It's not too late to help our friends in the Caribbean.
In today’s fast-paced media world, it’s easy to jump from one news story to the next and forget what happened the previous day. Here’s a reminder: it is still hurricane season, and it will be until November 30.
Our friends in the Caribbean have faced remarkable challenges very early during this 2017 hurricane season. Lives were lost. Homes and livelihoods were destroyed. As the rest of the world moves on with their day-to-day lives, inhabitants of these miraculous islands that sailors love so much are struggling to rebuild.
The rebuilding will take years and billions of dollars. But here’s how you can help:
1. Go to the Caribbean
The Caribbean is one of the most tourism-dependent regions in the world. With tens of millions of visitors every year, tourism intensely impacts the GDP of each and every country in the Caribbean. The number one way you can help these islands is to return. Don’t cancel your vacation plans!
Are you attending a regatta in the Caribbean this upcoming season? Take extra supplies down on your boat or shipping container. Supplies that are needed most in the aftermath of a hurricane are: clean drinking water, clothing, and shelf-stable food. Go down early or stay a day late to help with cleanup efforts in the local community.
Relief groups are starting to make headway with rebuilding in the Caribbean but these efforts come with a cost. Here are some suggestions if you’re not sure where to start:
Caribbean Sailing Association: Our friends at the CSA have regular updates on relief efforts underway in the Caribbean. They’re also a fantastic resource to make sure your favorite regatta is still running this season! (Hint: most are!)
YachtAid Global: Find out how you, as a sailor, crew member, or yacht owner can provide assistance to the Caribbean during this time of crisis.
Hispanic Federation: UNIDOS: The Hispanic Federation has formed UNIDOS disaster relief fund to support Puerto Rico.
Virgin Gorda Relief Supply Fund: Run by Dive BVI, donations raised from this fund will help rebuild Virgin Gorda.
Barbuda Recovery & Conservation Trust Fund: An emergency relief fund to help rebuild the island of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma - all donations will go directly to support of Barbuda and its people.
CARE (Caribbean Assistance and Relief Effort) Fund: The St. Croix Foundation will use contributions and funds to support both immediate and strategic needs throughout the USVI.
Tourism Cares: Destination Disaster Recovery: The Destination Disaster Recovery Fund works in conjunction with partnerships established with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, adding national support for regional efforts.
Caribbean Tourism Association (CTO) Relief Fund: Collects donations through the CTO Relief Fund for relief efforts in member countries affected by hurricanes and to assist other Caribbean countries affected by natural disasters.
Sailors Helping: Sailors Helping is made up of an all volunteer team of people dedicated to helping support the island communities for which we all care so deeply.
I have some dear friends in St Barth and would like to add their information to the list:
Help St. Barth-Since this fund was started they have shipped almost 1000+ tarps to the island, 100 chainsaws, and thousands of dollars in immediate relief supplies when they first arrived from food, solar power lanterns, and emergency necessities.
Also Please take time to see what our friends at Offshore Passage Opportunities are doing in St Maarten and Dominica. CLICK HERE
I was 13 years old when Hurricane Hugo ripped through my home town in the Virgin Islands, and had my life and community forever changed. I know exactly what kind of devastation a hurricane of this magnitude can cause and want to do all I can to aid in the relief efforts for the islanders.
With your help, I will match financial donations up to $1,000,000 for relief efforts in the US Virgin Islands. In addition, I am also hoping to raise an additional $1,000,000 through this ask in relief supplies for this area.