Committed to Philanthropy
In our philanthropic efforts, we partner with organizations that meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Focus on human health
- Act as environmental stewards
- Work to further the accessibility and awareness of organic food, farming and traditional herbal medicine.
- Contribute to community life in the Brattleboro, Vermont area - our hometown.
A global initiative to save endangered plants and healing knowledge
In 2005, New Chapter created Semillas Sagradas (Sacred Seeds) at our Costa Rican partner farm, Finca Luna Nueva. It began as a single sanctuary for medicinal plants that were vulnerable to the loss of habitat, inappropriate harvesting, or climate change. We worked with indigenous communities, a leading Costa Rican ethnobotanist, and passionate student interns to maintain this unique sanctuary.
Our hope was that through the protection of these culturally and scientifically significant plant species, we would promote awareness of critical plant conservation, preserve biodiversity, and reconnect indigenous communities to their healing heritage. Since then, Sacred Seeds has worked with like-minded organizations to carry out this mission, and there are over 30 sanctuary gardens around the world.
Today Sacred Seeds is proud to partner with the Women's Earth Alliance in an exciting project to support women and local agriculture at their roots. The joint project, Seeds of Resilience, supports a women's seed trading collective in Karnataka, India. (Karnataka is also where we source several essential New Chapter ingredients, including Turmeric and Ginger!) The Seeds of Resilience program aims to:
- Train 20 women leaders in cultivating, storing, and managing seed varieties
- Connect those trained leaders with 500 other farmers to share agricultural practices and expand access to diverse, indigenous seeds
- Strengthen confidence and knowledge-sharing for 200 women through trainings, demonstrations, group activities, and story-telling events
Our Local Stewardship
Brattleboro has been home to New Chapter since 1986 when Founders Paul and Barbi Schulick chose it for a progressive flair that matched their fledgling venture. Throughout the years the company has inhabited several locations within the Vermont hills and currently employs over 150 area residents. The Brattleboro area supports a lively, conscious community with vibrant non-profit initiatives in the arts, local governance and community service that speak to a commitment to “Community” in the truest sense of the word. Here we find a level of responsibility, ownership and neighborly ethic that is unique and inspiring. New Chapter delights in contributing yearly to area organizations supporting the sustenance of community life.
Kindle Farm opened its doors as an independent school in 1996. The creation of the school was a response to the need for alternative educational approaches for boys and young men who do not succeed in the traditional classroom structure inherent in the vast majority of public and private educational settings.
The students entering the Kindle Farm Program are individuals who have experienced trauma or disruption in their lives that significantly impairs their ability to participate in the regular public school system. They often have a mix of academic, social, emotional and behavioral disabilities.
The mission of Kindle Farm is to provide a physically and emotionally safe school environment using a combination of diverse activities, and strong supervision and guidance so students can discard old patterns and habits, and discover and practice new ways to communicate, problem-solve, and learn more effectively.
The partnership with Kindle Farm has been extremely fulfilling. Their holistic approach to learning deeply connects with our philosophy of whole healing. Going beyond traditional learning styles, their students are welcomed to learn through experience. Horticulture, forestry, bike maintenance, mechanics, carpentry, and culinary arts fill out a student’s day. Their organic farms provide the space for vegetable and market garden, a greenhouse, and extensive forested land for creating mountain bike trails and studying aspects of plant and animal life. While learning about garden planning, seeding, transplanting, watering, harvesting, and cover cropping, students are also learning about teamwork, problem solving, dependability, goal setting, and cooperation. Students engage fully as community members as they participate in creating meals and snacks for their fellow students, maintain the building and grounds of their campus, repair bicycles that are used by themselves and their fellow students, maintain campus vehicles, and participate in a variety of vocational experiences that build their breadth of knowledge for post-high school life and help them to maintain and support the community they are a part of. www.kindlefarm.org.
New Chapter is also proud to partner with the Vermont Foodbank. This organization works tirelessly around Vermont to ensure people of all ages get enough to eat.
The Vermont Foodbank’s mission is to gather and share quality food and to nurture partnerships so that no one in Vermont will go hungry. We whole-heartedly agree with Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles that “Hunger in our community is unacceptable. Together we can do something about that—when we all work in partnership, we can reach those in need.”
For every dollar donated, the Vermont Foodbank is able to provide 3 meals to Vermonters in need, which happens to be 1 in 4 people. The Vermont Foodbank partners with food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, and after-school programs to serve over 150,000 Vermonters annually. Over nine million pounds of food are distributed across the region each year. The Vermont Foodbank trains unemployed people for culinary careers and works with policy makers on resolving the issues of hunger and poverty.
Learn more about this dedicated organization at www.vermontfoodbank.org.