I contacted my good friend Shelly Jack, the principal at my old school, St Maarten Montessori. She told me that while relief supplies continue to arrive, the most important thing I could do was getting much needed clothing to people of St. Maarten who still have nothing.
With the assistance of Erin Corbett (and so many others!) at River Valley School in Calgary, an amazing initiative took hold. After brainstorming many approaches, River Valley School began collecting clothes donated from staff, the families of students and friends from all around town. Over the course of 10 days we collected over 400kg of clothing, an amount beyond my wildest expectations. Now I need your help to bring this project to completion and put all these clothes into the hands of the people that need them most.
The original cost to ship the 17 boxes to St Maarten was over $3700, something I, nor the school, could afford. So I started looking for help, and found it in two amazing companies.
I spoke with Andrea Kilmer at FREIGHTCENTER (http://www.freightcenter.com) and she made it clear they had assisted other hurricane stricken islands and St. Maarten would not be left out. She got us a great price to get the clothes directly from the school in Calgary all the way to Miami. This was a huge help as it overcame the challenge of getting the clothes through the US. Next to step up was Risk Hale at FOURSTARCARGO (www.fourstarcargo.com), a company that was greatly affected by Hurricane Irma and knows first hand the havoc it wrought. Perhaps this is why they made me the amazing offer of covering ALL costs to get the freight from Miami to St. Maarten. I'd only asked for a discount, but Rick worked out a way to get all 17 boxes to SXM, compliments of Fourstar. Awesome. THANK YOU to both corporations for their assistance and showing us all that businesses still care about helping out communities who need it most.
So all that remains is $1,600CAD to cover the remainder of the shipping costs, which is where this fund comes in. With your help, once we reach our goal, the boxes will be on their way. Any donations above this will be wired directly to Shelly Jack to purchase goods on the island for additional needs of the population, for example perishable goods that could not be reasonably shipped. And, of course, once the fund is "completed", I will provide updates on the transportation of the clothes and all media provided from those on the island as they reach me.
I would like to stress that an important feature of this effort - there is no middle-man and no bureaucracy to slow down or compromise the process and success of this initiative. The collection of 400kg of clothing will reach Shelly Jack directly, who has over a decade of experience assisting those in need on the island. She will personally see to the appropriate distribution of the clothes to those who REALLY need it. It will be done effectively, promptly and with maximum benefit to the island population. You can rest assured that if you help this shipment get to SXM, your charity will not be in vain.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of you that donate and help get this project done.
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