In both large and small ways, Vermonters across the state are already taking action. At a candlelight vigil March 15 at 6:30, Governor Phil Scott signed H.717, an act relating to providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine, and announced that more than $640,000 of aid will go to Save the Children, a humanitarian organization dedicated to supporting children around the globe.
A small act, yes, but each one of us in Vermont have already given $1 to lift up those suffering acts of atrocities in Ukraine. Watch the WCAX report on the Vigil for Ukraine.
Make a plan today to join with your family, friends, neighbors or colleagues to plant as many sunflowers in as many highly-visible places as you can. Think big. Think small. Just make a plan to plant! Make a plan to learn how to care for your sunflowers as they emerge and begin to rise towards the blue sky. Make a plan let others know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Make a plan to harvest the seeds and to cure them and store them for next year. Make a plan to share the blossoms and seeds with the bees and birds as the season progresses into the autumn days.
Photo provided by Tim Smith Executive Director, Franklin County Industrial Development Corp 2021 Sunflower Festival. Photo taken by David Brueckner
Call, write and e-mail your local schools, churches, organizations and local businesses and invite them to join VPSU's community action. These public and private institutions, organizations and businesses are often very central to their communities and provide ideal and historic locations for our solidarity action. Invite them to join you. Offer to help with planning and planting in the spring and to help with the care of the sunflowers as they grow. Involve the children in your community. Let the seniors in your community know how they can help. Share the flowers and the joy in late summer and fall.
Call, write and e-mail your town / city leaders. Most of us in our small communities have personal relationships with them and see them at the Post Office. Ask them to plan now for the planting of sunflowers in public places such as parks, recreational areas and along streets and highways. Identify these stakeholders in your communities and ask for their support and action today.
Call, write and e-mail your state officials. Ask them to join VPSU in this action. To date Governor Phil Scott has expressed his support, Anson Tebbets from the Dept. of Ag. has also been supportive and VTrans brainstormed with us on March 22 to see how they might be involved. We have reached out to those who plan for the plantings at the State House. Add your voice in asking that sunflowers be front and center this summer at the Capitol so that every visitor to Montpelier will know where Vermonters stand.
Please visit the VPSU Facebook page and share your actions and success stories as this action builds. It is important to let us and all Vermonters know the progress that we are making. We all need good news stories, especially now. You can also email VPSU directly as you take action. Archive your work along the way and share your photos and written documents with us so that we can post and inspire others.
Fly your own Ukrainian flag at your home, school, organization or place of business. Flags for Good. High-quality flags with a portion of every sale going towards a charity or organization seeking to make a positive change in the world.
Ask yourself what other actions that you might take as a kind of "value-added" decision. As just one example consider how our current fears about energy costs, climate change and even fears about how this crime against Ukraine could easily expand into a worse global crisis. Many of us get very frustrated listening to how hobbled decision makers become when they consider sanctions vs. the implications of where and how we purchase energy supplies. It may all seem too complicated. Each of us, however, can find individual as well as collective action that can be taken now to change these dynamics. This photo to the left is just one example. One action does not have to be separate and distinct from another.