Happy, healthy Vermonters helping each other
by Mike Eldred
Aug 08, 2013 | 2227 views | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEERFIELD VALLEY- Even before the floodwaters of Tropical Storm Irene receded, valley residents were already gearing up to help their neighbors. From staffing the emergency shelters to mucking out and cleaning up flooded buildings, people came together for a common purpose. Now the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce is hoping to rekindle that spirit of unity by sponsoring small group projects to coincide with the second anniversary of the devastating flood.

“The idea is to remind us of all the great things we did when we worked together,” says chamber executive director Adam Grinold. “People see it slipping away here and there, and the anniversary is a good opportunity to remind everyone.”

The chamber recently received a $1,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to fund their program. Groups can apply to the chamber for up to $100 toward community projects. One of the requirements is that you bring other people into the project – the chamber is asking applicants to team up with at least four others. Projects should take about 24 work-hours, to be completed between Saturday, August 24, and Wednesday, August 28, the anniversary date of the flood.

Grinold says the projects should be of an altruistic nature. “This isn’t a chance to get your own projects done, this is a chance to get good Samaritan projects done. Maybe your neighbor needs to have a fallen tree cut up and removed, or a family in need needs to have their house painted – get ten people together and we’ll pay for paint.”

To apply for one of the grants, applicants should contact the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce at (802) 464-8092. The process isn’t very formal, and requires only a conversation about the project and an email to provide some of the specifics. There’s no deadline for applications, but Grinold says they’ll be awarded on a first come, first served basis – if there are still funds available during the anniversary week, people can apply right up until the last minute.

“We want to send the message with happy, healthy Vermonters helping each other,” Grinold said. “We hope the grants will inspire people to do some good work.”

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