Nothing prepares us for tragedies. In early August of this year, I left my friends, job, and home in St. Thomas to backpack South East Asia for a couple of months. The plan was to come back mid-october to begin my dream job as a Sailboat Captain and Chef. I never thought it would be the end of an incredible chapter. Hurricane Irma slammed the Caribbean on September 6th 2017, and from that day on, all of our lives were changed.
As the hurricane made a direct hit over the caribbean islands I’ve called home for the past 3 years, I flew to the states. I could not continue to enjoy other cultures while my own was being completely destroyed. I flew back to begin helping, researching, coordinating, and fundraising any way that I could to help the islands get back on their feet again. Flights to the island still have not been resumed due to complete destruction of the St. Thomas airport, so I went to work on ways to begin raising money for recovery in the meantime.
Hurricane Irma hit our beloved Caribbean islands as a Category 5 hurricane and destroyed them on a catastrophic level
The Virgin Islands are nowhere near a land mass so the recovery process involves a lot more time and unfortunately, a lot more money. Power will take months to restore as the whole grid was completely ripped out of the ground. With no power, comes no communication systems, no health care, no refrigeration for foods, no showers (no public water system), no access to necessary tools for rebuilding, and eventually all of the islands little resources will become scarce.
It’s my pleasure to ask for your support as we try to take care of our families, friends, and fellow humans.
With your support, we are able to purchase many necessary survival items from tools for clean up and rebuilding, distributing money to those (such as restaurants and family businesses) that are fueling and making food for free to feed the community, and even to individual families who need to repair their homes. Some survival items include tents for the many now homeless, solar chargers, flashlights, sleeping bags, generators, cleaning supplies (i.e. Trash bags and cleaning products), toiletries, socks and underwear, medicines, camp showers, batteries, camp stoves, lanterns, lighters, food items such as snacks canned food and unparashables.
Anything we can ship and/or bring down to help our friends, families, and island to help restore a normal life and get the Caribbean on the road to recovery.
I am working with VIStrong.org and Atlantic Aviation out of Philadelphia to get the larger shipments down to island.
This is your chance to do something special for the Caribbean Islands, your vacation escape and for the many local people that are the hope to ensure these beautiful islands make a full recovery.
ALL funds will go directly to those affected, and we look forward to sharing with you photos and stories of the individuals you have helped directly.
On behalf of St. Thomas and the USVI we would just like to thank you for your help, your kind words, and your continued support. Even the smallest donation makes worlds of a difference.