According to CNN, St. Croix was in Maria's path when it was designated as a Category 5 hurricane. While the eye missed the island by a mere 10 miles, St. Croix did not escape Maria unscathed by any means. Downed power lines and debris have rendered roads impassable and dangerous. Many homes, schools and businesses were completely destroyed or critically damaged, some leaving families and pets trapped inside (via Virgin Islands Daily News). They are also looking at MONTHS without power - just think about that for a minute.
Why am I raising funds directly for St. Croix? St. Croix has acted as a second home for my entire life, and even longer for my parents. The island has given us family, friends and memories (including family weddings, reunions, holidays, etc.) - STX is truly a huge part of our hearts and all of its residents (aka Cruzans) are our family. It is truly a magical place that everyone I have taken there is enamored by. Cruzans truly welcome everyone with open arms, a laid-back loving attitude, a love for the simple life and (more often than not) a tasty cold beverage. It's hard not to fall in love and want to run away to STX for good (I've contemplated it MANY times!) Thankfully, we just received word that our house was spared any heavy damage, and the family/friends that we have heard from so far are safe.
However, this makes me desperate to help the rest of the island that was not as lucky. As a USVI, St. Croix already has staggeringly less resources than the mainland US. and is even more depleted of their usual storm recovery/management resources because of the generous amount of help they offered to other islands affected by storms a week earlier. Plus, it’s the Caribbean and it’s hot - so rescue workers and aides are working in especially harsh conditions.
Shout out to retired NBA star Tim Duncan for raising $2.6 million for St. Croix, his home island! Unfortunately though, damage of this magnitude adds up to astronomical amounts. In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo passed over St. Croix when it was just a Cat 4 storm and caused over $1 billion in damages and took years to recover from (via weather.gov). To put it in perspective, I was not born yet when Hugo hit and I still saw recovery efforts from it in my lifetime. Now, recovery from Maria is sure to last for a long time to come and definitely much longer than it will stay in our newscycle and at everyone's attention.
There is never “enough". I ask you, as a favor to me, please donate - there is no donation too small. $5 = a few water bottles for victims and rescuers. Some repairs are urgent: according to Virgin Islands Daily, communication lines on the island (cell phones, radios, emergency services) were severely damaged, and in some cases completely cut off, by the storm.
100% of donations will go to directly to relief efforts, operations and organizations on St. Croix..
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