C.I.D.E.R. History

Incorporated in 1993, Champlain Islanders Developing Essential Resources (C.I.D.E.R.) was developed as a result of a 1988 community needs assessment conducted in the five towns of Grand Isle County.  The needs assessment suggested that the population of elders and persons with disabilities was not (at that time) sufficient to justify development of housing, and that efforts should be directed at providing the resources and assistant that individuals would need in order to remain living independently in their own homes.

Initially, a completely volunteer based program, C.I.D.E.R. provided information and referral, and a variety of personal services such as rides to medical appointments, reassurance calls, and friendly visitors.  In 1994, C.I.D.E.R. contracted with the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging to manage the senior meals program operated out of the South Hero Congregational Church, and in 1998 hired an individual to serve as a part-time cook for the meals program.  At about this same time, funding to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles and transportation for medical appointments, senior meals, and grocery shopping was provided to C.I.D.E.R. through the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

As the number of requests for assistance grew (along with a rapid increase in the number of elders living in “the Islands”) C.I.D.E.R. hired an executive director, a program coordinator, and additional staff  Currently, C.I.D.E.R. employs a full-time executive director and transportation program coordinator, and several other part-time employees including a program coordinator, a meal-site cook, and six van drivers.  C.I.D.E.R. continues to rely heavily upon volunteers, and over 150 different individuals provide assistance in some fashion during an average year.  Transportation continues to be the largest of C.I.D.E.R.’s programs, and the organization was recognized as the 2005 National Rural Community Transportation Program of the Year. C.I.D.E.R. also operates a senior meals program (including home-delivered meals); collects and loans special needs equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs; sponsors an end-of-life education and information program; sponsors strength and balance training, tai chi, and other wellness programs for older adults; publishes a monthly newsletter; and coordinates volunteers building wheelchair ramps and other home accessibility programs.


C.I.D.E.R., Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, human service organization.  C.I.D.E.R.’s mission is to develop and foster resources that enable the people of Grand Isle County (Vermont) to live in their community with dignity.  C.I.D.E.R. accomplishes this by providing direct services and collaborating with other individuals and groups.  C.I.D.E.R. feels a special responsibility to elders and persons with disabilities.

C.I.D.E.R. is a membership organization (for governance) with an average of 500 households joining or renewing membership each year.  Membership allows you to be on the board of directors and also to vote for the slate of officers and the board of directors at the Annual Membership meeting each fall.  Annual Membership dues are $2 per household (though the average gift is $50).