The COVID-19 pandemic took us all by surprise. When the public health crisis hit in early March 2020, community leaders stepped up throughout Vermont to build local response and mutual aid groups to address local needs. In that chaotic time these groups needed a backbone organization to provide support, build connections, and foster the sharing of best practices and protocols. VCRD stepped into that role.

We worked in close partnership with the NEK Collaborative, Community Workshop and many other groups to craft a Mutual Aid Toolkit with guidance, protocols and resources for local teams, and convened weekly calls for folks across the state to share challenges and best practices, learn health protocols, and connect with statewide resource providers to answer technical assistance or funding needs.

Governor Scott asked VCRD to lead the Covid-19 Local Solutions and Community Action Team (LSCAT) of his Economic Recovery Task Force, a working group charged with leveraging the power of local ingenuity throughout the state and reporting strategies for recovery to the Governor. We built a Vermont Community Recovery website to catalog recovery strategies and tools.

From July to October, as part of the LSCAT, VCRD facilitated a series of strategic County Recovery Visits that brought people together with state, federal, business and non-profit leaders to identify local and regional challenges and best practices, and brainstorm solutions.

The ideas gathered through the Recovery Visits were presented to Governor Scott in the Recovery Visit Final Report.