As Windham County transitions from the initial emergency to recovery, many people still need help – these are some of the best things you can do.
If you are not in the area, the best way to help is with a financial donation (and it’s good if you are in the area, too!). Donated goods are nice – especially if someone expresses a need – but unsolicited goods can actually present a distraction as people have to figure out how to receive, store, and distribute them. Local organizations can use money efficiently to provide services and distribute any needed goods.
There are many local funds set up to help specific organizations, areas, and causes that you can find out about from their websites and Facebook pages. (This site has a large list of charitable funds.) To have a broader impact, these are four places where you can donate more generally across Windham County and Vermont.
- United Way of Windham County’s Long-term Disaster Relief Fund (100% of funds go to assisting residents), www.unitedwaywindham.org, 802-257-4011
- Vermont Disaster Relief Fund for the long-term recovery of Vermont residents impacted by Irene, www.vermont211.org
- Vermont Food Bank, http://www.vtfoodbank.org/
- American Red Cross, Vermont & Upper Valley of New Hampshire Chapter, www.vermontredcross.org
If you are in the area, there are many opportunities to give your time to help your neighbors – and it is very much appreciated. Some organizations, such as the ones below, are always set up to handle volunteers; most recruit volunteers for specific jobs or events that you can find out about from their websites, Facebook pages, newsletters, or word of mouth. (This site has a large list of volunteer opportunities.)
- VTResponse is a great site that connects people with needs and projects with volunteers – vtresponse.wordpress.com
- Red Cross of Vermont & Upper Valley, 802-660-9130
- United Way of Windham County has a volunteer database through their website at www.unitedwaywindham.org for volunteer registration for longer-term needs (sign up and as projects arise within your window, the coordinator will contact you to see if you are available)