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August 29, 2011

After Irene: How You Can Help Vermont

Shem2 Many people have been asking how they can help Vermonters who have suffered the most from the historic flooding Tropical Storm Irene caused on Sunday. Here are some resources with information on donation and volunteer efforts.

Before we get to the rest of the list: If you're looking to volunteer somewhere, or if you need assistance, visit VTResponse.com first. They've been doing amazing work linking up volunteers. That site should be your first stop if you want to lend a helping hand. (We've covered their story here and here.)

If you know of any relief efforts that aren't listed here, let us know in the comments. We'll update the list periodically.

Photo of flooding in Richmond by Shem Roose

DONATIONS

  • Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate $10 to Vermont Foodbank. The Foodbank will turn each donation into $60 for families in need.
  • You can donate to the United Way's Vermont Disaster Relief Fund online, or buy sending a donation to your local United Way. Just make sure your donation is marked for the "Vermont Disaster Relief Fund".
  • You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross set up shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
  • The VT Irene Flood Relief Fund is raising money to help people and communities affected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businesses and families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.
  • The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding.
  • Across the lake, upstate New York got hit hard by Irene, too. Donations are being coordinated on the Irene Flood Drive Facebook page.
  • Burr and Burton Academy has started a fund to help relief efforts in the Manchester area.
  • The Preservation Trust of Vermont is taking donations to help rebuilding and cleanup efforts for the historic buildings and bridges damaged by Irene. Make a donation on their site and be sure to note "Hurricane Relief" in the Comments section.
  • The Intervale Center has started a fund to help the farmers at Burlington's Intervale who lost their crops to flooding. To make a contribution, donate to the Intervale and designate your donation to the "Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund." Or mail a check payable to Intervale Center Farmers Recovery Fund to the Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington, VT 05401.
  • NOFA Vermont is also accepting donations for their Farmers Emergency Fund to help aid the state's hard-hit farms.
  • The Deerfield Valley Rotary Club is taking donations to help businesses in Wilmington rebuild. Wilmington was one of the hardest-hit towns, and FEMA funds won't cover much of the damage to private businesses.
  • The Waterbury Congregational Church has set up the Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund, to help residents who need immediate financial assistance.
  • The Stratton Foundation has set up a relief fund to help the towns of Londonderry, Jamaica, Stratton, Weston, and Winhall.
  • Sustainable Woodstock has set up a fund to assist flood victims in and around the hard-hit town of Woodstock.
  • If you'd like to donate non-perishable food, the Square Pantry restaurant in downtown Northfield is accepting donations. You can bring them to the back entrance (green door) and leave them in the kitchen.
  • Also in Northfield, you can donate household goods on East Street, next to Delary's Plumbing, on Sundays and Mondays from 9 AM to 4 PM. They're looking for diapers (size 1 & 2), baby food, pet food, sandwich bags, rubber gloves, shampoo, feminine supplies, and cleaning supplies. (Please do not bring clothing to this location.)
  • Upper Valley Haven is accepting cash and goods for donation to flood victims. For a full list of the Haven's needs, see this comment.

VOLUNTEERING

  • VTResponse.com is working to connect volunteers ready to help with those that need assistance. The site includes a frequently-updated blog and a forum. If you're looking to help clean up and rebuild, or if you're in need of assistance, visit their site.
  • The Red Cross is in desperate need of blood donations. Stop by their donation center at 32 North Prospect Street in Burlington, or the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Blood Donation Center at 125 Mascoma Street in Lebanon, NH.
  • Montpelier Alive is coordinating volunteer efforts in that city through their Facebook page.
  • Volunteer and cleanup efforts are also being coordinated on Twitter via the #VTresponse hashtag.
  • The Vermont Flooding 2011 page on Facebook is functioning as a community bulletin board of sorts.
  • Vermont Helping Hands is also coordinating relief efforts via Facebook.
  • The state is setting up a call center in Burlington to deal with Irene recovery efforts. If you're in the Burlington area and you can man the phones for a few hours, email governorvt [at] state.vt.us.
  • The 802 Rescue site has set up a Vermont Disaster Outpost page with information on volunteering and meetup sites for help in towns affected by Irene.
  • The MRV Hurricane Irene Facebook page is coordinating volunteer efforts in the Mad River Valley.

