DOMINICA Post-Maria -Support

Dear Friends,

It has been over one week since the destructive winds and rainfall of Hurricane Maria made landfall in Dominica. Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean Island Nation with tropical rain forests, 365 rivers, natural hot springs, and a boiling lake. This richly green island is home to approximately 75,000 residents who depend primarily on the land as a means of providing income and food. The Dominican economy has been dependent on agriculture - primarily the farming of bananas - in years past, but tourism is increasingly becoming a major industry.
The 170mph force winds ripped the roofs off homes, uprooted trees and brought down power lines, sparing no parts of the small island. It is estimated that over 90% of roofs have been destroyed or damaged and the same statistic holds true for damage done to the country’s agricultural sector. The death toll currently stands above 40 with additional individuals missing.
The photos are horrifying and quite frankly, almost unbelievable.
Dominica was the country that I called home until I migrated to the United States of America to pursue higher education, and I distinctly recall enjoying its luscious greenery and bounty of rivers.Through photos, I have seen the devastation done to my home community of Castle Bruce, and a place that has been so familiar to me is now virtually unrecognizable. Almost every resident of Castle Bruce suffered crippling losses from Hurricane Maria. They’ve lost their homes, farms, livestock, personal belongings, power, clean running water, and peace. Most now take shelter in the Secondary School (high-school) and it is expected that power will not be restored for the next 6 months to a year.
In the capital city of Roseau, people who were desperate to ensure that they had food in the days following Hurricane Maria, looted and stripped grocery stores and food shops of their entire inventory. Even the Red Cross building was broken into and pillaged. Desperation has set in and the dire need for food and water has created a hostile situation. When I was able to reestablish contact with some of my closest friends on the island, I asked them all - “what is your greatest need right now?” The response was always “Food & Water”. They have no homes, roofs, clothes, or beds, but these pale in comparison to the need for the daily sustenance that comes from food and clean drinking water. Though local businesses and infrastructure have been destroyed, the residents that call Dominica home have shouldered the heaviest toll. It is difficult walking to the refrigerator knowing that my friends and family on the island have nothing to eat other than the MREs they stood hours in line for.
Countries have reached out to provide different types of emergency assistance but even that is not enough to attend to the need of some 70,000 hungry and battered people. This will be a long road back to any sort of normalcy, but I believe I have a group of friends and a network of caring people who will HELP the people of Dominica and more particularly Castle Bruce, to restore some semblance of normalcy.
The people of Dominica and I are thankful for the many organizations and charities that have pledged their support to our native land, however I see it as my duty and responsibility to give back to the land that birthed me and was home for 18 years of my life. Our neighbors in need require our assistance.

Donations to national organizations can take months to begin distributing funds, and this is no indication that you shouldn’t donate in all possible ways, however your support through this means will have a more immediate and direct impact in Dominica/Castle Bruce. With your help, we can feed families who have lost everything in the aftermath of the Hurricane, give them some bit of relief and comfort and help rebuild the livelihood that makes Dominica such a gem of an island.

>>100% of your donations will go towards the relief of the Dominican people!<<

Thank you for taking the time to consider the plight of our neighbors in beautiful Dominica. Your generosity is deeply appreciated and will make a huge difference in the lives of residents of the island whose lives have been upended. Together, we can restore Dominica to being the place we love, and if you have never been, a place you can’t wait to visit.
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