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Irma St Martin Bamboo Staff Relief

$7,925 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 5 months
Created September 17, 2017

As many of you know, Hurricane Irma ravaged its way across the island of St Maarten / St Martin on Wednesday September 6th, 2017, leaving in its wake a path of destruction, devastation and homelessness. This is the strongest storm ever to have struck the island, and over 95% of the island's structures were destroyed. Through our two businesses, Bamboo and Sky Beach, our family employs a staff of 60 from 14 different countries, who together add up to an extended family of over 200 impacted people, all of whom have been displaced.  Most have lost their homes, their clothing, their food, their books, even their photos.  Many have been evacuated to other locations and they are now scattered, jobless, and with no means to earn an income. All of them have families who need food, shelter, clothing, medication and supplies.  Our staff is our family! And if you've been to the island, chances are good they are your family too. So many of you have dined at Bamboo.  You've relaxed on the rooftop at Sky Beach.  No doubt you were served by one of our warm staff members... you savored a meal prepared by one of our great cooks... or perhaps you've sipped a cocktail prepared by one of our wonderful bartenders. 

Many of you have read of the heroic save of a number of them by Jim Goldman, who flew to the island two days after the storm hit to bring in building supplies and to evacuate as many as he could get off the island.  Links to the media coverage of this are below.

We are doing as much as we can for our Sint Maarten/St Martin family, but we ourselves are a small business and we have also suffered great loss, so our own funds are limited. 

We will rebuild (!!), and we will provide jobs again for this wonderful family...  but until then, we are appealing to those of you who love this little island of paradise to find room in your heart to donate funds to help them get through this terrible period. 

Please know that 100% of these funds will go to our staff and their families... who are sorely in need of food, medicine, supplies, clothing, etc. and who need to begin to rebuild their lives.  The French and Dutch governments have been unable to provide direct financial assistance, so we are doing whatever we can to help.  Again, this fund is only for our staff and their families.  It has nothing to do with our businesses, which we ourselves will rebuild using our own funds.

Lastly... while any donation is a gesture of love and compassion, to us anyone who donates to this fund is an honorary member of our family.  Should your travels bring you back to our island paradise down the road - and we truly hope they do!! - please identify yourself to a staff member.  We want to know who you are, so we can express our extreme gratitude for your compassionate generosity shown today.

With gratitude and love,
Jimmy, Sophie, Vaughn, Jodi & Dylan

PS - here's a link to our website - we're legit, and those smiling faces belong to real people, our extended family, who along with their families are suffering great loss.

http://www.stmaartenguesthospitality.com

PPS - Should you have any questions or wish to speak to Jimmy directly, please call him at 646-554-7100 or email him at jamesg@brotherjimmys.com.

Here are links to the media coverage of Jimmy's heroic act:

http://www.fox5ny.com/news/brother-jimmys-owner-helps-st-martin-irma-victims

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-restaurateur-makes-rescue-in-st-martin-1505175406

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/st-martin-struggles-to-weather-hurricane-irmas-devastation-1505087003

http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/09/brother-jimmys-owner-rescues-friends-from-st-martin.html

Here are some pics of our Bamboo and Sky Beach staff during happier times:


And here are some interior pics of Bamboo (and staff) before Irma ...




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UPDATE ON ST MAARTEN, BAMBOO STAFF, BAMBOO

November 1, 2017

St Maarten is cleaning up!!

In the seven weeks since Hurricane Irma ravaged our Island, much of the debris has been removed. Yes, the destruction remains, but progress is being made. The reconstruction is underway and restoration and rebuilding work is everywhere.

The Island had been looking a bit like a Pirates’ colony, with many woman and children having left temporarily, leaving the men behind to rebuild. Many of the men had grown beards during the weeks after Irma as water and power were in short supply. However, as power and water have been restored, and the Island cleaned up, we are seeing the beards being shaven off as it’s a bit hot in the Caribbean to have a beard.

Two key items have impeded Island reconstruction efforts: Insurance and the local Government. NAGICO insures the vast majority of the island. They have been quite slow with the claims process, and hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals are impacted. Absent the flow of insurance proceeds, the reconstruction is limited on a number of large and small projects. Bamboo and Sky Beach are just two of the hundreds of businesses waiting on the Insurance Company.

Present Government needs external funds to rebuild the Island, as the rebuilding costs are staggering. Accordingly, St Maarten’s Government requested financial assistance from Holland. The Dutch were kind enough to offer substantial financial assistance with some reasonable conditions, but the St Maarten Government objected to certain requests. And while ultimately giving in at the last moment, the Governing coaliton collapsed with a vote of no confidence, and new elections are planned for January 8.

Until then, the fate of many things will remain in question.... but what is clear to all is that the local merchants and the good people of St Maarten are enthusiastically moving forward with the rebirth of St Maarten.

Here at Bamboo, we are waiting on the hotel before we can begin rebuilding. Water and electric were recently restored to Bamboo and Sky Beach. And we believe we will begin to work on Bamboo’s rebuilding sometime in late November with a targeted reopening on mid February, 2018.

Our employees clearly aren’t in a position to wait this long. With that in mind, we are opening a small temporary version of Bamboo in Simpson Bay later this week (!!). We will be located in Puerta De Sol across the street from Toppers.

In its temporary home, Bamboo will be offering most of the menu plus a few additions, and we will be open for lunch as well. We have reopened this “Pop Up” Bamboo really for the employees of Bamboo, who remain here in St Maarten. Most restaurants have not yet reopened - although every day sees more opening - so replacement jobs for our team were scarce, and we decided why not do a Pop Up “St Maarten style”.

About half of our staff have remained in St Maarten post Irma. We will be utilizing all of them at the new location.

Our employees collectively decided that cash was more important to them than clothes and supplies as they needed to repair their homes (as many of you know, most of the roofs in St Maarten were damaged or destroyed, and homes suffered structural damage). So we began distributing the funds raised from the Go Fund Me site earlier this week, and there were many tears in the eyes of our employees.

We’ll be posting more updates, but wanted you to know of recent progress. We thank you again (and again and again) from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity and your support.

Jimmy, Jodi, Dylan and the entire staff of Bamboo and Sky Beach.
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Dearest friends,

This Thursday, Ziggy's will be hosting a Hurricane Irma Relief fund raiser on behalf of those impacted in St Maarten. Proceeds will go to Samaritan's Purse, who is on the ground providing help right now. If you're in town, stop by!!
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Posting more after pics
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$7,925 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 46 people in 5 months
Created September 17, 2017
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