Hurricanes Crushed My Family

Growing up in New Jersey, my Dad would tell us these incredible stories of a paradise in the Caribbean where he grew up with all of his brothers, sisters, cousins, family friends, and every other relative in between. The stories had common threads. They were about family, love, laughter, value of quality of life and the strength in community.  I couldn't fully comprehend the culture as I was young. But I was always so desperate to finally meet the other side of my family in person.

My family is deeply rooted in the Islands of Dominica and St. Maarten. They live life so beautifully and simply. I had one of the greatest pleasure of traveling to Dominica only to be greeted with so much love and hospitality to a place I knew so well but had never been.  I got to put faces, homes, tastes and smell to all of those incredible stories. It was bliss and I'm grateful I got to see it. My family in the Caribbean are so strong and some of the most humble people I have ever met. They cherish all the littlest things in life. I appreciate them in so many ways it's difficult to describe.


Last few weeks Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria devastated everything that was Dominica and caused my family in St. Maarten to be completely uprooted from their lives and have to find a new one in a refuge country. My Family's homes were destroyed and taken away by the storm surge. My Uncles, Aunts, and Cousins were fending for their lives. Water rushing through windows and doors from 2 overflowing rivers meeting the extremely dangerous sea. They were trapped. They managed to open another door to reroute some water in a chance for escape. My Uncle Julie, Albert, my Aunt Maria my cousins Al, Ocean, Sylvester and his family were just trying to survive and get to higher ground.


Sadly the Hurricane took the lives of my cousin Sylvester's 2 beautiful girls Yahkira and Destiny (Destiny the youngest seen in the picture above) in the effort to escape. My family is destroyed. The hurricane took every single item they own as well as washing away any happiness that existed. What's left of the house is just a shadow of itself surrounded by mud and timber reaching the second floor. They have no shelter, no food, no clothing. All of the places from the stories are completely washed away.


There are reports that this storm has set the island back 100 years. Hurricane Maria destroyed full rainforests in a single night. There is no electricity, infrastructure, or communication. The progress the Island has been making disappeared in one night.


I can't even begin to start to put a cost on what it takes to recover from this destruction and tragedy. But to start, anything will help. The money raised will be going to all my family in the Caribbean to help them continue to live. They need money for food and shelter as well as transport costs and surgeries for the injured. It will be going to my Cousin Sylvester and his family for any support they need in the difficult time of losing their children. It will be going to my sisters relocating after the hurricane forces them out of the only homes they ever knew. The money raised mainly becomes a support system to stay alive and for them to regain some peace and happiness. They are in great need of help. Please the littlest donation will be so greatly appreciated. 


The Joseph Family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts.

One Love
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Organizer

Jason Joseph 
Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
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