Vermont hopes to raise an additional $1 million this holiday season for victims of the July flooding through ongoing sales of "Vermont Strong" license plates and socks, Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Monday in announcing the six-week campaign.
"With summer flooding not yet in the rearview mirror, many families are going into the holiday season still trying to make repairs to their damaged homes. And some will be living with family and friends while others are still trying to figure out what their future looks like," Scott said at his weekly press conference. Some families don't yet have heat and many businesses are still trying to open for the critical holiday season, he said.
The July storm dumped two months of rain in two days in Vermont, inundating the state's capital city of Montpelier, as well as other communities in central and southern Vermont.
This image from drone footage provided by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets shows flooding in Montpelier, Vermont, on July 11, 2023. (Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets via AP)
On Monday, Scott called on Vermonters to find ways to give back and support their communities through simple acts of kindness, giving time and labor, and buying Vermont Strong license plates and socks. The effort so far has raised nearly $1 million, with the proceeds going to help individuals and businesses, but more is needed, he said.
"We know how much Vermonters care about each other. The way you showed up over the summer and into the fall is a testament to the strength of our communities and our Vermont resilience," Scott said.
The holiday campaign will raise funds for housing needs; food security; individual and family assistance for critical needs like groceries, medication and vehicle fuel; and mental health services and support, Scott said. The other half will go toward businesses through the Business Emergency Gap Assistance Program, he said.