In the week since Irene hit, we’ve seen some pretty amazing things come to light in Vermont. Despite the devastation and destruction felt by so many, we’ve seen communities band together to help one another begin to re-build.
#VTResponse has been able to help connect Vermonters in need, with those looking to volunteer using our forum (vtresponseforum.blogspot.com). Volunteers have been offering up their time, equipment, donations and supplies to people, and in most cases have been able to respond to direct needs that have been posted on the site.
In addition to the donations of clothing, personal care items and non-perishables, we’ve heard from a lot of people looking to donate furniture. Unfortunately most drop-off sites are not able to house items of this size at this time, it’s also likely that many people aren’t ready to accept items like this until they’ve had time to clean out their homes, and in some cases, re-build them. In response to this, #VTResponse has created #VTResponse Exchange (vtexchange.org).
The site was created for #VTResponse by Seth Beck, and although its concept is similar to Craigslist, it’s to be used only for those affected by Irene and the subsequent flooding in Vermont. While #VTResponse and its forums are intended to connect volunteers with those in need of time, materials or equipment right now, #VTResponse Exchange is meant to be a long-term resource.
There are two options when posting on the site: “Giving” and “Needed”. When Vermonters are ready, they can use #VTResponse Exchange to offer or find household items, furniture and appliances. There’s also a “Lost & Found”.
FEMA assistance 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or www.disasterassistance.gov to register. Vermonters without internet access or access to a reliable phone that need help filing for FEMA assistance can utilize Geoff Hand who has set up a mobile work station. Cell phone is 802-922-0541
To contact #VTResponse, call 802-922-4202 or email vtresponse(at)yahoo(dot)com.