Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys

My name is Chris Johnson.  I am a resident of Little Torch Key, in the Lower Florida Keys, near Big Pine Key, Florida. This campaign is an effort to raise funds to purchase tools and other items for the purpose of fixing the homes and property of our friends and neighbors in the Big Pine Key and Lower Keys region.  This is our story:

Hurricane Irma devastated much of the Florida Keys. As the eye of the category 4 storm ravaged the Lower Keys for hours, it took the livelihoods and homes of so very many.  People who live here, raise families here and provide the services necessary for places like Key West, which so many visit and love.

As Federal, State and Local agencies work tirelessly to restore very basic functions to these areas, many of us who are evacuated are left wondering what we will return to. Images and video are slowly trickling out and indicate a long, tiring road to normalcy.

Homes are damaged. Winds well over 100 MPH took the roofs...the siding...the doors...the windows. Flood waters up to 10 ft covered homes with sea water and filled homes with sludge and debris.

In short, it's a damn mess.

We are banding together, as a family if you will, to begin putting lives back together as soon as possible. We plan to return with supplies, tools and most of all, the stubborn intent to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible. The government agencies can only do so much and it will be up to us for the rest.

When most people evacuated, they left behind basic tools and power tools.  That is the purpose of this fund. We have man (and woman) power waiting, willing and able to recover, board by board and nail by nail. We need a jump start to get rolling.

This fund will support the efforts of our friends and families in the Big Pine and Lower Keys area to purchase tools and supplies. Drills. Hammers. Screws. Dry Wall. Chain Saws. We have plenty of able hands and expertise. Unfortunately, things like basic tools were washed away from the storage areas of many homes. 

I will withdraw these funds as necessary to purchase what we need.  There will be updates. You will know what your hard earned money is accomplishing. I believe you will be proud of our efforts.

Any help in this endeavor is appreciated. This storm left a lasting scar on the Lower Keys, but it won't be permanent. We will rebuild. We will open our islands to the many people near and far who visit. This is about the only thing we can offer you for this fund. There is no t-shirt, but there will be our gratitude.

Thank you for your time and your contribution.
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Chris Johnson 
Key West, FL
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