NPO Collaborations: Vermont Family Network

The article below was in the October 20th, 2010 edition of the Burlington Free Press and was written by Lynn Monthy. It highlights an example of efficient and and successful merger of two nonprofits, Parent to Parent Vermont and the Vermont Parent Information Center. The two organizations have now merged to become the Vermont Family Network, www.vermontfamilynetwork.org

Vermont Family Network Communications Director Jeff Morton and President June Heston greeted clients, staff and supporters at an open house at 600 Blair Park Road celebrating their nonprofit’s new logo and website Sept. 30. It was also a celebration of a merger that took place two years ago.

“We wanted to bring everyone together who was involved in making this merger happen and to celebrate our move forward,” Heston said.

Since 2008, Vermont Family Network has helped the community find better health, education and well-being for all children and families with a focus on children and young adults with special needs.

Nancy Divenere founded Parent to Parent Vermont in 1985. It started as a support group in Chittenden County, and when Divenere found funding, she developed the nonprofit and served as director helping families across the state.

“Both Parent to Parent Vermont and Vermont Parent Information Center became independent nonprofit organizations at that time. I worked alongside Connie Curtin who founded VPI. Her focus was on education support for families, and ours was to support families around health issues,” Divenere said.

The two organizations operated separately, yet together, for many years. It was the wisdom of both boards to merge the two, Divenere said. “It’s about doing our jobs better. We served common families. It’s about families supporting other families — that’s really the core of it.

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