COTS November Updates

Upcoming Events

The 2021 COTS Phonathon is Coming Up Soon!

The COTS Phonathon is our oldest and biggest fundraiser. Each year, the week after Thanksgiving, we call past COTS supporters and ask them to consider a gift to COTS again this year. 
Last year, we held our first ever virtual Phonathon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and community, it was our most successful Phonathon to date.
For 2021, we are aiming to raise more than $200,000. Like last year, the Phonathon will be remote to ensure the safety of all of our volunteers. We are extremely excited to kick off the Phonathan November 29 – December 3, and hope you’ll help us spread the word on social media, Front Porch Forum, and to your friends and family! We look forward to you joining us to Answer the Call!
For more information, email Romy Theisen at
Donate Now

Candlelight Vigil

This year, COTS annual candlelight vigil will be taking place Tuesday, December 21. This is the same day as the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and is also National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. The candlelight vigil is held on this day to honor those who have died while homeless, and we hope that you’ll join us in remembering those that were lost in the past year.
Last year, the candlelight vigil was not held in person due to Covid-19, but this year we are taking measures to ensure that the event will be safe to hold in person. The event will take place outside of city hall and candles will be provided, along with hot chocolate.
If you are unable to join us in person, we invite you instead to light a candle on this night and remember those who have faced the crisis of homelessness amid the pandemic.

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

November 15th-22nd (this week!) is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Across the country individuals and organizations such as COTS will work to raise awareness around hunger and homelessness through volunteering, donating and educating the public. There are many ways to participate this week and throughout the month.

There are many ways you can support our shelters and services. We are currently seeking volunteers to make and serve lunch at the Daystation, our daytime shelter for single adults. We especially need volunteers for holiday meals, so click here to sign up.

There are many ways you can donate to COTS. You can donate at any time online, or through the mail. Our Wishlist has the most requested items our clients need. When you order on from our Amazon Smile wish list, items get shipped directly to COTS.
You can also bring new, unused items directly to 95 North Avenue M-F 9-5 to donate. Before you bring any items, please check our website to see what items we accept and email before dropping off.

Read our latest blog post for more information.

Follow us on our Instagramwhere we will be posting ways to donate and volunteer throughout the week, along with educational materials.
Donation Drop-off

How It Works:
1. Make sure we can accept the item.
Check our current wish list, updated frequently. Please note that COTS only accepts new, unopened items. Contact if you are unsure of if we accept this item.
2. Bring your items to COTS.
Go to 95 North Ave, Burlington, VT 05401. Please wear a mask when you enter our building.
3. Complete the donation form.
Our wonderful reception staff will provide you with a donation form. We cannot accept any donations without filling out this form
4. Receive your receipt in the mail.
Thank you for donating to COTS!

We are currently most in need of:
Stick Deodorant
Bath Towels
Bed Sheets (all sizes)
Comforters/down blankets (all sizes)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Waterproof winter gloves

Join us on Facebook!
Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with COTS? Join our COTS volunteer Facebook Group!
COTS Volunteers VT
Gift-giving at COTS during the Holidays

Thank you for making the holidays so special for people, especially children, experiencing homelessness. We appreciate your generosity and people in our shelters are so happy when they receive your gifts.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for people in shelter:
Donate gift cards so parents can buy gifts for their children.
Shop online and have donations shipped directly to COTS.
Schedule a delivery time to drop off donations to COTS.
We only accept new and unused items.
We do not accept plush toys.
Keep gifts purchased to under $50 each.
We try and give each child three gifts, and we have children from babies to teens.

Click Here for more info on donating to COTS during the Holidays.

For any questions, or to organize a drive, email Romy Theisen at
Norwich Hockey Darn Tough Sock Toss Recap

This year’s “Sock Toss” hockey game was held on Saturday, October 30 at the Kreitzburg Arena on Norwich University’s campus. The last sock toss was held in 2019, but last year’s game was cancelled due to COVID-19. This year, however, The sock toss was held and was a huge success!
Before the game, spectators got one of the 1,500 pairs of socks that were donated by Darn Tough Vermont. Once Norwich University scored their first goal, spectators threw the socks onto the rink. Norwich University won against Salve Regina University 3-2.
Check out our Instagram for a video of the Cadets’ first goal and the sock toss!

The socks were collected and donated to participating organizations, including the Veterans’ Place in Northfield, Trinity United Methodist Church in Montpelier, Montpelier Food Pantry, and COTS.
The socks were distributed at COTS’ Daystation Tuesday, November 9 to Daystation guests. The remaining socks will be disbursed to COTS clients at our other shelter locations in the coming weeks to keep the community warm during Vermont’s long winter.

We are so grateful to the Norwich University Cadets and Darn Tough Vermont for holding this event. And thank YOU for donating socks and supporting COTS.
Pumpkin Carving at the Daystation

Daystation guests show off their pumpkin carving skills at a Daystation pumpkin carving contest, held Wednesday, October 27.
COTS Moments
Your support helps people like the Myers, a family staying at COTS family shelter. The Myers have a young child struggling with a mental health crisis. COTS family shelter staff have committed countless hours helping the family find resources and navigate their situation, while staying caring and calm in order to serve the Myers family and connect them to the resources they need.
Are you interested in making a gift to COTS to help us continue to help people like the Myers family? Click the donate button below!
Volunteers for Holiday Meals Needed

Do you like to cook? Would you like to share that talent with our guests at the Daystation, COTS’s daytime shelter for adults? The Daystation is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year and we are constantly in need of volunteers to prepare lunch for our guests!
If you’d like to volunteer, plan on feeding up to 30 people. We request that meals be healthy and well balanced.
Sign up here!
Want to learn more? Contact our Community Outreach and Volunteer Specialist, Romy Theisen at
Shop Local, Support COTS

City Market Tree Sale Proceeds go to COTS!
Getting ready to buy a tree for the holiday season? City Market will be holding their annual tree sale in December, where proceeds go to COTS! Plus, for every tree you buy, the Intervale Center will plant a tree somewhere in Vermont. Visit either of the City Market locations to get a fresh tree and support COTS and the environment!

For the month of November 2021, Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) Daytime Lunch Program will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bag at the Hannaford store located at 217 Dorset St, So. Burlington VT.
Learn more at

Target Circle is a loyalty program where you can earn 1% in Target Circle earnings rewards every time you make an eligible purchase with non-RedCard payment, which can be used at Target, in-store or online. Every time you shop with Target Circle you earn a vote. You can cast votes to help direct where Target gives in your community. Vote for COTS October through December 2021 if you’d like Target to benefit us!
Learn more at
Join our team!
We are hiring! Please visit to view open positions.
To apply, send your résumé and cover letter to and state the position you are applying for.
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