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Three-town faith group helps close to home

Shelburne Charlotte Hinesburg Interfaith Projects, the three-town organization that raises funds at its resale shop to make grants to projects that benefit their neighbors and communities, is ready to make another round of grants. Applications from nonprofit organizations in the towns for projects from large to small are due by Jan. 30.

Since SCHIP began making grants in 2004, they have used the profits from selling used clothing and homegoods into grants totallying almost $150,000 to provide funds for everything from food shelves and football uniforms to a shower for an elderly person. Grants have ranged from a few hundred to several thousand.

The deadline for the next round of grant applications is Friday, Jan. 30. Grant application forms are available at SCHIP's Treasure Resale Shop, 5404 Shelburne Rd. in Shelburne Village, or at the town clerk offices of Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg.

The guidelines for grants are that projects must benefit people or communities of Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg and grants can only be made to organizations with an IRS-approved 501c3 status, but a group or individual without such IRS approval can apply by establishing a sponsorship or mentoring relationship with a 501c3. For example, all the member faith communities that joined their energies to found the SCHIP organization have that 501c3 status and could help with an application for a grant.

SCHIP would like to hear from people who want to discuss creative ideas that could benefit the people of the towns. A creative idea may just need seed money to become a significant addition to the welfare of the town or area. The grant application for a SCHIP grant is the place to start.

The funds that SCHIP distributes in grants to the communities come from the successful operation of SCHIP's Treasure Resale Shop in Shelburne Village, a shop that accepts donations of gently used clothing and homegoods, and sells them to customers who enjoy discovering great bargains and "treasures."

Volunteers are very important to the operation of SCHIP - as members of the board and as helpers who assist Shop Manager Janet Morrison in the shop. Hours, days and tasks can be customized to suit the availability of volunteers. Call the shop at 985-3595 to talk about volunteering, stop by the shop to pick up a volunteer form, or call SCHIP board member Tricia Coleman at 482-2980 for information.

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