Hurricane Irma Relief SXM Neighbors

$7,350 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 11 months
At one time you contacted us regarding our vacation rental in St. Maarten and that's why I have your email address.  As somone who has been visiting St. Maarten for 35+ years,  I created this go fund me page to help the many needy families in St. Maarten.   They are still in need of our help. 

I'm hoping that you can find it in your heart to make any size donation to help the many people struggling in St. Maarten after their island was hit by a category 5 hurricane.

On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma struck St. Maarten and devastated the island.  More than 95% of the homes were damaged by Irma.   Of those, 40% are uninhabitable.  The government of SXM has put a price tag of 2.5 billion Euros on the material damage caused by Hurricane Irma.  GEBE, the utility company on the island, estimates it will take a month to get power restored on the island.  The Princess Julianna airport is still under repair and operating outside with huge tents for arrivals & departures.

We are very fortunate that the two La Siesta buildings are standing and we are able to make the repairs.  Many of our surrounding neighbors aren't as fortunate.  They lost their roofs, the interior of their homes were flooded and many have no place to go to work and earn an income. 

So far this Go Fund Me page as of 1/4/18  has donated $7,350 (between the go fund me donations & personal checks) to our SXM neighbors.

Pictured is most of the congregation of the UNITED CHURCH of Fredericksburg who donated a generous $1,000.  Please read their story in the updates.

Please continue to make contributions so that we can continue to give donation checks to our SXM neighbors to keep them afloat as SXM continues to recover.


Linda Tucker & Jamie Lear
La Siesta Residence, Simpson Bay, SXM
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Why these photos are filled with smiling faces….

In March of 2017, Ann and Doug Hodges booked a trip to stay at Sea Place Villa for a week in mid-December 2017. Then on 9/6/17, Hurricane Irma hit St. Maarten as a category 5 hurricane, and their trip was cancelled.

Ann was touched by what she read on this Go-Fund-Me page and she wanted to help the people of St. Maarten who had gone through one of the most devastating experiences of their lives. She and her husband sent an anonymous donation to help but she realized the need was far greater.

Ann’s husband is the pastor of the UNITED CHURCH of Christ of Fredericksburg VA and they talked about letting their church congregation know about the people in this page. Their small congregation of approximately 35 people opened their hearts for people they’ve never met and who live 1,600 miles away and they donated $1,000!

Sincere thanks to the UNITED CHURCH of Christ of Fredericksburg Congregation in helping make the holidays a lot brighter for the following St. Maarten families who will each receive a check for $250—

Marcia Reid (A La Siesta housekeeper who lost her roof in the hurricane)

The Coulange-Ledger Family (next door neighbors with a new baby with a total of 5 children and still living with tarps on the roof)

The Deslume Family (live across the street. Lost their roof which is now replaced and they still need to repair the broken windows in the van that Mr. Deslume uses for work as a local bus driver)

Gayle Hodges (A single mom of two boys who lost her home and job after the hurricane)

Thank you to ALL who have contributed to this Go-Fund-Me-Page and a sincere thank you to the Congregation of the UNITED CHURCH of Christ Fredericksburg for their empathy and caring of others.

