We NEED your help!!!
On September 6 & 7, 2017, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on ”The Jewel of The Eastern Caribbean”, our beloved island of St. Maarten/Sint Martin.
The residents and many tourists experienced a CATEGORY 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 185 mph and sea surges of over 11 feet. Irma left catastrophic destruction with over 95% of the island’s homes, buildings, and infrastructure destroyed. Many on the island were left homeless or with homes that endured significant damage; some even lost their life.
Over the course of about 36 hours, tourism, the main industry of the island was wiped out, and St. Martiners/Maarteners found themselves struggling for survival. Unemployment looms and schools struggle to reopen to educate the young; a vital resource for a nation that needs rebuilding!
Now, residents of this tiny community of roughly 77,000 people are in desperate need of critical supplies, food, water, shelter and other daily necessities.
Who We Are
We Bring You Greetings!
Nous Vous Apporton d
es Salutations! Nou Pote Ou Bonjou! (French/Creole)
Wij Brenzen U Groeten! (Dutch)
Te Traemos Saludos! (Spanish)
The St. Maarten Strong Coalition is a union of families, who are descendants of Cornelia "Kinny" Ellis, who was born on the island of Sint Maarten (Dutch) in the year 1827, and later made St Martin (French) her home. Her family, having grown leaps and bounds, maintains a strong presence on both sides of the island and some have made the United States, Holland and other islands in the Caribbean their home.
On July 15, 2017, our family came together on the island, for weeklong activities and a family reunion to celebrate our great history, re-connect with those we have not seen in years, and make new familial connections. We had a wonderful time and with pride, wore tee shirts that displayed our newly designed family crest. To say the least, we had experienced a lifetime of precious memories!
Less than two months later, we are helping to make #sxmSTRONGER…
· St Martin/Sint Maarten boasts wonderful beaches, fauna, fabulous hotel accommodations, and tropical cuisine.
· The island is the “smallest landmass on earth, shared by two countries”, France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is comprised of a population of approximately 75
- 77,000 people of varying nationalities and ethnicities.
· Tourism accounts for 80%
of the island’s main economy.
· The U.S. News and World Report ranks St Martin/Sint Maarten as:
o #6 in Best Caribbean Beaches
o #8 in Best Caribbean Honeymoons
o #8 in Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean
o #9 in Best Winter Vacations
The Aftermath – A Monumental Re-Building Effort
“Irma” left an indelible mark on the island and it will take some time before it is restored to it’s unforgettable beauty and standing as a major tourist destination. Once rebuilt, St. Martin/Sint Maarten will continue to bring together vacationing families from around the world.
But supporters, the St. Maarten Strong Coalition cannot do it alone! We Need Your Help! Nous Avons Besoin de Votre Aide! Wij Hebben Uw Hulp Nodig! Necesitamos Su Ayuda! Nou Benzwen `Ed Ou!
We consider this mode of fundraising the most efficient, expedient and easiest way to get money and necessities into the hands of people who need it.
Collaborating and sharing the information with an online audience will help us reach our goal more expeditiously, and partnering with our virtual community of friends, family, churches, charitable organizations and the like is the way to go in times like these! In the end, “It’s People Helping People”!
Together, the St. Maarten Strong Coalition, families around the globe, friends, co-workers and the faith community will unite to meet our goal of helping to aid our beloved island!
Our Collective Goal – Your Impact
All contributions made, will go directly to helping 30 families on the island of St Martin/Sint Maarten, who have varying needs. We have developed an assessment tool that will help us identify those families with critical needs and those who’s means are limited. Here’s what we plan to accomplish:
· $15,000 = Raise funds to give $500 each to (30) families, in critical need situations, including those with young children and those with dire medical needs.
· Collect non-perishable foods in the USA, that will provide nourishment and help lessen the burden on families having to purchase these items at exorbitant costs.
· $500 = Obtain sponsors to purchase shipping barrels in which to send the supplies. (10 barrels)
· $4500 = Obtain sponsors to send needed supplies to families on the island.
Long Term Goals
· Continue fundraising efforts indefinitely, for as long as we can be sustained during the island’s re-building period.
· Provide a team of family members on the island that will assist with the relief and rebuilding efforts.
· Establish food pantries on the island that will continue to serve the needs of residents.
Additional Relief Efforts Welcomed/Social Media
· Follow, like and spread the word about the situation in St Marten/Sint Maarten via social media!
o Website: Currently under construction
· Mail inquiries to:
o St. Maarten Strong Coalition
575 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10027
· Help us inventory goods at the collections sites once our barrels have been filled.
· Help us transport items to the shipper (we will let you know when help is needed).
· Send us important media updates of the situation on the islands. Let us know about potential sponsors.
· Capture images or video of a good cause that is benefitting the island.
· Help us provide good media coverage.
· Send words of encouragement to the people of St Martin/Sint Maarten! They can use all the inspiration and love they can
· Established collection site at the following locations:
1. Faith Mission Christian Fellowship Church in Harlem, NY
160-164 West 129th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) [phone redacted]
Contact- Bishop Dr. Kerry A. Gulston/Minister Rorie
2. The Church of God 7th Day Pentecostal in Brooklyn, NY
922 St. Marks Avenue
New York, NY 10027
(718) [phone redacted]
Contact- Mother Tikili
Mondays and Tuesdays ONLY, 10am – 6pm
3. Legal Hand- Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, Brooklyn, NY
250 Kingston Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11213
(718) [phone redacted]
Contact- Hannah Margolin
Monday & Wednesday 12pm-8pm, Tuesday & Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-1pm, and Saturday 11am-2pm
4. Flowers Fyzical Therapy, Jamaica, NY
219-10 South Conduit Avenue
Springfield Gardens (Jamaica), NY 11413
(718) [phone redacted]
Contact: Neville and Michael Flowers
5. Healthy Choice, East Harlem
1780 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10035
(646) [phone redacted]
Contact- Qasem Alrousan
Monday thru Sunday, 5am-1am
· Identified family members that have purchased barrels in which to load supplies.
· Collected canned goods, pasta, boxed cereals, baby food and cereals, hand sanitizing soap, adult diapers, and notebooks from collection site and identified family members that made personal contributions. We are currently inventorying those items.
· Filled two barrels half-way
Reflections on the Beauty of Life
Some call it Mother Nature, others refer to it as a gift from God, and still others mention that this simply is the way things are, period, dot, dash! Whatever your belief, there is so much beauty in the world in which we live!
We smell the roses, take in the sights and sounds of life, and experience the warmth of the sun as it brightens our blue skies and azure blue seas, nourishing the plants, trees and animals all around us!
Catastrophic events remain a constant in our lives and it is our ability to recover from these events (almost miraculously), that make us such resilient beings and ever so steadfast, holding on and following our dreams of a better life!
Many of you have fond memories of this tiny jewel of an island, having spent vacation time there. We trust that you believe that the St. Maarten people are your family too and that you would want to aid in the effort to rebuild the island and make it stronger than ever before!
Help us extend a helping hand to our families in St Martin/Sint Maarten, known and unknown, as you may one day, need a hand up!
We are all Family! Nous Sommes Tous De La Famille! Wij Zijn Allemaale Familie! Todos Somos Familia! Nous Se Tout Fanmi!
With sincere appreciation and gratitude in advance.
Kwa Ujasiri (With Fortitude),
St. Maarten Strong Coalition
- Shaneka Gulston
- The French Quarter Yankee
- Ali Rashid
- Joanne Dekker
- Ayo Oti
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