For those who don't know me, my name is Kate, I have lived in the Virgin Islands for eleven years, working in the community as an archaeologist. I currently live on St. Thomas but spend time in St. Croix and St, John as well. Our islands are very tiny and when you live here you can't help but know everyone! As you have seen, St. Thomas and St. John have suffered catostrophic damages as a result of Hurricane Irma. Houses have been destoryed and our basic infastructure has been severly compromised or demolished. The island is with our power, water, and phone service. During the hurricane I had two famlies and three dogs seeking shelter and saftey in my home. Luckily my house remians but my dear friends ( a family of 4 ) have lost half of their home and roof. All posessions are ruined by sea and rain water and wind. Sadly, their story is not unique. Many people in my community have been left with nothing. Mothers were evacuated from the hospital with nothing but their new born baby. Some people are sleeping in cars, or reamins of houses open to the elements. Food and water are scarce, as are personal items and medications. Your donations will be used to facilitate the purchase and/or delivery of supplies to the Virgin Islands. Families and children need food, medicine, shelter, water, and basic necessities to survive. Our sister island of St. Croix was spared and relief efforts are being oragnized there. Charter companies are organizing the purchase and donation of food and other supplies and using their boats to deliver the goods to St. John and St. Thomas, to shelters, and pickup points where families can come and recieve food and other necessities. The money may also be used for food to prepare free meals for folks, as people have no or limited access to stoves, stores, or food items to cook. St. Croix could be facing their own shortage of available supplies in the near future as container ships are stuck in Miami as Irma wrecks havoc there as well. Depending on the avialbility of supplies in St. Croix in the coming weeks, I may use funds to purchase supplies on the main land USA and ship them over. Since the airport in St. Thomas is not open to commercial flights, I am trying to make my way to St. Croix where I can join in the volunteer effort. If supplies remain available for purchase on St. Croix, your donations will be given directly to one of the operating organizations on St. Croix. The Virgin Islands will rebuild and be more beautiful than ever but we need help! Every dollar goes a long way!