HOW YOU CAN HELP VERMONT [from Seven Days staff blog, 8-29-11] 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. Vermont Baseball Tours has set up the 8/28 Fund to raise money. Donations of $20 or more get you a cool t-shirt. The MRV Community Fund has been reestablished to help Mad River Valley farmers who saw devastating crop losses due to the flooding. Independent Vermont Clothing is selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profits from sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts. 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. 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. Upper Valley Haven is operating with considerably fewer volunteers due to road closings. They’re looking for volunteers who are able to travel there. 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. 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 re 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.
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