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Blog :: 2008

'Tis the Season to Give

With a failing economy and tons of job losses, this holiday season will be a tight one for all of us. However, it seems that the non-profit business sectors and the people who take advantage of their services, may be the ones who have been hit the worse. Therefore, this holiday season, those of us who still have jobs, homes and presents under our trees, need to think more about the less fortunate in our communities (and maybe less about what size flat screen TV we want to buy for our own family!) Here is a list of social service non-profit organizations in Chittenden County, VT that my husband, Mike Simoneau, and I have donated to in 2008.  They are happy to take donations of any size and sometimes nature, so please visit their websites for information. And if money is too tight for you this year, then volunteering is always a good way to go as well!

Howard Center for Human Services

Lund Family Center

St. John Vianney Parish

Chittenden County Emergency Food Shelf

United Way of Chittenden County

Homeshare Vermont

South Burlington Girls Lacrosse

South Burlington Youth Football

South Burlington Youth Soccer Association

South Burlington High School Parents Association

Greater Burlington Boys and Girls Club

Home Security!

During rough economic times crime tends to increase. We've seen it firsthand even in Vermont, which in the past has been dubbed one of the safest states in the nation. Last week, a few days before Thanksgiving, Citizen's Bank in South Burlington was robbed! And as far as we know...we don't think the culprit has been caught yet. We've also had several home invasions including one in which the residents were home and were threatened with a weapon! Yikes! Pretty scary stuff. Thankfully, these criminals were caught! To ensure your family's safety this holiday season and beyond, here are a few tips:

Keep doors and windows locked at all times - even when you are home and awake.

Be cautious of unexpected visitors. If a stranger knocks on your door, you don't have to open it! You must also beware of scam artists selling fake products/services.

Install motion sensor lights outside of your house to deter potentials burglars.

Let your neighbors know if you go away on vacation and keep and eye out for each others' homes. Also register with! It's a great online tool to get connected to people in your community and keeps everyone posted on neighborhood activities, whether good news or bad.

Now, if your home is on the market for sale, you should also take extra precautions! Here are some tips to keep your home safe during showings and/or open houses:

Keep small valuables either out of plain sight or invest in a safe to keep passports, jewelry, cameras, laptops, iPods, and other valuable personal items locked up.  Remember, potential buyers may be opening drawers and closets while looking at your property.

Keep pathways to and from the house clear. Don't give anyone a place to hide when approaching your home. Trim trees and shrubs that are near entrances to deter criminal activity.

Some potential buyers like to check out homes when no one is home, peeking through windows and trying to open doors. So keep your doors (including the garage door) and windows locked while your home is on the market.

Hopefully these tips will help. If anyone has anything to add - please feel free to comment!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, our company, Hickok & Boardman Realty, decided to go above and beyond and help those in need this holiday season. One Realtor, organized a coat and blanket drive where people donated used coats and blankets for those in need. These donations were sent to COTS - the Commitee on Temporary Shelter, a non-profit organization in Burlington that "provides emergency shelter, services, and housing for people who are without homes or who are marginally housed. COTS advocates for long-term solutions to end homelessness."  The rest of us donated fresh food to COTS so that those in need can have a filling Thanksgiving holiday as well! The Reilly Team donated homemade pies, green bean casserole, and fresh fruit! Hopefully our contribution makes a difference in some peoples' lives this year. During these hard economic times, those of us that have jobs, homes, food and family, need to step in an help those less fortunate! We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!


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