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Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg grant applications due May 31

Good used clothing and homegoods transformed into grants that benefit the people of Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg-that's the "miracle" wrought by Shelburne Charlotte Hinesburg Interfaith Projects, the three-town organization that raises funds at its resale shop to make grants to projects that benefit neighbors in those communities.

Applications for the next round of grants for projects from large to small are due by May 31.

In the four years since it began making grants, SCHIP has given more than $150,000 to provide funds for everything from emergency food shelves and nursery school tuition assistance for economically disadvantaged families, funds to pay for food for a summer camp that provides meals and recreational activities for K-8 children who would qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year, a sewing project that makes useful items for the elderly and handicapped, a knitting project that makes shawls and lap robes, and a team building end-of-year activity for a mentoring program. Grants have ranged from a few hundred to several thousand.

The guideline for grants is:

• projects must benefit people or communities of Shelburne, Charlotte and Hinesburg

• grants can only be made to organizations with an IRS-approved 501c3 status, but a group or individual without such IRS status 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.

• application forms are available at the SCHIP's Treasure Resale Shop at 5404 Shelburne Rd., in Shelburne Village, or at the Town Clerk's offices in Shelburne, Charlotte or Hinesburg.

The grant committee that reviews all applications and makes recommendations to the SCHIP board for grants would like to hear from people who want to discuss creative ideas that would 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.

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