On the night of September 5, one of the largest hurricanes in recorded history devastated five leeward islands rendering them practically uninhabitable. It sped on and continued to wreak havoc on the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hispanola, Cuba and, finally, the USA.
On September 1, four Leverage team members congregated in St Martin to create a video about the incomparable experience of working with Leverage. They were equipped with some heavy duty video equipment, cameras, tech, and guitars (the two more musical members of the team). They created a storyboard, a gameplan, and checked out the best spots on the island.
A call from a concerned team member on the morning of September 5 sparked the four to get to higher ground in a hotel with an evacuation and hurricane plan. They left the house on the lagoon and moved to Carl’s Inn. Among themselves, they also came up with a “worst case scenario” plan to head to the Dutch Coast Guard Station should things get out of control. Early September 6, they left the hotel (which had the roof ripped off) and headed to the Coast Guard Station. Once there, they hunkered down and waited for the final bands of wind and rain to pass the island before they were able to survey the general damage.
The damage was beyond what anyone could have imagined. As we sat stunned, glued to our TVs, our four team members and hundreds of thousands of residents of the Leeward islands were left without power, water, food and roofs. Our team, with no place to go to, decided to pitch in with the Coast Guard. Conveniently enough, they had the only cell phones on the island that managed to pick up signals. They also had a drone in their possession, and with Luke’s incredible flying skills, they were able to show the Coast Guard far more damage than they could survey by sight. For the next four days, they would all remain close by the side of the Dutch Coast Guard helping distribute supplies, survey damage, and to get intel from Leverage on the position and strength of the not-so-far-behind Hurricane Jose.
Despite all of our work stateside, it was not until the 106th Rescue Wing showed up on the tarmac that they were able to finally get out. Unfortunately, it was not on a regular plane like we hoped. It was on a C-130, and it was packed, so the team had to leave everything behind that they could not carry on their laps. That meant clothing, travel gear, laptops, other tech, and guitars were left behind. This hits our team member Brittney the hardest - she is a true nomad. She has everything she owns in a backpack. The majority of her life is left swimming in the Caribbean.
Leverage Team Members want to help them recoup some of their losses and donate to charity. They have about $8,000 worth of things they lost in Irma, and we want to donate 20% of everything we get to the K1 Britannia Foundation to help with further recovery efforts on the island. We’re setting the amount we want to raise at $10,000 so we can help the island and the team. Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated; every bit helps. Please share with your friends and family. Let’s make a difference!
1. We are Russell and Joanna, from New Orleans and New York, respectively.
2. We are colleagues and friends of the four people who were trapped in St Martin for whom we are raising money. Joanna was actually supposed to be in St Martin with her family to help with the project, but because her flight was on Monday canceled.
3. The money will go to the four team members and charity. We will send 20% of what we earn to K1 Britannia, a charity on St Martin that the four volunteered with while they were stranded. The rest of the money will go to the four team members who lost so many belongings. We simply want to help them replace items. They did all buy travel insurance from World Nomads, but apparently, it does not cover most of the items lost. We don't want them to be out thousands of dollars.
4. The account being used is Capital One 360, which allows free bank to bank transfers. Once we do the major withdrawal, it will be sent via bank to bank transfer to the four team members, and to K1 using their online portal here: https://k1britanniafoundation.org/sponsorship/
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