Helping Vermont [bioephemera]

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Photo of Vermont highway courtesy of Kyle Cornell

Last week, I had my long-awaited vacation semi-ruined when, thanks to Hurricane Irene, my flight back from the West Coast was cancelled. I had to rent a car and drive across the country in a rush - not my favorite way to spend three and a half days. But based on what I saw passing through New York, and what I've heard about the damage in Vermont, I can't complain: flooding has overturned homes, isolated entire towns, and destroyed everything some families own.

Vermonters are a notoriously self-sufficient bunch, and I haven't seen that much publicity for disaster relief, so I asked my friend -- a native Vermonter who drove home a few days ago to help clean up and deliver supplies -- what I should do. These were some of her suggestions for simple ways to give:

United Way of Chittenden County: donate via Vermont211.org (there's a "donate" button on the left sidebar, it goes through PayPal)

Vermont Foodbank: Donate $10 to the Vermont Foodbank to pay for food that will go to food banks in communities most impacted by Irene. Text the word FOODNOW to 52000 to make a $10 donation that will show up on your next cellphone bill (this was even easier than PayPal!)

Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund (accepts PayPal - click on the pink box "give now" - or check)

Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund: raising money for flood relief for small Vermont businesses (click on "donate" in the top bar for PayPal and other options)

I know for many of us, money is tight (you would not believe what it costs to rent a car one way cross-country), but do consider giving something if you can spare it.

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