The Great Pie Debate.

It’s not really a debate. It’s more of a “can we really do this again” kind of discussion. We’re a tiny crew here, and to pull off an event like the pie auction is a massive amount of work. As you might guess, there are many, many layers and details involved in making it happen. We rely on volunteers, both inside and outside of our Neighbor to Neighbor family to put in the hard work and time commitment needed. Are you an events maven? Is it your life’s mission to help a wonderful nonprofit in rural Southern Vermont create a memorable and–let’s point out the elephant in the room–money-making event? Do you love a good spreadsheet and a clipboard? If so, WE WANT YOU.

Seriously. I know that people really enjoyed our event last year. People are still coming up to me in the grocery store and bookstore with a smile and a “I can’t wait until the next pie auction!” look in their eyes. We are trying to decide what the plan is and if we can do it again and remain sane. We need to make a decision soon because the work starts in March for our event in October.

If you can commit to helping us in October, please leave a comment here or use the Contact Us tab. We love our community. We love our care recipients. That is where our true work lies…but we also LOVE PIE. Check back to see what we decide, and as always, thank you for supporting Neighbor to Neighbor.    rg

New Year, New Work

You may have heard Govenor Phil Scott’s address about the state of the state recently. He mentioned that Vermont has 30,000 more residents over the age of 65 than it did in 2000. That’s a lot of folks, given that only 600,000 people live in our state. And in Bennington County, where we work, the population of residents over age 65 is nearly 30%.

As those of us in the Baby Boomer generation continue to age and retire, that number will only increase. We know that young people are moving OUT of the state, not into it. Less than 1,000 people moved to Vermont in 2019. Those are the numbers, and they are not encouraging.

I’m happy to report that along with the growing number of elderly residents in the Northshire, the number of volunteers working for Neighbor to Neighbor is also increasing. That is a trend we hope to see continue. People have walked into the office and volunteered to volunteer on the spot. I attribute that to our efforts in the past two years to get our name and our work out into the community as much as possible. One function of the pie auction–besides raising money and eating a lot of pie!–is public awareness. We are the pie auction people, and while that sounds cute, it gets people talking about us, and that’s what we want.

The more people who know about Neighbor to Neighbor, the better. In your daily intereactions, you may come across people who could either use our help or who might be able to help as volunteers. Please continue to spread the word. You are the best advertising we could ask for.

A Time of Change.

Last night’s crazy windstorm blew down the rest of the leaves, and as I drove to work this morning, darting around small fallen branches and through “hojarascas” (“leaf storms” in Spanish), I realized we are in the transition place between the bounty of summer and fall and the quiet world of winter.

My ideal winter day goes something like this: I sit in my toasty house with my dog, Red. We make a fire and settle down on the couch to nap and read and write (actually, Red can’t do either of those things, but he makes a champion feet-warmer). I may be alone, but I don’t feel lonely…and not just because I have a dog. I know I have friends in town and an office to go to on Monday morning. I have connections to the community.

For many of our care recipients, they are alone in their homes and lonely. The ties they have are broken because they can no longer drive or walk to town to buy groceries or chat with a merchant. Their companion may be a TV or a radio rather than a loved one or family member. This is where Neighbor to Neighbor comes in.

We are a tiny, local nonprofit. We are not affiliated with any government organzation or private agency. We are responsible for finding our own sources of funding via grant writing, fundraising events, corporate donations, and, primarily, through individual donations. Please consider making a gift to Neighbor to Neighbor. Your gift allows us to further our mission of helping Northshire elder neighbors. If you have time to give, please contact the office and find out how you can become a valued member of the Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer crew.

We need you, and we thank you.

Blessings, Robin

Thanks a Million!

Our second annual Pie Auction was a great success! I believe people had a good time, and I know that they came out to support Neighbor to Neighbor. We had delicious food provided by local businesses and farms, wonderful sponsors, and pie lovers galore!

We are always looking for ways to finance this tiny nonprofit. We are not affiliated with any other entity, governmental or private. There is just one Neighbor to Neighbor, and we are responsible for finding ways to keep this operation afloat.

My sincere thanks to everyone who continues to support the important work we do. Muchisimas Gracias!

Tickets Now on Sale!

Tickets for the pie auction are now on sale. You can call the office at (802)367-7787 or use the Contact Us tab on the menu above to reserve your tickets. AND…if you are baking a pie for us, you get a special discount price of $10.00 for your ticket.

Help us celebrate 15 years of helping our elder neighbors remain independent and have some fun and good food in the process. We are happy to be serving locally-sourced food this year, and we will enjoy the Dorset BBQers barbershop quartet!

Come out and support Neighbor to Neighbor and enjoy a lovely autumn afternoon with us.

All Things Pie.

We’re in the thick of it. Pie bakers are signing up (if you haven’t yet, please do!), we’re scouting for sponsors, and we will soon be selling tickets to the event. Tickets are $15.00 like last year. We will be serving locally-sourced refreshments, have live music, and of course will have a silent auction.

As you may imagine, it’s a lot of work to put on an event like this. If you live in or near Manchester and would like to help us on the day of the event, please let me know. We can use all the help we can get, and it’s a great way to meet Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers, steering committee members, and me.

