is that Franklin Grand Isle Community Action staff members have been working with flood victims since this crisis began.

Starting on the weekend of the 13th, when the flooding began, Jo Ann Julien, office manager at F/GI Community Action, and her partner Lanny Brow, who grew up in Swanton, were present in the flooded areas instructing people about services available and keeping them informed about the town’s emergency response. “Most of ...what we did in the beginning was listen . . . there were a lot of sad stories.”

Jo Ann contacted the Red Cross and gave them her cell number for anyone who needed food or had questions about available resources.

They brought food from NorthWest Family Foods over to the emergency shelter at Missisquoi Valley Union High School, as well as clothing, boots, and toys. Franklin Grand Isle Community Action office was opened on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, to be available to flood victims as was NorthWest Family Foods.

Staff members arranged with the Salvation Army to set up a special voucher system to make up to $200 available for clothing and personal care items to flood victims. They arranged, with the help of Kathy Lavoie, to have a local insurance agency help those with flood insurance understand the extent of coverage and claims process, and making referrals.

During a conference call with the Red Cross, they planned participation in multi-service agency availability at the Swanton Fire Station for last weekend then arranged for the VT Foodbank to deliver several pallets of bottled water and ready-to-eat food to the site.

Economic Services was there to process emergency housing requests. FGICA purchased gas cards and had payments on hand when one family, who left with nothing, needed an immediate replacement drivers license.

Working with the Helping Others Facebook, they arranged for food to be delivered to the Church of the Rock to be available to families temporarily housed at the adjacent LaQuinta Motel.

They remained open on the long holiday weekend when others were shutting down.

Thank you – Robert, Jo Ann, Lanny, Toni, Jen, Rebecca, Brandi, Deb and Lisa for your incredible service and compassion for those in need

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