Thank you to Marinka de Joode, our La Siesta condo manager, for putting on her Santa hat to distribute the generous gifts donated by the UNITED CHURCH of Christ Fredericksburg and for providing us with the photos of our smiling SXM neighbors.
New baby in the Coulange-Ledger family
Marcia Reid (R) lost roof in hurricane
Gayle Hodges (R) lost job & home
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Getting back to normal after a Cat 5 hurricane, which struck St. Maarten on September 6th, took a long time for La Siesta’s housekeeper, Hermine Nevins. After 3 months and 2 days Hermine’s electricity was finally restored on December 8th. Daily she would carry home bags of ice to keep her food cold and nightly she would sleep in the heat without a fan; she was so happy when the nights became a little cooler. All of the utility poles on her street were destroyed by the hurricane and all had to be replaced.
Another bright spot in Hermine’s life was the first arrival of guests to La Siesta after the Hurricane. Hermine works as a housekeeper and without guests/tourists, she has little work.
Bob and Carol from Atlanta, visiting SXM for 24 years, we’re not going to let a Cat 5 hurricane ruin their planned vacation to St. Maarten, an island and people that they love. They have vacationed at La Siesta Residence in unit A3 for the last 8 years. When Bob & Carol read on this Go-Fund-Me page that Hermine’s grandson lost his tablet during the hurricane, they immediately mailed a replacement along with clothes for Hermine. After waiting months for the package and Hermine’s grandson asking daily if his new tablet arrived, they received notice from the shipper that they lost their package. So Bob & Carol went out and purchased another tablet and brought it with them to SXM. They graciously gave Hermine a cash gift along with the new tablet for her grandson when they arrived.
Bob & Carol arrived in SXM on 12/2/17 and below was their first impression:
“Just arrived…airport experience was good, only one plane at a time, moved thru immigration, baggage handling and Empress car rental in about an hour.
Sea Belle looks great. Pool guys are done, cleaning up, and starting to fill the pool.
So far, so good...updates to follow:

On Dec 4th, Bob wrote:
“So far, so good--People are so appreciative that there’s tourists, there’s hugs and warm welcomes all around”.

Although St. Maarten is working hard to get back to normal, the people still need our financial help and for tourists to return to the island. Many are unemployed, especially those who worked in the larger hotels that were severely damaged by the hurricane.

Please help our SXM neighbors during this holiday season and make a donation. Small donations by many can make a huge difference in their lives.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All!
Lorna & Hermine Nevins (center & right)
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Photos taken of the neighbors on 11/18/17
Leger-Coulange girls w/ their new dolls
New roof on the Deslume house
Ralph & Judley cleaning up the empty lot
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We arrived in SXM on 11/16/17 for the first time after Hurricane Irma. We were welcomed at the airport by the friendly smiles of the airport and immigration staff who are working full-time jobs in temporary quarters. The airport terminal is under repair so all arrival/departure functions are managed under tents. Walking down the metal stairs of the plane was reminiscent of the old SXM airport.

It was so great to see that the mountains are green again and the government did an outstanding job of removing the tons of rubble. Their motto “SXM Strong” is so evident.

What warmed my heart the most was the gratitude from our neighbors for the donations that YOU contributed to their families in their time of need. I wish that you could all feel the sincere thanks and love that they expressed to me.

It was good to see that the Deslume family, who lives across the street, had a new roof and that their neighbor’s roof is almost complete. James Deslume and his mom told me what it was like to live through a Cat 5 Hurricane and have your roof blow off while you’re inside!

The Leger-Coulange family live in the white apartment building next door. There are 5 kids—2 boys & 3 girls in the family (new baby girl was just born a few days ago). They were so appreciative for their donation. We brought dolls for the girls. See their smiles in the photo. What broke my heart was when the girls told me that the hurricane scared them and that afterwards there was no food.

Ralph and Judley, the boys in the family, expressed how happy that they were that all survived in the family. You could hear their concern when talking about their mom who was 7 months pregnant at the time of the hurricane. The boys are resilient and they were eager to work cleaning up the empty lot next door to earn some money.

Philomena, the matriarch of Simpson Bay Rd., carries in her wallet, the note that she received with her donation check that explains where the donation money came from -- the many caring guests of La Siesta.

So far, our go-fund-me page distributed $6,200 that was donated through the fund & by personal checks. A 2nd round of checks was distributed on Saturday which is the last of our funds.

There are still more neighbors who need funds to help with a new roof and funds for day-to-day living to purchase food. If you haven’t had the time to donate yet or if you are in the fortunate position to be able to donate again, please do so. Small contributions by many can make a huge impact on the lives of hard-working people who at this time in their lives need a helping hand.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity and know that your donations are sincerely appreciated.
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$7,350 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 11 months
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8 months ago (Offline Donation)
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United Church of Christ Fredericksburg VA
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Maddy Perron
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Barbara Han
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Mike Willis
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Bruce & Jane Leis
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Bob and Karen Quinn
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Todd and Sharon Dunn
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