Rally for Change

Anytime you check-out at City Market, you can choose to "round up" your total to the nearest dollar. Each month, that spare change is donated to three great non-profits that align with the Co-op's mission. 

50% Partner (every month):

Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf


December's 40% Partner:

Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS)

The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) has been a lifeline for vulnerable Vermonters for more than 30 years. They have kept hundreds of homeless families with children and individuals from the streets – through shelter and homelessness prevention. COTS is a private Vermont nonprofit, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

At COTS, their mission is twofold: to meet the urgent needs of people who are homeless and to end to homelessness entirely.

COTS has been recognized nationally for their innovative prevention initiatives and housing programs. As the largest service provider in Vermont for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, they served about 2,600 people (including about 850 children) through shelter, outreach, prevention services, and transitional and permanent housing this past year.

The COTS Housing Resource Center is a homelessness prevention program that helps households in financial crisis avert homelessness or move more quickly into housing. Last year, COTS helped 427 households, including 413 children, with prevention or rehousing outreach and support.

COTS also operates two family shelters, an overnight shelter and a daytime center for single adults, and four facilities providing permanent and transitional housing. COTS’ family shelters provide special programming for children, including “book buddies,” tutoring, healthy snacks and meals, and other educational enrichment.

Learn more at www.cotsonline.org or by calling (802) 864-7402.


December's 10% Partner:

Burlington Dismas House

Their Impact:  Dismas of Vermont is a small nonprofit organization that has been providing transitional housing for men and women leaving Vermont prisons for 30 years. Over 1,500 people seeking second chances have lived at our Dismas houses in Burlington, Winooski, Rutland and Hartford.

The Need:  A simple, supportive, family-like place from which people can seek employment, rebuild confidence and begin making a positive contribution to the community. Many people remain in prison far longer than is necessary because there is no place for them to go after incarceration. The cost to Vermont taxpayers to support a person while incarcerated is almost three times the cost than to house that person in a Dismas residential program: $60,000 vs. $19,000.

The Program: Each Dismas house offers small, family-style homes for up to ten formerly incarcerated men and women. Most residents have struggled in their lives with poverty and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Prisoners who agree to be part of a cooperative housing arrangement and to reconcile with their communities are selected to participate in Dismas. Local Probation and Parole departments monitor them during their residencies. College students, international volunteers and other community members also live at the houses, sharing their daily lives with transitioning prisoners. Volunteers from local organizations, faith groups, businesses and colleges cook the evening meal and share conversation about their lives with our residents every weekday. This is reconciliation in action.  Dismas is a safer, more supportive and economical way to restore prisoners to productive lives.


About Rally for Change

In October 2014, City Market updated its program for collecting donations at the register! Previously, we selected a different non-profit each month and donated 5 cents for each bag our customers reused (our "Change for Local Non-Profits" program). Every register also included tear off coupons so customers could donate to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. In addition, each year in February we sold $1 Hearts for the Intervale Center and in September $1 Lunch Trays for Hunger Free Vermont, with all donations going to each respective organization. We've consolidated all of these programs into our new "Rally for Change" program which allows customers to "round up" their order at each register, each time they check-out at the Co-op.

In the name of education, opportunity, and streamlining how we do things here at the Co-op, we created a Rally for Change program! This program allows customers to “round up” their payment at the register (e.g., a $25.42 checkout could be rounded up to $26 for a $0.58 donation). The Co-op will then donate this “round up” change to a variety of local non-profits each month (so, not just one!) that are doing amazing work in our community. Want to round up to the nearest five or ten dollars? You can do that too! Each month, we’ll share who will be receiving the donations (in our newsletter, with store signage and through staff education).

With more than 4,000 transactions each day through our registers, we all have the opportunity to share what we think of as “small change” to rally for bigger community-wide change. This new Rally program will take the place of the “tear off” coupons we have at the registers and will also take the place of our Change for Local Non-Profits (or bag refunds) program.

Not to worry, a large percentage of each month’s donation will go to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and we anticipate that this program will actually increase their donations. Through this new program, we will also continue to offer donations to local non-profits that are on the waiting list for our previous "Change for Local Non-Profits" bag refund program (and any new ones that we add to the list!). Here’s how the donation percentages will work out each month:

  • 50% to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, every month

  • 40% to an organization that aligns with the Co-op’s Global Ends

  • 10% to a local non-profit that may not directly align so closely with our Global Ends, but still works to make our community a better place (much like the Change for Local Non-Profits Program)

This new program gives our cashiers and staff an opportunity to engage with our customers and together we’ll both support and learn more about the organizations that make our community a better place to live. We’re excited to give it a try and are interested to hear what you think!

Past Recipients

Do you run a local non-profit that aligns with our Global Ends?

Your organization can apply to become a Rally for Change 10% Partner. We are currently filling slots 2 years out (it's a popular program and our community has many amazing non-profits!). Visit our donations page to learn how to apply.