BALE Awarded Major Matching Grant Challenge

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“…collaboration is an evolutionary capacity needed for humanity to make its next step… or really to even survive.”

A recent showing of the film, “The Economics of Happiness” at the Commons @ BALE featured filmmaker Steven Gorelick.

“We are grateful.” That’s how Chris Wood, Director of BALE (Building A Local Economy), summarized his appreciation for the Canaday Foundation’s grant support for the community group that works to build awareness and engagement toward long-term resilience in the region. Known by that acronym, BALE, a local organization based in a storefront in South Royalton, was challenged to a $22,500 matching grant for 2016-2017.

“I think what is compelling about BALE,” observes Wood, “and surely is part of why this regional foundation supports us, is that we believe that the health of any community is increased by connecting it to more of itself… and that collaboration is an evolutionary capacity needed for humanity to make its next step… or really to even survive. We have to change our mindset from competition to collaboration, from separation to connection, and fear and hatred to compassion,” says Wood, who helped launch BALE over five years ago. “If you look at the body of our work in the area, we are constantly capturing both the big picture of our present global crisis and building strong community through real grassroots ties… all at the same time.”

BALE, an outgrowth six years ago of the farm-to-school group, Royalton Roots, engages the community through public programs (now running the series “Localize the Economy: Build Resilient Communities”), a lively and dynamic space called the Commons (activities nearly every night of the week), and helping launch practical initiatives that bring concrete solutions to the community (White River Investment Club and White River Community Solar).

Wood says, “Much more than a ‘buy local’ group, BALE connects the dots between climate chaos, economic meltdown and our own personal limitations and suffering. It offers the localization movement as a systemic alternative to corporate globalization, as well as a strategy that brings community and meaning into our lives.”

“Now we need to make good on this generous challenge,” he says. “We hope that those who see the vital impact we are making in the White River Valley will step up with the critical support to keep us going.” Click the donate button on the website For more information, contact Wood at or 802-498-8438.



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