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Welcome to VTResponse. We are the clearinghouse of information for those seeking help and those wanting to help in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. We’ve been here since Day 1, which after disaster is a darn long time. Thanks … Continue reading

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Volunteers Needed (4/19 and 4/20): Cuttingsville/Rutland

From the Rutland Tropical Storm Irene Long Term Recovery Committee:

The Rutland Long Term Recovery Committee’s first volunteer project of the season will be taking place this Friday and Saturday (April 19-20) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cuttingsville. Volunteers from Grace Church, Spring Lake Ranch and Shrewsbury‘s Irene Response group will be working together to cut out a log and debris jam, and will repair a barn pushed of its supports and clean out an old dump exposed by Irene’s flood waters.

The work will take place in Cuttingsville on VT Route 103, directly across the road from the Spring Lake Ranch farm stand. Useable wood from the debris pile will be donated back to Spring Lake Ranch by the homeowners, to support the Ranch’s sugaring operation.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Andrea Varney, volunteer and resource coordinator for the Rutland County LTRC at (802) 345-9482 or email her at

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One Fund Boston

For those looking to donate to Boston, this is a fund set up by Governor Deval and Mayor Menino and is a safe, verified place to donate.


A word of caution: As we all know, many people want to help after events, but not everyone has good intentions. Donate only to known organizations (Red Cross, Mass General Hospital or the One Fund are all examples of safe options) and use discretion when evaluating other requests for donations.

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Resources for Boston

Simply put, we’re so sad for Boston.

There are some resources available for those still trying to find loved ones. According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, there are three ways to look for information about someone:

1) Mayor’s hotline 617-635-4500.

2) Red Cross Safe and Well (1800REDCROSS or

3) Google Person Finder (

They also suggest using text messages as the cell phone network is still overworked.

For those with information (and anyone with video or photos from the finish line at the time of the explosions is asked to send those on), the tiplines in use are:

Boston crime tips hotline: 800-494-TIPS

FBI tip line: 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt #3

Finally, while there have been calls for blood and platelet donation, the Red Cross and Boston-area hospitals say that right now, they have sufficient blood supply. However, these supplies will need to be replenished and encourage willing donors to schedule appointments to donate later in April and May.

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Ongoing Work and Our First Podcast

Thankfully, things have been pretty quiet on the direct response front here, allowing Matt, Katy and I to all get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Katy is working her PR/social media/marketing magic at a firm in Richmond, Matt is finishing up his first novel (expected August 2014) and I’m working full time at UVM’s Vaccine Testing Center and getting ready for medical school in August.

However, I’ve also spent some time over the past few months working with various groups interested in either learning from or replicating the work of VTResponse. In February, I was down in North Carolina at NC State University talking with a group of students who were planning an alternative spring break to Atlantic City. My talk focused on what they could expect when volunteering and some brief lessons learned from my work after disaster. I just heard back from their coordinator yesterday and it sounds like they had a rewarding trip full of hard work.

I’m also working with PH International, in particular their Global New Media Lab which is in the first year of three teaching students from around the world about building social media campaigns for their communities. I’m so excited for the opportunity to share what we learned and hear about the projects they have planned for their communities. As part of my time with them, I filmed my first podcast (gulp) and will get to meet many of them in April when they visit Vermont for an intensive week of work at Champlain College.

It’s great to see that the lessons learned from Irene, from social media after disaster and from VTResponse are continuing to percolate through our communities. I’m having a blast thinking about what we accomplished and playing a small role in spreading that influence to communities all over the world.

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Diabetic Supplies Needed (Transport Arranged)

Thanks to Leslie for putting this together and driving down:

“I just spoke to a Burlington neighbor who is volunteering in the Sandy Relief efforts near Brooklyn, NY.  He said that along with the traditional supplies needed (blankets, canned food, water, batteries, flashlights, and toiletries) they are also in need of glucometer strips for diabetics.  

They no longer need clothing.

I will be heading down on Saturday, November 17 with a cargo van, hopefully filled with donations.  If you can donate medical supplies, specifically for diabetics, please contact me at 802-324-8326 or  Thanks!  Leslie”


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Supply Drive and Volunteers Needed (11/9 to 11/11): Enosburg Falls

Those seeking to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York City will have that opportunity this weekend when an empty 18-wheel tractor trailer sets up for a donation drive at Enosburg Falls Middle & High School on Dickenson Ave.

The event, organized by Enosburg Falls resident Keely Remillard, begins Friday, Nov. 9, when the tractor-trailer, donated by Richard Green, Inc., arrives at the school parking lot at 4 p.m. Between then and 6 p.m., volunteers will be organized and briefed on how to handle donations, and donations will be accepted. On both Saturday and Sunday, donations will be accepted from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., or until the trailer is full.

