As part of their mission, the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation actually engages Ben and Jerry employees in philanthropy to give back to Vermont communities. Every month the Vermont Community Action Team Grant Program (CAT) makes small grants to various local, community-based Vermont non-profit programs.
This summer the Waterbury CAT awarded the Barre Historical Society a grant of $500 for the Rise Up Bakery Project to use in any way we want for the restoration of the Union Cooperative Store bakery building (Rise Up Bakery).
It’s not just about the money
In addition to grant making, the CATs plan community service projects. They recruited a team of volunteers who came to help do some preliminary work on the bakery building and to help out with chores in the Old Labor Hall. Because Ben and Jerry’s is a “B” Corporation, the volunteers get to select a project that they would like to assist and get paid volunteer time for the day.
An energetic crew came from 9:00 to 3:00 and helped to partiially clear the bakery foundation and clean up the inside of the bakery so we can store building supplies inside. They also cleaned up the debris that was in back of the bakery. They were a great crew and their work was much appreciated (even though they forgot the ice cream)!