A Letter from President & CEO Dan Smith: Vermonters Look Out for One Another
image credit: Jenn Hansen
Dear Friends of the Foundation,
One of the defining truths about Vermont is that Vermonters look out for one another. We saw it during the pandemic; we saw it during Tropical Storm Irene. As we watch the updates come in from across the state today, we see it again. Emergency responders, public safety officers, federal and state agencies, businesses, and volunteers coming together to manage a major crisis as it unfolds. As of sunrise this morning, Vermont communities have been battered yet again from Troy to Londonderry and Woodstock, Weston, and all along the Winooski. Our capital city is underwater, with all roads closed in and out, and the city of Montpelier reports risks of water exceeding capacity at the Wrightsville Dam.
"This is to the disaster level. This is a complete loss here,” said Josh Allison, chief of the Weston Volunteer Fire Department in conversation with VTDigger.
And, as always, there are already bright spots of generosity. In Windsor County, the Hartland Diner opened its doors to neighbors needing a place to shelter. Others offered trailers and stalls to rescue and shelter farm animals. Everywhere, Vermonters are helping one another in ways big and small.
The situation is evolving rapidly, but our team here at the VCF is in conversation with the Red Cross, FEMA, the state’s community action agencies, the Governor's office, and our nonprofit partners throughout the state to help coordinate a philanthropic response. We know the work will be just beginning when the water recedes.
If you’re wondering what you can do to help, we have established the VT Flood Response & Recovery Fund 2023 to coordinate and distribute support to the communities where it is most needed in the days, weeks, and months to come.
In addition to the fund at the Community Foundation, visit vtfloodresponse.org for additional giving recommendations and other useful resources.
Vermonters look out for one another. We see it in good times and especially in challenging ones. Thank you to everyone who is out there right now working to keep Vermonters safe during this difficult time. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Stay home, stay safe.
President & CEO