BENEFIT SALES

BENEFIT EVENTS

MORE RESOURCES

  • If you need assistance or information from the state, dial 211 or visit vt211.org.
  • The Help Vermont Facebook group is another place to share recovery information.
  • Sublet.com will provide free access for people who are displaced from their homes. Call their customer service line at 1-877-367-7368 for more information.
  • For child care providers who have been affected by Irene, check out the Resources for Relief (Child Care Providers of VT) page on Facebook.
  • If you're looking to get help from volunteers, check out VolunteerMatch.org.
  • The Basin Harbor Club is offering complementary accomodations for Vermonters who can no longer stay in their hotels. Visit their website for more information.
  • Looking for federal disaster assistance? Simply calling 211 is NOT enough. Make sure you register with FEMA. Here's a guide on how to do that.
  • Household supplies for flood victims in and around Northfield are available on East Street in Northfield, next to Delary's Plumbing. Hours are Sunday and Monday from 9 AM to 4 PM, with more hours possible.
  • Some New Hampshire artisans are offering to recreate any one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that were lost in the flood. For more information, email vltrnjd [at] yahoo [dot] com.

"Turn $10 into $60"... so that means that they will match my donation six times if I donate $10 once?

Joe: Cash donations to the Foodbank are always exponentially more valuable than actual donations of food. The Foodbank can purchase food at a cost far below anything available to the public. This means that your cash gift of $10 allows the Foodbank to provide someone $60 worth of food.

It "feels" good to give food to the Foodbank or a food shelf. But giving cash to the Foodbank/food shelf is the most effective way to give our neighbors in need the most food.

If you haven't checked it out already, there's a great resource for hyper-local information and help for Vermont in the wake of Irene. It's a Facebook group aptly called, HELP VERMONT.

You can check it out by visiting:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/184210041652477/

Amity Alize of Raq-On Dance studio in Lebanon, NH but has major contacts in VT/WRJ/Upper Valley area. AMITY IS A POWERHOUSE. She will do what she says.

"We'll deliver all supplies to local respite areas!
We'll accept and pass on:
-Canned Goods
-Towels, Basic Toiletries, etc.
-Bottled water & drinks
-Monetary donations"

There is now a box outside the studio for donations, larger donations contact Amity and she'll get you in. The studio will be open for donations Tues and Thurs from 5-8pm. Amity is a powerhouse.

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106296939475304

Thanks everyone. Adding these to the original post now.

Hello,

Sublet.com will provide free access to our database of rentals for victims of Hurricane Irene who are displaced from their homes. Please call our customer service department at 1-877-367-7368 for assistance.

Just came across this - a Vermont company has created a t-shirt to help with relief efforts. All PROFITS will go to the Red Cross, which looks to be $15 for every $25 shirt.

http://independentvermontclothing.bigcartel.com/product/i-m-with-vt

There is a disaster relief fund that is established statewide through the collaborative efforts of VT VOAD, the United Ways of Vermont and local disaster recovery groups. To donate to this fund, visit www.vt211.org or send a donation to your local United Way with "disaster relief fund" indicated.

Here is a site organising donations from the Brant Lake, NY area.

Added the latest batch to the original post.

Folks looking to volunteer or make a donation in the Manchester area, Burr and Burton Academy is organizing volunteers and has created a fund: http://www.burrburton.org/page.cfm?p=642

People who want to donate to help Vermont's historic buildings, covered bridges and structures can do so by donating to Preservation Trust of Vermont and noting "Hurricane relief" in the Additional Comments section. https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=198&AID=377

A shout out for the Upper Valley Haven in White River Jct, VT. They are very short handed for volunteers due to road closings. If anyone in the area could volunteer, they could really use the help. Thanks! http://uppervalleyhaven.org/

Thanks everyone. Just added more resources, including a fund to help Intervale farmers.

I think the United Way Disaster Relief Fund link doesn't work. Try this one? http://tinyurl.com/44kfmd5

I dont have tons of money but i do have lots of time..... Heading back to VT on Monday, I will be avail. to help with clean up. If someone would send me in the right direction.....
Thanks

Hi all-

I work with VolunteerMatch.org, the largest online network for connecting volunteers with nonprofits. If there are organizations that need volunteers in the wake of Irene, please contact me to expedite your volunteer postings. We have nearly 150,000 people visit our site each week looking to volunteer - we can help get you the help you need!

