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Community Care Network Welcomes New Director of Emergency Services

Loree Zeif

Community Care Network — Rutland Mental Health Services is excited to welcome Loree Zeif, LICSW as the new Emergency Services Director.

Loree grew up in Lennox, Massachusetts and received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Providence College, going on to earn her Master’s in Social Work from The University of Pennsylvania. Loree brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our agency, having worked in a variety of fields including: elder care, child and family social services, forensic court clinic, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs, and private practice.

Currently, Loree lives on a farm in Vermont where she and her family enjoy the company of various farm animals, including a small flock of sheep, chickens, a barn cat, a horse, an indoor cat, and a German Shepherd puppy. With exciting developments on the horizon for Emergency Services, we are very grateful to have Loree’s leadership in this essential role.

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AnnouncementsEmployeesLatest NewsPress Release

Community Care Network Joins Little Free Pantry Movement

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Rutland, Vermont—Thanks to the hard work of one passionate employee, Community Care Network has joined the Little Free Pantry movement to give back to the community and encourage neighborly support. The organization—one of ten designated mental health agencies in Vermont—has started the process of placing neighborhood pantries at three of its locations in Rutland City. The first pantry was installed at Community Care Network – Rutland Mental Health’s building at 7 Court Square.  The Little Free Pantry movement started in 2016 as a way to address food insecurity in communities. The pantries offer ways for community members and neighbors to give what they can and take what they need, from non-perishable food and household items to toiletries and clothing.

The project began with Carmen Schlieder, a CCN employee who has organized and led the effort from ideation to installation. When Schlieder learned about the movement—which originated in Fayetteville, Arkansas—and was excited about how the project could encourage neighborly action in the Rutland community.

“I knew Rutland needed the pantries and I immediately started thinking about locations,” says Schlieder. “Of course, I wanted to go big to start. But thought it was best to start out small, get the idea moving, and grow it into something bigger once the idea has caught on and that’s what I hope will happen. First spread them across the city and then across Rutland County. We all know there is a need.”

Schlieder’s idea is timely. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Vermonters facing food insecurity or unable to access other basic necessities like toiletries and basic household items. Since the onset of the pandemic, Rutland has seen many non-profits and businesses jump to help community members in need. Little Free Pantries brings the spirit of a helping hand to the neighborhoods of those who seek support, and those who ready to give it.

“Right now, especially during COVID, so many people want to feel a part of the community, but we are so limited in our interactions. The Little Free Pantry is a great way to do something for others in your neighborhood or community while practicing social distancing. And, with food insecurity at an all-time high, what a great way to lend support to community members in need!”

Building and installing the pantries was no small feat. Schlieder and her partner built two pantries themselves, and recruited additional help to build the third. She mobilized other employees at Community Care Network to champion the project, and sought guidance from Community Cupboard about ensuring the quality of pantry goods.

Initial donations for the pantries have come from Community Care Network employees, but the goal is for community members to take ownership of their nearby pantry by donating what they can, encouraging neighbors to do the same, and spreading the word.

How to Use Little Free Pantries:

  1. Locate Rutland’s pantry at 7 Court Square in Rutland, VT
  2. Take only what you need.
  3. Enjoy your items!

How to Donate to Little Free Pantries:

  1. Locate the pantry at 7 Court Square in Rutland, VT.
  2. Check the list of accepted pantry items. Lists are posted on the pantries, and online here .
  3. Place your donations in the pantry, making sure the items fit and the door can be closed securely.
  4. Spread the word! Tell your friends and neighbors about the pantries and encourage them to give!

For more information on the Little Free Pantry movement, visit littlefreepantry.org. To learn more about Community Care Network’s programs and services, visit rmhsccn.org. If you or someone you know is experience distress or in crisis, call Community Care Network’s 24/7 Crisis line at 802-775-1000.


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SVCOA Honors Cinda Donton as Community Partner of the Year

Community Care Network in Rutland, Vermont. Caleb Kenna Photography

Community Care Network congratulates Cinda Donton, of Rutland Mental Health Services, for being named Community Partner of the Year by Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging. Read the full press release below.

“Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging (SVCOA) has named Cinda Donton of Rutland Mental Health Services – Community Care Network, and Doug Jones of Meals on Wheels of Rutland County – TRIO Community Meals, as the agency’s 2020 Community Partners of the Year.

“We’re proud to honor Cinda and Doug for their significant contributions to SVCOA and older Vermonters throughout our region,” said Chris Adams, Development and Communications Director with SVCOA. “Both individuals have been incredible resources in our community for decades, supporting so many through their hard work, compassion and professionalism.”

Donton, who is contracted by SVCOA to serve as its Elder Care Clinician, provides mental health support and counseling to older Vermonters throughout Rutland County. She has served in this role for the past 20 years. 

“In addition to serving countless clients, Cinda spearheaded the creation of substance abuse support for older Vermonters, a model that may be replicated in other areas of the state, and has provided caregiver counseling to numerous caregivers needing support to continue to provide care to their loved ones,” said Dana McMahon, Rutland County Aging Services Director with SVCOA. “Cinda has also been an asset to SVCOA staff and other community partners in providing training and sharing her vast knowledge.”

Jones, General Manager of the Rutland TRIO Community Meals team that is contracted by SVCOA to support its Meals on Wheels program, has served in his role for 34 years.

“Doug’s dedication, hard work and countless hours served have kept Meals on Wheels running strong despite all the challenges being thrown at us on a daily basis during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Courtney Anderson, Nutrition Director with SVCOA. “Doug’s forward thinking has enabled the production of an additional 1,000 meals per day on top of the normal daily production to build up a stock of frozen meals and plan for worst-case scenarios with the pandemic. Doug has not only gone above and beyond for our clients and our community, he has also offered assistance to other meal providers across the state to help them keep up with demand. Doug has shown tremendous leadership over the past 34 years and is a true asset to our organization.”

About SVCOA

Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging exists to be a community force in creating and sustaining opportunities for elders and caregivers in our region to help assure that elders are able to maintain maximum independence and quality of life. For more information about SVCOA, visit www.svcoa.org(link is external).”

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AnnouncementsEmployees

Community Care Network Summer Picnic

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The Community Care Network held its summer picnic at the Hathaway Farm in Rutland on July 25.  A fun time was held by all.  The 1881 barn was fantastic along with an array of farm animals that kids of all ages enjoyed.  There were wagon rides and a 12 acre corn maze and games, music from our own Charlie Woods and enthuastic singers.  The food was fantastic and after the wagon ride, marshmallows were roasted by the campfire.  The rain held off and the view up in the hills was fantastic.  Thanks to all who attended and to the picnic organizers.

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