Editorial: Clean Up: Another way to help

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s call for a Clean Up Day this Saturday, Oct. 22, is a well-conceived statewide effort to encourage Vermonters to lend a helping hand to neighbors who are still recovering from Tropical Storm Irene’s destruction.
“People are already stepping forward to ask for help and offer assistance,” Shumlin said earlier this week. “We’re asking people to travel to areas most in need. Know that your help in these hard hit communities is critical, and will be appreciated by the families you are working with… On the wish list at the moment are the heavy equipment requests. Communities need dumpsters, dump trucks and other heavy equipment for clean up work. My pitch: If you have this equipment, we hope you’ll help out on Saturday.” Working chainsaws are also an important asset.
But hands on the ground are important, too, especially via groups of citizens that might be able to work collectively on a project. One example is the University of Vermont has actively encouraged the entire campus to become involved in the activities, providing transportation, gloves and masks to help student volunteers participate. Similar drives could be sponsored by Middlebury College, a class of CCV students, or area high school students… perhaps with the transportation help of operations like Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) to provide group transportation.
Regardless of how the help is provided, if you can volunteer on Saturday, it could make a crucial difference to those fellow Vermonters who still are struggling to rebuild and are running out of time as winter’s colder weather approaches.
There are three ways to volunteer: 1) send in a donation; 2) volunteer for specific projects; 3) donate to a specific need through a “goods exchange” set up on the website or through a local volunteer coordinator. In each case, more specific information — including specific communities that need help with specific projects to work on — can be found at www.vtcleanup.org.
If you haven’t lent a hand, now’s a great time to step forward.
Angelo S. Lynn

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