I am Vermont strong.

The phrase has become a mantra for Vermonters. Following Tropical Storm Irene, portions of Vermont were completely devastated as you probably remember, either from living it here or from hearing about it there where you are.  Two Rutland individuals came up with the slogan in an effort to create a viral Facebook campaign. Instead, the two started a whole lot more.

In the own words from their website, the two explain a bit about themselves and the origin of I am Vermont strong.

What started out 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 unfied 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’s when the requests for t-shirts started pouring in… by the hundreds!”

All proceeds will benefit Vermont not-for-profits dedicated to helping with Vermont recovery efforts!

Yesterday, Govenor Shumlin signed a law creating the I am Vermont strong license plate. The plate, which costs $25 is available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale of the plate to go to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. While it is my understanding that anyone can buy the plates, Vermont registered vehicles are permitted to replace their regular front license plate with the I am Vermont strong plate until 2014.

If you’re from Vermont consider purchasing a plate to support the effort. If you’re from away, but your heart lives in Vermont, consider purchasing a plate to show your support.

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