AUC Medical School Hurricane Relief
As limited updates stream in from St. Maarten regarding conditions on the ground, one thing is abundantly clear— The little island paradise where many of us were fortunate enough to call our second home, was slammed by a Category 5 Hurricane Irma with wind gusts above 200 mph. Homes are left crumbled, streets are impassable; looting is rampant; civil unrest hangs in the air, and the airport is demolished. These past few days have been long and heavy, but there is no feat we cannot beat as an aggregate.
If circumstances continue to run their current course, we must ensure that all efforts are being made to help all students affected by this tragedy.It is our responsibility to come together in the spirit of compassion and provide aid upon their return back to the States, where they can then begin to put the pieces together and experience a sense of normalcy again.
Let me now tell you where assistance is needed. Although many students went home for the break and were not on the island when the storm hit, all of us were directly affected by the impact of the storm. Students did not pack their lives to leave on the break; they simply packed for a week with their families. Their computers, necessary medical equipment, stethoscopes, dress clothes, white coats, day-to-day clothings, and everything else needed to meet daily needs was left on the island. Those items are now gone. There are a total of roughly 800 students currently enrolled in their Medical Sciences education at AUC in Sint Maarten. Of these students, the greater majority will have to replace everything they needed to function as medical students. Many students pre-paid their rent for the semester and won't likely ever see the return of that money. As medical students, we take out government loans for our education and these loans are capped. We are alloted a set amount to pay tuition and make it through the semester. We surely aren't given enough money to rebuild our lives and replace everything we have lost. We will all be relocated to the US to continue our educations and we will not have the financial means to place deposits and pay first months rent on new apartments, much less replace all of our belongings which is even more expensive. Unfortunately, we just don't have the financial means to overcome this alone. We are 800 future physicians who have dedicated our lives to helping others and at this point, we are the ones in need of help.
If there is anything you can do to assist us in this difficult time, no matter the amount, we would appreciate it immensely. We want nothing more than to be able to continue our educations so that we can fulfill our dreams of helping you, your family and anyone else in need. When members of our AUC community on the island have been safely evacuated, all contributions made through this fundraiser will serve as a relief fund to support the needs of our family and friends who were directly affected by this tragedy. In light of all the destruction, funds will be donated to help purchase necessary goods for students, families, and faculty members who may have lost many, if not all, of their belongings. A "Needs Document" has been created to assess the individual needs of each student and donations will be distributed accordingly. We want to assure that all students can replace anything that is absolutely necessary to continue their medical education. Also, rest assured that the students are helping each other with their own donations of items they can spare to help one another. AUC is a family and no one will be left behind from this tragedy. We all came into this together and we will prevail together!
Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions and if you are unable to make a donation, please share our page so that we can reach out to as many people as possible who can help us overcome this overwhelming disaster.
Thank you for your help, thoughts and prayers. We truly appreciate your love and support more than you could ever imagine!