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Connor Homes donates space to nonprofit organization

MIDDLEBURY Officials of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce helped welcome GVO and Gifts in Kind with a grand opening ceremony at its new office at Connor Homes, on Route 7 South, in Middlebury. Al Dauray, president and CEO of Goodies from Vermonts Oldies (GVO), approached United Way of Addison County and presented a vision of a Vermont-based not-for-profit corporation created to strengthen our communitys existing not-for-profit organizations through cash and product donations, as well as consulting services. GVO and United Way seemed like an excellent match, sharing similar goals of supporting local not-for-profits and increasing community engagement, said Kate McGowan, co-director of United Way of Addison County. McGowan and Dauray put their heads together to determine how a partnership would best serve Addison County. Their efforts resulted in bringing Gifts in Kind, the nations eighth-largest charity, to Addison County. A global leader in new product philanthropy, Gifts in Kind works with thousands of companies, including nearly half of the Fortune 100 consumer, retail and technology corporations to distribute nearly $900 million in new product donations annually to over 150,000 charities in the United States and world-wide. Once the Gifts In Kind membership was solidified, Dauray began the search for a space that would adequately serve GVO/Gifts In Kinds purpose. With day-to-day operations that include receiving, sorting and storage of product donations, simple office space would not suffice. The solution was Connor Homes. Located in the old Standard Register Building in Middlebury, Connor Homes had warehouse and office space that they were happy to donate to GVO. We are very pleased that we are able to help GVO bring the Gifts In Kind program to Addison County, said Chuck Huizenga, facility and risk manager of Connor Homes. It is a terrific program that will serve our community well. Student volunteers from Middlebury College helped the GVO staff to paint and decorate the office. The Middlebury College Civil Engagement office has also pledged volunteers to help staff the operation. For more information about GVO and its work with Gifts In Kind, contact Deb Bird at gvocorp@sovernet.com or call 802-398-2061.

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