Dirt in your skirt blog

Day 87… We Are VT Tough

Posted on September 2, 2011 by Margaret Schlachter

Photo From Killington Resort

‎”Vermont is a state I love… I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all, I love her because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who almost impoverished themselves for love of others. If ever the spirit of liberty should vanish from the rest of the Union, it could be restored by the generous share held by the people in this brave little State of Vermont.” ~Calvin Coolidge, after the floods of 1927

Today’s Post is not about me but instead it’s about my community. I left Killington almost a week ago. I was urged by a fellow member of the Killington Fire Rescue that I should leave on Saturday instead of Sunday with Hurricane Irene coming in to make my recertification for my Wilderness EMT in NH. I followed Ron’s advice leaving my friends wedding on Saturday night to make a late trek across the border. 

Photo from Facebook

Then disaster struck my community. On Sunday, many parts of Vermont experienced the worst disaster at least in my lifetime, many have called this the 500 year storm. Killington, my hometown was cut off from the world when all roads in and out of the town were washed away. I sat here in NH watching Facebook updates helplessly. It took a couple days for the gravity of the situation to sink in. I spoke with fellow EMT’s and Firefighters to get the story of what was happening in town as I sat from afar. I watched from a distance as my community and area communities of Pittsfield and Rochester band together and show just how exceptional the members of our communities are. 

The phase, “I’m from Vermont I do what I want”  has been shown over and over again in reports over the past couple days how true it is. I have read more reports of people just going out and fixing problems in their community. Vermonters don’t wait for someone to come in and save them, they pull up their bootstraps and get to work. This is a lingering quality from the Puritan days of the early settlers. In truth Vermont has shown that we as a state are hard as nails and won’t let Irene damper out resilience and spirit. Communities have banded together and are pushing through in the New Englander Way.

The one thing most old time New Englanders are not very good at is asking for charity and help. In truth this is one of the largest national disasters to hit America. I have heard reports of damage over $10 Billion Dollars. Well VT does need help and we will for a little while as communities rebuild roads and new “island” towns are connected back on the grid. Many have asked how to best accomplish this. You can donate directly to Killington HERE, and help my town rebuild or below are a list of ways from 7 Days on how you can help from afar. 

Text FOODNOW to 52000 to donate$10 to Vermont Foodbank. TheFoodbank will
 turn each donation into $60 forfamilies 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 yourdonation is marked for the “Vermont Disaster Relief Fund”.
You can also donate to the American RedCross of Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley. The Red Cross setup shelters immediately after Irene hit for flooded-out families to stay in.
The VT Irene FloodRelief Fund is raising money to help people and communitiesaffected by flooding. 100% of all donations will be distributed to businessesand families. The fund is being administered by Todd K. Bailey.

IndependentVermont Clothing is selling a special “I’m With VT” t-shirt. All profitsfrom sales of the shirt will go to relief efforts.
The PreservationTrust of Vermont is taking donations to help rebuilding and cleanup efforts for thehistoric buildings and bridges damaged by Irene. Make a donation on their siteand be sure to note “Hurricane Relief” in the Comments section.
NOFA Vermont is also accepting donationsfor their Farmers Emergency Fund to help aid the state’s hard-hit farms.
Buy an “I Am Vermont Strong“t-shirt and all proceeds will go to relief efforts.
City Market in Burlington will donate1% of sales from Saturday, September 3 through Friday, September 16 to theIntervale Farmers’ Recovery Fund.
Thereare many more as well that are not sited on here, if you can please help thesesmall strong communities build and continue on.