COTS celebrates a quarter-century of giving thanks to City Market

A row of balsam firs stands beside a yellow-painted fire lane. In the background, the top of City Market's South End store is visible. To the right, people unload trees from a Mack truck.

Our 2022 COTS Tree Sale marks an important milestone - we’re celebrating 25 years of supporting the Committee on Temporary Shelter and its mission to end homelessness. In this guest blog post, Rebekah Mott, the Director of Development & Communications at COTS, shares how City Market's COTS Tree Sale has supported COTS' mission over the past quarter century. Hear more from Rebekah on Instagram.


Light up a City Market tree this year and help light up the season for those experiencing homelessness

COTS celebrates a quarter-century of giving thanks to City Market
COTS has been the grateful beneficiary of the annual City Market Tree Sale for 25 years. Donations made to COTS from the tree sale help us get closer to fulfilling our mission. COTS’ mission is to end homelessness. While we address the immediate needs with emergency shelter and services, we advocate for long-term systemic changes that will prevent homelessness entirely.

COTS is the largest service provider in Vermont for those at risk of becoming homeless and those experiencing homelessness. For 40 years, we have supported our neighbors by providing emergency shelter, affordable housing, and homelessness prevention. COTS offers year-round emergency shelter to individuals and families with children, re-housing and homelessness prevention services, and transitional and permanent affordable housing. Our mobile outreach team provides on-site services to households who are experiencing homelessness and staying in area motels.

With each purchase of a $50 tree, you can help us achieve outcomes like these: 

  • This past year, we dispensed financial assistance and rapid rehousing to 238 households, preventing the tremendous expense and trauma of experiencing homelessness in the first place.
  • We provided housing navigation and supportive services to 396 individuals and families, helping them to establish goals and budgets, and connecting them to other resources in the community.
  • Our award-winning Family Supportive Housing program helped 168 people, including 95 children, remain stably housed in the community.
  • We offered a safe, supportive environment for 86 individuals, including 55 children, at our family shelters.
  • We supported 139 individuals at our overnight adult shelter.
  • 268 individuals came to the Daystation, our daytime drop-in shelter, for a healthy meal and access to computers, phones, mailboxes, laundry facilities, and other community resources.
  • We served 475 individuals, including 62 children, through our motel outreach program, helping to secure permanent housing for 56 households.
  • We operated 98 units of permanent, deeply affordable housing, and are well underway to constructing 16 brand new units of permanent housing specifically for families who have experienced homelessness.

If you are looking for more ways to contribute to support COTS, you can donate on our website, or through the mail. You can donate new and unused items at any time for our shelter guests and clients by bringing them directly to COTS or by buying them from our Amazon wish list and shipping them directly to us. Our website also offers several local alternatives for purchasing donation items, so visit for more details. 

We are also accepting holiday gifts for children in shelter. Holiday gifts help make the holidays bright for families experiencing homelessness. Donations of gift cards are especially appreciated because it allows parents of children in shelter to buy gifts that they know their child needs/will love. Visit for details on how to donate holiday gift items. 

If you cannot donate money or items but would still like to contribute, we are currently seeking volunteers to make and serve lunch at the Daystation, our daytime shelter for single adults. You can sign up on our website. For other volunteer opportunities contact

We are deeply grateful to City Market for hosting this amazing fundraiser every year, and to all the folks that come out, buy trees, and donate to COTS. Your support helps fight homelessness, and we couldn’t do it without you.