Hurricane relief for Carol Berry

On September 6th, 2017, Hurricane Irma a category 5 hurricane barreled towards my home of St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. I have never been more scared in my life. Not for myself, but for my family and friends… especially my mother.  I am her only child, and for the first time, I would not be around to help in a time of crisis. All I could do was watch from afar with hope and endless prayers. That night, I lost contact with her as the storm started her abusive trek over the island. The feeling of helplessness was indescribable. I waited and watched fitfully as the pictures of devastation started to unfold on social media, with still no word from her. Finally it came. She was safe. I was elated!

Then the bad news came. Her home was utterly destroyed, and her car was badly damaged.  Listening to her voice with all its shock and grief over a phone call with poor connection was beyond painful.

In the following days, with the help of family members, she tried to salvage what she could of her worldly possessions from the wreckage. Then, the unimaginable happened. Hurricane Maria. Yet another category 5 hurricane had set its sites on the islands. Two week later from Irma, Maria was there. While the blow that she dealt wasn’t as fierce as Irma’s, it was enough to take what was left. Her car was flooded and all she had left drenched in the rains.

I know my mother is a strong person. She has shown me that all her life. This is the woman that took in a stranger during hurricane Hugo in 1989 so he could have a safe place to stay, and helped so many with the recovery process after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995.  She has raised me mostly on her own, and has worked tirelessly for as long as I can remember.  Despite her strength, I cannot imagine the uphill climb to recovery that she faces. It is too much for one person to bear. Without her car, she cannot get to and from work, without the work, she cannot recover.

This is why I am putting aside my pride and asking humbly for anything you can to help me help her. For now, it is all I can do to repay a tiny portion of the help, guidance, and love she has given to me and others. Thank you and God Bless.


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Brandon French King 
Kissimmee, FL
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