Help Donna and Doug Rebuild

My long time friend Doug Arter and his wife Donna were displaced from their home following Hurricane Irma.  We are raising funds for them to rebuild their home and business. This is their story.

Wrath of Hurricane Irma:
On September 6th, the strongest recorded hurricane in history passed directly over Doug and Donna’s home in the British Virgin Islands. They, along with their precious pups Taz and Jasmine, hunkered down in a closet, hoping the roof would hold and keep them safe.

For 15 hours, they huddled in their bunker and listened to their home being torn into pieces by the more than 185 mph sustained winds, tornadoes and flying debris. Nothing could have prepared them for what they saw as they emerged out of that closet.

The morning after:
Their doors, windows and contents of the guest bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen were scattered over the surrounding hillsides. One set of doors that managed to remain on its hinges was impaled by wood from a neighbor’s deck. Dirt and leaves covered the ceilings, walls and floors, beloved cookbook collection and furniture.

Donna and Doug said “The day following the storm was perhaps more stressful than the storm itself. We were informed of another Cat 5 storm Jose, which was heading directly towards us. All the debris on our property had to be burned or stored and openings boarded up in anticipation of another catastrophic event. Could it get any worse than this? YES”.

Facing Irma's path of destruction:
“On Friday", they continued, "we ventured out towards town to find a signal to contact our family and let them know we survived Irma. The emotional scars of seeing the devastation all across the beautiful BVI will be with us forever. We cried and prayed as we made our way through the rubble, the remains of our lovely community and found a signal to call home”.

“Our first thought when seeing Road Town was that we were in a war zone. Buildings gone, roofs in the road, power lines scattered everywhere, yachts upside down on land, nothing spared”. Doug’s office was gone and the area where Donna worked was being looted.

The way it was:
Doug and Donna had a self sustaining home – solar panels produced enough electricity to keep them off the grid, gutters caught water for both personal use and garden needs and the garden supplied enough vegetables and fruits for the family and small supplies for local restaurants. Donna was in the process of expanding the garden as a steady source of income, which would allow her to work at home.

Current situation:
Left with no source of steady income, they decided it would be best to evacuate the Island and stay with family until they are able to return and rebuild. Doug and Donna now are in the process of raising funds to make necessary repairs to their property, rebuild the income-producing garden and get Doug’s business back up and running. A daunting, yet achievable goal.

How you can help:
Every donated dollar brings Donna and Doug closer to their goal. Please give what you can to help them rebuild. The BVI government is offering duty-free imports (up to 20% savings) until Dec 21st. That means the container of supplies has to ship out of Miami on or before December 1st.

Be an angel:
Share their GoFundme link on your Facebook Timeline and with all your email contacts. Ask your friends and family to give what they can.

Estimated costs to rebuild/repair:
Doug’s office rebuild estimate: $10,000
Donna’s square foot garden rebuild estimate $1,400
Replace gutters: $3,000
Replace (12) doors and (8)windows: $29,000
Replace furniture and appliances: $8,000
Replace damaged solar system components: $10,000
  • Tricia Ferrell 
    • $150 
    • 45 mos
  • John Dickson 
    • $250 
    • 46 mos
  • Suzanne Claricurzio  
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
  • Scott Clark 
    • $75 
    • 46 mos
  • James Shrum 
    • $100 
    • 46 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Mark Nemeth 
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