Hello, we are the George & Wilson families and we are raising funds to help our family in St. Martin affected by hurricane Irma.
Imagine for a moment how your life would be if you narrowly escaped death. In doing so, you lost EVERYTHING! Your existence means you have no home, limited water, dwindling food, no clothes, no way to earn a living, not even mementos... Now imagine your children could not go to school, had little to eat, also no clothes, books, or toys, no medicine, no recreation and they were scared to death. Well, Felicia doesn't have to imagine because this is her life!
This is their story; a simple and sad one...
In the aftermath of hurricane Irma, like many St Martiners, Felicia's life is a literal wreck. She and her three children are in desperate need of assistance as they attempt to reclaim and rebuild their lives – one day at a time.
Since hurricane Irma, life as they knew it changed to a degree we are understanding and coming to terms with each day. Felicia is not sure they will ever overcome what is unimaginable to many.
The night, Irma struck St. Martin, Felicia, Niza (15), Shandal (10) and Maggie (2) evacuated their home even though Felicia was told by many it was safe to stay in their home. Fearing for her kids' well-being, they went to their neighbour's house and weathered through the storm. Although the neighbor's house incurred damage, it was not as bad as Felicia's. As they look back on the destruction of their home, its clear that single decision to stay at their neighbor actually saved their lives! You see, the roof to their once beautiful home was ripped off entirely, walls were torn down, appliances damaged by water and debris, furniture tossed out by wind, windows blown out, all of their clothes, personal items and furnishings destroyed, . The home has irreparable damage. What little was left has been battered, soaked and rendered useless. Felicia's beloved home is uninhabitable and must be demolished and rebuilt. What they were left with was literally the clothes on their backs! Thankfully some daring family members risked their own lives and went by boat from nearby Saba to rescue Felicia and her children. Since then they have been in Saba trying to reassemble their lives, however, little they can.
Many people don’t understand the culture and inner workings of life on a small island. Unlike developed countries, the government is small and has limited resources – resources not adequate to provide support for residents beyond short term necessities if at all. They do not have homeowners’, flood or disaster insurance to file claim to. In order to move around the island a car is essential, most of which have been totaled. Businesses were wiped out so there is no work to go to. Supplies are limited.
Felicia lost her job - the only means of income to support herself and her family.
Electricity is scarce so things like water, refrigeration, food preparation, sanitation, entertainment, etc. are virtually non-existent. St. Martin's entire infrastructure has been decimated. It won't be rebuilt any time soon but this family has to go on living.
Felicia's children have all been traumatized by this experience. Maggie (2), keeps saying she wants to go home and has not been eating regularly since. Shandal (10) fell on his knees and cried when he saw the destruction to their home; they both have nightmares and can’t sleep at night. Niza (15), in spite of being brave and strong for her younger siblings, has been crushed having to leave school, her friends and the life and routine she knew. They don’t know what happens tomorrow or the day after. Felicia and the children can only think about getting by one day at a time. To do so they need long-term housing - whether it is to rebuild their home which will take a long time with no income , economy or supplies, or a rental which is also scarcely available. They will need clothing because they left with only what they were wearing; food; water; personal care items; things to occupy the children - things many of us take for granted and are incalculable.
They are thankful to be alive, but heartbroken at the thought and ordeal of trying to rebuild a life created over many years.
It is the compassion and caring of others like you that will help Felicia and her three young children through these difficult times.
Maybe you don’t have the means to give anything monetarily, but words of comfort and encouragement are just as important. Perhaps you think what you can offer is too small compared to their needs. Well, something small is still better than nothing at all! Importantly, we ask that you share this story with others in your circle in hope they will help Felicia, Niza, Shandal and Maggie recover from hurricane Irma.
Be assured ALL contributions will go directly to the family to help them get immediate essentials, housing, clothing and to readjust. We will continue to provide updates on any little progress they make .
On behalf of Felicia, Niza, Shandal and Maggie, thank you so very much for whatever you do whether it is in spirit or otherwise.
The George & Wilson families
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