We want a full house of people to help us celebrate our 15th anniversary of helping our elder neighbors remain independent. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and who doesn’t love pie?

See you at the auction!

Hey, Pie Bakers!

It’s that time of year again. Last year, we had over 110 pies for our auction. Isn’t that amazing? As you know, we are doing the pie auction again this year, this time in October. We are currently soliciting pie bakers. Here’s how it works: You let us know that you will bake a pie–or two–for us, either by using the Contact Us tab above, or by calling me at the office: 367-7787. I will add your name and contact information to our list.

That’s all you need to do for now. We will contact you and give you more details in the next month or so. We prefer bakers to use glass or ceramic pie plates (they look so much yummier that way and fetch more money). If you don’t have one that you are willing to part with (and I know people get very attached to their favorite pie plates), we have a bunch in the office and are happy to supply you with one.

We will have a designated pie drop-off location and time for Saturday, October 5th, the day before the auction, and we will let you know where that is as soon as we figure it out with BBA.

Please share this information with any friends and family you know. You didn’t hear this from me, but I could see a friendly rivalry or two crop up between you to see whose pie makes the most money for us! It’s all in good fun and for a great cause.

Questions? Just give me ring or email me and I will do my best to get back to you ASAP.

Thank you, Friends! <3


We are always looking for new volunteers to join the Neighbor to Neighbor family. If you have a few hours a week or a few hours a month, we’d love to meet you. You’d be surprised at how little effort it takes to make a big improvement in the lives of our care recipients.

We’re having a volunteer open house on Friday, June 7th. Drop by the Neighbor to Neighbor office at 5138 Main Street from 11:00 to 1:00 and meet me and members of the steering committee. It’s informal and an opportunity for you to ask questions about what makes our organization tick and how you might help us.

In addition to working directly with care recipients, we need help with our big fundraising event, the pie auction. Are you an expert organizer? Would you like to be there when bakers deliver their pies with big smiles on their faces? How about helping us to decorate? Volunteers at the auction are guaranteed to have fun, meet new people, and help us to raise funds to keep Neighbor to Neighbor going strong.

Questions? Call me at the office: 367-7787 or click on the Contact Us menu and write me a note. Thanks in advance.

Flower Power!

The excitement never ends! We are having a spring fundraiser. We set a goal for $2,000 to help us finance our monthly care recipient social events. We hold an event on the third Thursday of each month for our beloved care recipients. Steering committee members Martha Thompson and Kathy Malley create these much-loved events. Martha and Kathy cook a delicious warm meal and then provide some form of entertainment. In the past few months we’ve had musical bingo, a visit from the Arlington High School chorus, a song-and-dance movie clip showing, a bus trip to Weston, and so on.

Our care recipients love these events. It’s a chance for them to get out of the house, have a yummy meal, have some fun, and perhaps most importantly, socialize with other people in our community. And while we love putting these events on, they cost money to produce. And that’s where our fundraiser comes in. You will see the link on the home page to Flower Power. It’s really simple to order flowers and plants on the site. Neighbor to Neighbor gets 50% of the money, and you and your loved ones and friends get awesome plants and flowers for spring. There are even white strawberry plants on there. Who knew?

We hope you will help us entertain and feed our care recipients. They deserve so much.

Winter Work.

We are nearing the end of our annual campaign. The ongoing support of individual donors, foundations, and corporations is amazing. I am so heartened to know that our community supports us in lots of different ways, and financial support is crucial. We operate on a very small budget each year, and the largest part of our income comes from individual donors, i.e., people writing checks. This year, amounts have varied from $15.00 to $500.00 and everything in between.

There’s nothing better than opening up our post office box and finding a pile of small donation envelopes waiting! While the emphasis of Neighbor to Neighbor is obviously on the people we help, the financial bit is a detail we can’t not pay attention to (bad grammar). If you have made a donation, my sincere thanks. If you would like to make a donation, just click on the Donate tab.

Looking Forward.

We wrote two successful grants in 2018. We’re two for two! Grant writing is something I am new to, so I’m pretty proud that we’ve been successful. All of that graduate work in English is paying off! We will look for other grant opportunities throughout the year and work to increase our income.

Monthly Events. Kathy Malley and Martha Thompson, two of our steering committee members, are the monthly event mavens. They are awesome at coming up with clever ways to entertain our care recipients, and if you know Martha, you probably know that she is a wonderful cook. Martha and Kathy work hard to feed and entertain our care recipients and volunteers. If you would like to attend one of our events, they are almost always on the third Thursday of each month. Give me a call at the office, and I will add you to the RSVP list. It’s important to let me know if you’re coming so we can plan accordingly for lunch.

Fundraising. We have some ideas in the works for fundraising events in 2019. Visit the webpage to see updates. One thing that is challenging here in rural Vermont is finding a venue that is large enough to hold an event. Parking is also a major issue. If you have or know of a venue that will host 100+ people (and their cars), don’t be shy! Please let us know.

Thanks for tuning in. I hope to post more frequently this year. As always, thank you for making Neighbor to Neighbor a success. The work we do is good and important, and we plan to continue doing it far into the future.