Unemployed in Vermont Can Get a Free Room at the Inn

Rabbit Hill Inn free room for unemployedTwo free nights at a country bed-and-breakfast won't solve your financial problems if you're out of a job, but it will be a short respite from them, as about a dozen unemployed workers have discovered at a Vermont inn.

The owners of the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vt., are extending what they call the Pink Slip Getaway Giveaways for 2011. The room giveaway started in 2009, although sometimes rooms were not given away during the inn's peak season of September through November. (They have to make a living too, you know). It was intended to only last six months. But the recession raged on, and the owners decided to extend the popular giveaway.One couple, age 25 or older, wins a two-night midweek getaway that includes full breakfast, a candlelight dinner and an old-fashioned rabbit's foot for good luck. The inn's owners, Leslie and Brian Mulcahy, pick the winner's based on letters from entrants explaining their story of unemployment. More than 300 letters have been submitted since they started the giveaway.

To enter, send your story of unemployment frustration in one page or less to: Rabbit Hill Inn Getaway Giveaway, P.O. Box 55, Lower Waterford, VT, 05848. Or e-mail: info@rabbithillinn.com.

The entry deadline is June 15, 2011. Entrants must be actively seeking employment and have been out of work for a year or more. Children are not allowed on the free trip.

The Mulcahys first came to stay at the inn themselves in 1992, though they couldn't really afford it. They were seeking to escape their financial troubles for a weekend after Brian found himself unemployed, along with thousands of others, in an economic situation reminiscent of today.

They liked the place so much that they returned two years later to become assistant innkeepers at the 19-room country inn. They purchased the property in 1997. ABC News selected them as its "Persons of the Week" in July 2009 for their giveaway.

As someone who was laid off in 2008 and is still without a full-time job, I can attest that a few nights away -- especially free -- would be a welcome break for the unemployed. And if the kids aren't allowed, all the better.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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