We are Tom and Sharie Decherd, and began building our adventure travel and boutique hotel business in Dominica about three years ago. We are US citizens, and our hotel is located on the North coast of the island in the village of Calibishie. We have been travelling to Dominica for about 10 years and have many local friends in the village and around the island.
While our property survived with minimal damage, most other buildings and homes lost their entire roof structure or were destroyed outright. All food crops, fruit trees, power, water and telecommunications services were damaged badly. Mobile phone service has been partially restored, but it will be more than 1 year before power can be restored across the island.
Our friends in the village are in need of non-perishable food items and building supplies to rebuild their homes. We travelled back to the US a few days ago to coordinate relief efforts, and will bring a shipment back to Dominica in November.
Dominicans are a resiliant people with an amazing attitude, and are already helping themselves to improve their situation every day. In just the last two weeks a local group of us worked with the water utility company to chainsaw up into the jungle to reopen the water supply for the village. Villagers are also using all the storm debris to create temporary shelters to protect people from rain. Everyone has worked together to clear land slides and fallen trees from the roads.
Dominica is an independent democratic country with no ties to a larger nation. With all the current disasters, Dominica is not receiving a lot of aid. Most of what is being received is being allocated to the larger population areas and not the countryside.
We will use 100% of the funds from this campaign to purchase and ship food to the village of Calibishie. This food will be purchased in the US and will be shiped out of the port of Miami, FL to Dominica. I will pick up the shipment at the port and will distribute the food to families in the village of Calibishie. There are about 1,500 - 2000 people living in the village at this time.
Residents of the village have already begun replanting their gardens, but food won't be available for another 5-6 months.
Thank you for helping these amazing people in their time of need.
Tom & Sharie Decherd
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