Friends in the Bahamas after Irene

I am raising money for friends in Cat Island, Bahamas, hit by Irene while it was a category 3 hurricane. As of the inception of this campaign, the 1,800 residents are without water, food, and many necessities.  The situation is extremely dire so any amount will be greatly appreciated.  Some of these people stood in the pitch black storm with chest high water inside their homes over night as roofs blew off buildings from 115 mph winds, and trees were twisted by tornadoes.  All appliances and home furnishings are ruined and this is a remote island so it takes great effort to get goods and materials to it.  

The latest report is that the power will not be restored there for several weeks.  Without power, the water plant cannot operate. The island is low on petrol so use of generators is a challenge.  Private donors are all the island has had to rely on for help. Thanks to Chris and Lisa Illing of Greenwood Beach Resort, progress is being made in bringing assistance to the people of Cat Island.

The money collected will go towards providing food, water, and necessities, rebuilding their houses, providing replacements of damaged goods in their homes, and helping the animals of Cat Island Humane Society.  Artist friend, nurse and organizer of Cat Island Humane Society, Elza Behrens, painted the image above.  I am currently connecting with the Bahamas Humane Society and Humane Society International for assistance in getting goods to the starving animals. Funding in this matter is essential.

Supporters can also help by sharing this with your friends on facebook and via email. Remember, every little bit helps. No donation is too small. You may also call [phone redacted] and ask for Chris Illing or Lisa Illing to offer further assistance. Thank you!

***September 8, 2011*** Update from Elza and clarity about the funds collected here
Update from Cat Island

Hello old and new friends. Thank you, Ginger Law and Celeste Gray, for
your efforts on our behalf.
As most of us still have no phone, cell phone signal, electricity,
transportation, web access, communication is challenged.
No persons were killed, no injuries were reported during the storm.
Injuries post-storm to humans are occurring, but none
life-threatening.  Animals died during the storm, and many are
injured. Since we have limited communication, we really do not know.
Just this morning someone asked me for assistance for a cat with one
eye "out". Many dogs that were untied during the storm have been hurt
(machete chop, boiling fat burns) by neighbors who don't want them
around, scavenging for food.  Most are very hungry.

The Bahamas National Defense Force, BEC, Caricom have been present and
working hard to rebuild infrastructure.
Cat Island building codes are strict, and old buildings are strong and
still standing. Roof damage is extensive.
The ease of the web illustrates that we are of one heart and spirit.
But we are not all in one space.  Making donations internationally,
post disaster, from persons in one nation to another sovereign nation
is challenging and complex.

If you wish your donations to be used for animal relief, they will be
given to the Cat Island Humane Society. CIHS is incorporated as a
non-profit organization in the Bahamas.  Please join our Facebook Cat
Island Humane Society (horse icon).  We operate under a board of
directors. Our executive officers are: President- Sylvia Baker, Vice
President, Andrew Seymour, 2nd Vice President, Danson King, Treasurer-
Kay Chriswell, Secretary, Elza Behrens.  Food donations have been made
and should reach us soon.

If you wish your donations to be used for human relief, they will be
given to Cat Island Relief Aid, a 501C3 non-profit organization
registered in the US. CIRA was started by Uschi Ingersoll after a
previous hurricane, and they deliver food packages monthly to the
elderly on Cat Island.

Most of us are tired and weary.  The mosquitoes and heat are
relentless and most of us have no water.  Although electricity was
only introduced in 1993, we are absolutely dependent on it!  Solar is
the way to go.

Thank you all for your care and concern.  And we hope you will all
come visit soon! The water is (very) warm and we will be "open for
business" any day now! :..Elza
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Celeste Gray 
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