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"Responding to the need that is out there"
Become a Sustaining Contributor TODAY!

In 2020, JUMP will continue to explore community initiative’s which support shared effort and resources to reach out and meet families where they are at.

If you'd like to support the important work that JUMP does for approximately 2200 householdss a year, please consider making a one time or reoccurring tax-deductible donation.

Holiday Winter Appeal "The Poverty Trail"

A Letter from The Director

Dear Friends of JUMP and Community,


Let me tell you a story. Let me share and speak deep from within my heart. I’m often reminded of these lyrics…

“You can't always get what you want/ But if you try sometimes, you might find/ You get what you need.”

-- The Rolling Stones, 1969


If you are fortunate enough “you get what you need” seems like yesterday. At least it does to me, a former recipient of welfare, food stamps, section 8, Medicaid, farmers market coupons and Feeding Chittenden client “formerly named Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf”. And yet, from nearly 30 years ago, the discomfort, shame, anguish, and unpleasant character assumptions have never really left my mind.


And this is where the lives of so many low-income neighbors in Chittenden County are today. They struggle day in and day out to get what they need to feed their families, have transportation to get to work or medical appointments, and to keep the heat on, while remaining one paycheck away from being homeless.


Without question, this life is often not an easy road to travel. There is only the personal need to do more and be more with less, to maintain dignity and survive. There is a need to be present in the lives of loved ones all the while thinking if I can just continue doing more with less as community resources deplete.


Sadly, the unemployed, unhoused, victims of domestic abuse, the formerly incarcerated, those living paycheck to paycheck, those living with physical or mental disabilities, and those living in recovery or suffering with substance abuse, awake and pivot without question toward wanting better or being more. However, their only option at that moment is the need to start all over again to just survive another day.


Years ago, a Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP) client, an elderly man suffering with substance abuse shared that there is name for this ritual which at first, I did not understand as I was emotionally shaken. He went on to explain and I learned that he and many low-income residents refer to the daily ritual as going on the “tramp trail.”  A perilous journey of visiting local community resource locations not for a handout but simply a hand up, to lift them into the next day and the next day to gain access to essentials to survive.


Today, when I think back…I believe I was more personally alarmed as I slowly realized I too, was traveling the “tramp trail.”  Yes, I would exit my home without question trying to get a hand up to be able to do more with less, to be able to feed, clothe, keep warm, educate, and maintain dignity for my 2 adopted daughters, my son, and myself just to survive another day.


Thanks to reliable dependable front-line non-profits like JUMP and others I survived. And although mine was a lonely life journey, I would later learn something else…I was never alone.


Blessed as JUMP’s first full time Director since 2013, I will never forget realizing that trail does exist, or the over 2400 Vermont households JUMP will serve this year that are now not alone. This Holiday Season the Joint Urban Ministry Project is asking you to journey the trail with us by donating TODAY and help JUMP do more with less, one family at a time.


With hope and gratitude,

Wanda Hines; Director, Joint Urban Ministry Project

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Clink here: Client Stories.