With Vermont getting so much national media attention a lot of people are coming into the state to offer their help. Unfortunately not all of them have the best interest of the state and our communities in mind. Certain groups have taken the opportunity to politicize the hurricane relief effort and the state at large. Others have more of a religious bent and may try to convince us that what happened to Vermont is the result of choices the state has made. In one way or another they’re all wolves in sheep’s clothing but we can ignore them because they’re just noise.
The people to be cautious of are the ones that ask for money or goods. If someone tells you they’re collecting money for the hurricane relief effort be wary: the government never calls and ask for money, legitimate non-profits never ask for money unless you offer, and our website will never ask you for anything but your time and good will. If someone asks you to donate money ask them for their Tax ID # or their 990 form. That should be enough to put off most of them. We’re working on a more detailed post with options for donations but right now we wanted to get the warning out there. If someone has asked you for money and you’ve given it to them only to realize it was not a real organization, call the police immediately. Not only is it despicable, it’s also theft.
Similarly, if someone asks you to donate clothes or other goods to their private residence be wary. We’ve been setting up food and clothing drives across Vermont through churches and businesses donating space. Please utilize our Donation Information Page to find places to donate goods.
We don’t want to scare you. 95% of the people out there are amazing Vermonters trying to help. The good ones though will not ask you for money. They’ll ask if they can lift something for you, if they can help you, and if you need anything. Take care of yourselves out there guys.
Matt and the VT Response Team