As the anniversary of Tropical storm Irene approaches, August 28th, it is nice to be able to say “What a difference a year makes!” It is amazing to see how Vermont’s recovery has progressed. It has been a year of hard work, community support and a strong will to succeed.
A testament to that strong will, is in the I Am Vermont Strong campaign. I couldn’t explain it any better than the website for the Vermont Strong Campaign, so here is their story:
“What started as an attempt to create a viral Facebook campaign with an image and a strong message of hope has turned into a successful fundraising effort for disaster relief organizations. Lyz Tomsuden and Eric Mallette, two native Vermonters now residing in Rutland, created the I am Vermont strong image with simple intention of manufacturing good energies out of a bad situation.
“We really just wanted to see if we could help show the world that we Vermonters are a unified front in the battle against the devastating losses suffered by our state in the recent hurricane,” commented Eric Mallette.”
“From there, it kind of went crazy!” added Lyz Tomsuden, who created the image. “First we noticed everyone we know on Facebook was changing their profile pictures to the “Vermont Strong” image. That is when the requests for t-shirts started pouring in…by the hundreds!” All of the proceeds will benefit Vermont not for profits dedicated to helping with Vermont recovery efforts!
As all of the above was happening, Vermont Life and the Vermont state government/state chamber of commerce caught wind of this, and came up with an idea, to make a I am Vermont Strong, license plate, to also raise money for Irene relief funds. Lyz and Eric so generously agreed to allow their design to be used.
The plan was Vermonters could purchase this plate for $25.00 and place it over their existing FRONT license plate. You can leave it there until 2014. Like the t-shirts, proceeds will also benefit Vermont not-for-profits dedicated to helping with Vermont recovery efforts. To date, close to 26,000 I am Vermont Strong license plates have been sold. Over 4500 t-shirts have also been sold.
We decided we would do our part, in the recovery, so we purchased our license plate and proudly display on our car..So, as the one year anniversary approaches, we hope that you will come visit Vermont (and of course, WOODSTOCK) and see for yourself, our magnificent recovery AND Vermont’s timeless beauty that was here before “ that darn Irene” and remains today. Oh, and remember when you were a kid and you were bored on long car trips, and your parents had you play the game of counting license plates from different states? Well, come to Vermont and see how many “I Am Vermont Strong license plates” you can count. I KNOW it will be ALOT!
If you would like to get a t-shirt (only Vermonters can display the license plate), here is Lyz and Eric’s website address www.iamvermontstrong.com.