and the community to promote personal and social wellness. Their programs provide fun and enriching activities year round for children, teens and adults.

How it started: In 1971, a few dedicated parents and a group of volunteers from the University of Vermont started the program out of a van parked next to a laundromat and a budget of only $90. Much has changed since then, but the area remains a working class neighborhood with a high concentration of subsidized housing units and immigrant and refugee families. Today, the King Street Center serves over 500 children and families each year, offering an accredited preschool; after-school programs for K-5, middle and high school students; evening drop-in programs for teens; mentoring programs, and English language instruction (in partnership with Vermont Adult Learning).

The winwin: Children and teens receive the kind of academic and recreational programs they need to develop into healthy adults. Families are supported and actively engaged in the community. And volunteers get to have fun with kids and feel good about making a difference in the community.

How they used winwin apps: This year’s Burlington Clothes Exchange (which we wrote about in an earlier post) is benefitting the King Street Center. But the center itself is also holding a raffle as part of the event and offering some great prizes including a $500 yoga package and a one-year family gym membership. (Go pick up a few tickets now!) The Clothes Exchange and the King Street Center are both using winwin apps to manage this great initiative to raise funds for the center so they can continue doing their great work.

More info: To learn more about the King Street Center or to get involved, visit their website at kingstreetcenter.org. Also check out their blog and  become a fan on Facebook.


About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!

winwinner Wednesday: RU12? Community Center

The RU12? Community Center in Burlington, VT is a powerful force for equal rights in the green mountain state. Its mission is “to celebrate, educate and advocate with and for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Vermonters.”

The idea: Create a place where LGBTQ Vermonters could meet, learn, and organize for greater equality. RU12? has a drop-in resource center, a free community space with a lending library and a cyber center. Its staff members and volunteers train people about LGBTQ cultural competency, Elder issues, violence prevention, health issues, and more. RU12? also provides important programs such as the SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program and peer-led support groups to help with coming out and transgender issues. And RU12? advocates on behalf of the LGBT community in the media and the legislature as well.

How it started: RU12? was founded in 1999 by two students at the University of Vermont who believed that Vermont needed a multi-generational, substance-free, queer space open to people of all ages, races and genders. The organization moved from its first location on the Lake Champlain waterfront to their historic building on Elmwood Street in 2003. RU12? continued to grow, and in 2006, SafeSpace merged with RU12?, as did Equality Vermont. RU12? is now the largest LGBTQ organization in Vermont, and works closely with many organizations including Outright Vermont, the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The winwin: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters have a place to go to learn about LGBTQ issues, celebrate their identity, receive help and support, and form a community to affect change. For the rest of the state, RU12? (and its partner organizations) shine a light on LGBTQ issues to encourage a shift toward greater tolerance and equality for all Vermonters.

How they used winwin apps: This year on May 22nd, RU12? will host its 11th Annual Queer Community Dinner & Auction. With comedian Ian Harvie performing and items up for bid from JazzFest tickets to birdhouses, the event promises to be a fun night for a worthy cause. RU12? is using winwin apps to register attendees and manage the auction.

More info: For more information on RU12 and its offerings or to volunteer, visit www.RU12.org.

About “winwinner” Wednesday: Each week we profile one of the nonprofits using winwin apps to make the world a better place. If you’d like to be featured on our blog, drop us a line!