For some non-profits, the recession really hurt them.
Some still haven't bounced back.
For dozens located in southern Vermont, it could eventually get even worse.
The decision was made far from the Green Mountain State.
On August 27th, Entergy corporate announced Vermont's sole nuclear power plant would close at the end of 2014, despite the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a re-licensing for the plant in March 2011.
"No one expected this," Plant Spokesman Rob Williams said.
With about 600 employees right now, Williams says that number will be "greatly reduced" while work at the facility winds down during decommissioning.
For a region that includes Vernon, Brattleboro, and beyond, there will be a big loss in a different way.
Entergy Vermont Yankee gives about $500,000 in grants and sponsorships every year.
The list of recipients is a long one, about 80 groups, businesses and charities last year alone.
Lucie Fortier knows VY and its employees well.
Fortier runs the Brattleboro Area Drop-in, the state's second largest food shelf. Vermont Yankee employees recently helped re-furbish the food shelf and homeless shelter. But that's not all.
"Basically VY's donation has been a line item in our budget," Fortier said. She says Entergy Vermont Yankee gives them around $30,000 a year.
"I think when we look at our budget in the next few months for 2014, 2015, we are really going to probably say let's look at it without $30,000 dollars," Fortier said.
But Rob Williams says the money won't disappear all at once.
"It may not be at the level of this year and last year but certainly we're going to continue to be here in Vernon and continue to support organizations," Williams said.
Vermont Yankee has also made upgrades to the Harris Hill Ski Jump in Brattleboro, Vermont's only 90-meter ski jump.
It hosts International Ski Federation sanctioned events.
Brattleboro Senior Meals has also received money. The Executive Director says the amount has decreased over the years, she estimates it was around $750 dollars in 2013.
But about 5 years ago, VY's donation was closer to $1500. Leaders declined to talk to me on camera.
"We realize it's a difficult road ahead," Williams said.
Perhaps the biggest impact of Vermont Yankee's closure will affect the United Way of Windham County.
"Receiving money from Entergy allowed us to do a lot of work in this community," Executive Director Carmen Derby said.
Last year, VY employees contributed close to $80,000 dollars.
"That's a lot of money to make-up," Derby said. This year, she's expecting around $52,000.
But because that gift comes from employee payroll deductions, next year's amount is anyone's guess.
Derby, like Fortier still doesn't have a specific plan in place just yet.
"We do have a reserve fund that we have had in place in case we have had a shift in income for any reason," Derby said.
"We don't have a whole lot of new industry to replace the money we're getting from VY, so yes, everybody is going to be after that same dollar," Fortier said.
She says 100 clients use the food shelf on a given day, and she's already working with bare bones staff.
"I've cut our food shelf from 5 days a week to 3 days a week, if we have to, we'll have to cut food shelf another day," Fortier said.
Fortier says she will file a grant application to Vermont Yankee this year.
"We're going to do our best to make sure that transition is smooth," Williams said.
She also has a grant writer exploring other options; both she and Derby will wait and see, making do with what they can, for now.
"I think Windham Co. has a lot of work to do and I'm hoping that the right people are in place to get that done," Derby said.
For the short term, both the United Way and Brattleboro Area Drop-In will rely even more on their volunteers.
We should re-iterate, Entergy Vermont Yankee says as long as it's doing business in the decommissioning process, the non-profits can expect some support.
For a full list of Entergy Vermont Yankee's 2013 recipients, go to page 2.
Town of Northfield, MA
Strolling of the Heifers
Guilford Volunteer Fire Department
Brattleboro Youth Services
Springfield Family Center (VT)
Vermont Principals Association
By the People Brattleboro Goes Fourth
Brattleboro Senior Meals
Winston L. Prouty Center
Windham County Sherrifs Department
Brattleboro Union High School
Town of Vernon, VT
Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America
Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
Parks Place Community Resource Center
Deerfield Valley Food Pantry
Brattleboro Walk In Clinic
Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH
Girls on the Run of Vermont
Brattleboro Area Drop In Center
Windham County Heat Fund
Home Healthcare Hospice and Community Services
Brattleboro School Endowment
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital
Last Night Brattleboro
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western New Hampshire
Brattleboro Small Fry Baseball
Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro
STEM afterschool programs for Brattleboro Area Middle School
Green Street School
Windham County Humane Society
Employee Volunteer Efforts:
Vernon Elementary School Mentoring Program
VY Charity Golf Tournament
Giving Tree (Christmas) w/Photo
Harris Hill Ski Jump
Project Feed the Thousands - picture
Our Place Drop In Center, Bellows Falls, VT
Bowl for Kid’s Sake
Habitat for Humanity House
Frontier Regional High School Robotics Club
Timberlane Regional High School
Brattleboro Winter Carnival
Harris Hill Ski Jump
Townshend Volunteer Fire Department
Brattleboro Hockey Education Trust
VT Science and Math Fair
Leland and Gray High School
Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary
Brattleboro Town School District
Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing
Franklin Volunteer Fire Department
Greenfield Girls Softball League
Grace Cottage Hospital Auxiliary
Vermont Esteem Network
Friends of Chesterfield School
Susan T. Sciuto Memorial Scholarship Fund
VY Achievement Awards
Academy School, Brattleboro VT
Terril Allen Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund
Brattleboro Development Credit Corp
VY Charitable Golf Tournament
Vernon Annual Picnic
Keene Swamp Bats
Brattleboro Dance Festival
Brattleboro Women’s Invitational Golf Tournament
Make a Wish Foundation of Vermont
Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Gala Sponsor
BMH Touch a Truck, event sponsor
Friends of Music at Guilford
Chesterfield Lions Club
Home for the Holidays Craft Fair, Vernon VT
13 college bound seniors from five high school/three states received $500 toward their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) higher education.
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