Casey Brennan
[email protected]
@CaseyB

Added more links, thanks all.

Pam -- check out vtresponse.com. They've been doing great work in matching up volunteers with those who need assistance.

South Burlington, Vermont based inlu.com is helping Vermonters organize donation drives for individual families and small businesses. We (www.inlu.com) have been receiving questions from Inlu users outside of Vermont about how they can help - and get funds directly to individuals. We will soon post a COMMUNITY BOARD listing the request for donations from Vermonters. Inlu coordinates the donation process and issues all funds directly to the person organizing the request. We are DONATING our per contribution fee to the families as well. If you need help - please contact us and we can add your request to our COMMUNITY BOARD. [email protected] or contact Inlu President Monica Ostby at [email protected]
Our hearts are with all our neighbors.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) has a Farmer Emergency Fund to help organic farmers in situations just like this. We are hoping for donations to grow the fund since we expect a high demand.

Free Debris Management Guide for Residents & Businesses
http://www.nerc.org/documents/debris_management_guide.pdf

My company, www.VarsityCharm.com will donate 100% of proceeds from sales of our Vermont Relief Jewelry.

Our proceeds are also going to the Red Cross VT/NHV. 100% of proceeds works out to $11 donated per pair of $15.95 earrings. In addition to earrings, we carry necklaces, bracelets, zip clips, bookmarks...Vermont-themed jewelry & accessories to raise funds & awareness - and you can customize your own

http://www.varsitycharm.com/home.php?cat=269

Thanks!
Christy
VarsityCharm.com

The Bethel Relief Fund is in the process of being set up. This fund will not be given to the Municipality of Bethel, but in a fund of its own to help our neighbors. In the Interim, Donations can be sent to :

The Bethel Relief Fund
c/o Ola O'Dell
P.O. Box 229
Bethel, VT 05032

I AM Vermont Strong is selling t-shirts with this specially designed logo for $20 with all proceeds going to help the Vermont FoodBank.
http://www.vermontstrong.mybigcommerce.com/
They also have a facebook page I AM Vermont Strong

Restoring Rutland is taking donations at 34 Strongs Avenue in Rutland from 9am to 9pm. They also have a facebook page

To specifically help Killington, write a check out to Town of Killington and mail to:
Killington Town Manager
Attn: Relief
2076 River Road
Killington, VT 05751

My fiance and I are moving and have things to give away - microwave, toaster, etc - anywhere good to give in the Montpelier/Waterbury area for victims who need to start over?

VT survives on income from recreation and tourism. Plan a trip to VT when the flood is over and the roads are repaired. The average small business has been severely hurt by the economy and now this. VT leaves will be beautiful this fall. Inn keepers, store owners, and restaurants still in business need your support and will be thrilled to see you.

Vermont lawyers who want to volunteer to help the many Vermonters who may need legal assistance after Hurricane Irene, please submit the attached form to the Vermont Bar Association: https://www.vtbar.org/Upload%20Files/attachments/volunteer%20form.pdf

Thanks all.

Amanda: check with the Thatcher Brook Elementary School -- that's where much of that area's recovery efforts have been centered. Also, I hear from the vtresponse.com people that they'll have a page about donating home goods up soon.

Is there a list of businesses out there that are donating proceeds to the relief effort? I heard about MyLittleCupcakevt.com - was wondering if there were more.

Blog containing volunteer info and regularly updated spreadsheet of town-specific Volunteer Outposts. Also, folks can post additions or corrections on the Vermont Disaster Outpost Facebook page.

Thanks so much for compiling this list! I have shared it on my facebook page and hope others will follow the links and help. Am traveling to Vermont tomorrow for a planned visit to celebrate a birthday and a wedding. After all, life goes on and Vermonters are the hardiest folks I know! Being one, I have repacked my suitcase to include work clothes.

My girlfriend and I have a portable wood-fired pizza oven we'd like to bring to one of the affected towns to bake free pizza for community members and clean-up volunteers this Saturday. IF your town is accessible and you'd like to have us come to bake for you all, PLEASE call: 802-299-6091 or 603-236-9836.

