As many of you know, my family has been on the island for 40 years. While they have lost a lot in this storm, they will be ok. But many on the island have lost everything. There are no words to explain the magnitude of the destruction - it will take a very long time to rebuild.
Hurricanes in the islands are different than in the mainland U.S. You can't drive away. Nearly a week after the storm, airports are still closed and relief supplies are limited. Mail isn't being transported in or out. Curfews are in place, allowing residents out of their homes for only 6 hours a day. Stores are closed so you can't buy additional supplies. There is no power, except for the few who have generators. Mosquitos and other insects are rampant.
There is so much work needed, it's not clear where relief efforts should begin. To get a sense of what life is like, I encourage you to read this article by NBA star Tim Duncan , who was born and raised in the USVI.
I am coordinating with trusted friends on the island and looking into various charities to determine what is needed most. In the meantime I'm starting this fund so our community is ready to provide support. Please consider donating. I pledge to provide regular updates on the situation and will be completely transparent about where the funds go. Depending on the amount collected, we can decide if it all goes to one place or if it can be spread around to help some smaller charities and specific families.
Thanks for your consideration! Please let me know if you have any questions.
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- melissa gibson
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