Items being sought include non-perishable food items (instant oatmeal, cereal, peanut butter, tuna fish, pasta, etc …), can openers, eating utensils, bottled water, baby products, blankets, toiletries and sanitary products, cat and dog food, batteries and flashlights, and candles. Cash donations will also be accepted to offset the truck driver’s fuel, room and board expenses.

Volunteers are also needed to accept donations throughout the weekend, box the donated items, and load them onto the trailer.

Once the drive ends Sunday afternoon, the tractor trailer will head to Staten Island, NY. Remillard worked with officials at the New York Foodbank to determine the location that would be best served by the donated items.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Keely Remillard at 933-8308 or or Ethan Dezotelle at 393-5383 or

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How to Help Post-Sandy

The cleanup from Sandy is in full swing and many local groups and organizations have done a great job of starting to assess needs and reach communities impacted by Sandy. A state by state listing is below:

Greater New York Area Red Cross Food Sites

New Jersey

Jersey Cares (For volunteers and donations of all kinds)

Shelter and Other Information 973-733-4311

For Businesses impacted by Sandy: 866-534-7789 or

Relief Fund for New Jersey


Supply Drive TODAY (11/8) in Katonah, NY (for Staten Island)

Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown Supply Drive

Pelham Food Drive

Volunteers needed to help with minor home repairs: or 914-450-1664, (914) 636-8335

Westchester County Disaster Fund

The Volunteer Center

New York City

Occupy Sandy (Volunteering and Donation Opportunities)

Sandy Help

All Hands Volunteers

Red Hook Initiative

Staten Island Recovers


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Volunteers Needed, Project Sandy with All Hands

From All Hands Volunteers:

Volunteer Signup

“When Hurricane Sandy swept up the Northeast coast on October 29, it wiped out hundreds of homes and wrecked entire neighborhoods. All Hands arrived quickly in this densely populated area, moving from community to community to assess where we could help most effectively.

Those who were able began clearing debris from their homes and businesses, but the challenges continue to be daunting, with local response efforts severely impacted by gas shortages, power outages and dropping temperatures.

There is great need in the affected communities, and they are overwhelmed by the amount of destruction and necessary rebuilding to recover. There are a vast number of volunteers who have stepped forward from the region to help and we are on the ground to start coordinating them for service in Staten Island and Rockaway. Because of damaged infrastructure and the number of displaced families, there is no capacity to house volunteers, so we are reaching out to volunteers in the local area who have transportation to and from the project sites at this time.  We are also currently providing agency coordination support in New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Our greatest need, in order to swiftly and effectively empower volunteers to serve, is cash. This money will go toward purchasing tools, fuel, housing, transportation and coordination efforts. We have experienced team leaders and are leveraging their expertise. While we don’t have immediate spots for volunteers coming from outside the affected area, we will let you know should that change. To sign up, especially if you are local, please click here.

How else can you help?

To put it plainly, deploying volunteers effectively takes money.  If you can’t join us on the ground, you can still make a real difference in one of the following ways:

o    Donate to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund

o    Organize a fundraising event

o    Set up a custom fundraising page, then send your family and friends your personal endorsement of All Hands along with your fundraising page url

o   Text RESPOND to 80088 to contribute $10 (AT&T and Verizon only at this time)

We are in place and in action. Please support us today.

-All Hand Volunteers”

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Supply Drive, Burlington Area (11/8/12)

Fabulous way to help from afar, thanks to Amanda for organizing!

Hundreds of thousands are still without power and heat, and with temperatures dropping and snow in the forecast the wrath of Hurricane Sandy is still very very real and life threatening. It breaks my heart to see my homestate in pieces but know that in time, we will rebuild and recover if we all come together.

I’ll be driving down to New Jersey this weekend to visit family and volunteer and am determined to leave Vermont with no space in my car. I am collecting donations and will be delivering to drop locations.

Drops and shelters are in desperate need of the following:

  • cases of water
  • blankets
  • baby formula/food
  • diapers
  • flashlights
  • batteries
In addition the following are also needed:
  • NEW personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, tampons, etc.
  • NEW socks and underwear
  • non-perishable foods, peanut butter, etc.
  • new or lightly warn winter jackets, layering, sweatshirts, sweatpants, thermals etc.
  • clean up supplies: work gloves, rubber gloves, dust masks, plastic containers to salvage items from homes

If you live in the Burlington area and would like to donate please contact me on twitter @amandawormann. I will be leaving on Friday and can coordinate a pickup location on Thursday.

Please also consider donating to the Red Cross. This is the easiest way to help the recovery process especially if you live far away and are looking for ways to help. You can donate by texting REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will be automatically deducted from your cell phone bill. You can also donate through their website here. 

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More Ways to Help (11/6/12)

Westchester County

Family to Family

Clothing and Food Drive Ardsley, NY

Dropoff Point, Mahopac, NY

New York Metro Region

New York Rescue Mission Sandy Fund

New Jersey

***You can find your polling place by texting WHERE to 877877 and follow the prompts afterward.

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