A great resource for volunteering in the Mad River Valley:

http://www.facebook.com/MRVpostIrene

Here's a Facebook page for coordinating volunteers and needed resources in the Mad River Valley including Moretown, Waitsfield, Fayston, and Warran: http://www.facebook.com/MRVpostIrene

Please open your hearts and your wallets... There is a lot of people in desperate need of help... This may be a small state but there are an awful lot of people who need help...PLEASE HELP VT

Does anybody know of any efforts under way to start up a fund, do benefit concerts/dances for Vermont musicians who have lost their instruments/equipment in the flooding? Perhaps there could be a "sister state in misery" link up with Louisiana musicians? Any Burlington area musicians interested in something like that? I would like to help. I live in central VT now, and our area was really hard hit (Braintree, parts of Randolph, Rochester, Granville, Bethel, etc.)....

Hi Sue,

Check out Bob Stannard at BobStannard.com in re to music benefit for musicians. He holds a number of benefit concerts in VT that are tremendously successful so even if he can't organize one himself he might know the best person to put you in touch with.

Best of luck.

Also, please check out www.VTIreneFund.org to help your local business recover from this devastating storm.

It was mentioned earlier, but please add the Vermont Disaster Outpost blog to the main list on this page!

It has a regularly updated public spreadsheet of town-specific Volunteer Outposts with contact information. This coordinating information is really valuable to affected towns AND volunteers who want to help.

The URL is http://802rescue.blogspot.com/

The Vermont Disaster Relief Facebook page is providing a spreadsheet listing of towns needing assistance, locations and contact information.

oops the Vermont Disaster OUTPOST facebook page is providing a spreadsheet listing of towns needing assistance, locations, and contact information. Can't delete previous post.

A new fund has been created to support residents of the greater Woodstock area. For more information, to donate or apply for assistance, please visit: www.sustainablewoodstock.org

A great list of important resources... thanks Tyler and all. I'll add one more... Front Porch Forum (http://frontporchforum.com).

Thousands of Vermonters in the hardest hit towns are using homegrown FPF to find assistance, offer a hand, connect with local officials, tap into programs, and learn the latest about roads, bridges, schools, etc. We're reaching double our usual number of local households each day this past week.

Here's a sample...
http://blog.frontporchforum.com/2011/09/03/vermonters-rally-in-the-wake-of-irenes-devastation/

Longer term volunteers needed?
After the initial chaos has passed, if there is an organization etc that could use a longer term volunteer, I might be able to work for 3-6 months; providing there is some form of housing for me and my dog and reliable Internet access. By trade, I am a "communications specialist" I write for non-profit organizations but have done everything from farming to animal care/dog sled mushing to volunteer counseling (refugees, prisoners, homeless peopel) in my life as well. I have a steady part-time job which i have to travel to Mass for, generally once a week, need to have 20 hours per week free, and could conceivably work up to 30 hours per week volunteering if the situation was right. Just throwing it out there in case anyone is dreaming about ways to rebuild. I know it is difficult to plan during the initial phases of a disaster.

Danielle, I'd suggest you check with the VTResponse.com folks. At the moment they've been connecting more short-term volunteers, I think, but if anyone would know about a situation you're describing, it would be them.

UPDATE: If you would like to donate food to help those affected by the flood in Northfield, please bring NON-PERISHABLE items to The Square Biscuit restaurant in downtown Northfield, located on the common. Please bring food to the back entrance (green door) and leave it near the kitchen. Items of specific need are the following (to be packed into lunches): peanut butter, jelly, bread, apples/oranges, granola or nutrigrain bars, juice boxes, chips/cookie packs, sandwiche bags–both paper and plastic ziploc bags, makings for trail mix–raisins, nuts, choc chips, etc.

Personal care items and other household supplies are available on East Street next to Delary’s Plumbing. All those effected are welcome to stop by. This space will be open Sunday and Monday from 9-4, later hours TBD. Items available here are clothing (of all sizes), towels, home goods. If you would like to donate, we still could use more of the following items: diapers size 1 & 2, baby food, pet food, sandwich bags, rubber gloves, shampoo, feminine supplies, cleaning supplies (sponges, paper towels, etc.). For the moment, we have enough clothing. Please do not bring more clothing at this time. The items above are in greater need.

Please forward this along wherever the info will be most helpful.

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