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Tobi Russeck Sperbeck's Irma Fund

$4,215 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 5 months
Created September 18, 2017
My name is Melissa Donimirski. I live in Wilmington, DE. My friend, Tobi Russeck Sperbeck and her husband, Ray Sperbeck, were in the middle of getting ready to welcome their first child - Harry - into the world when Hurricane Irma hit their beautiful home on St. Thomas.  I am raising money to help the Sperbecks get back on their feet.  They are going to need everything -- their home was completely destroyed and subsequently looted.

Tobi has been through a lot.  She spent five hours hunkered down in a closet to survive the storm.  Subsequently, Tobi, who is 8 months pregnant, had to be separated from her husband to be medevaced by FEMA to Puerto Rico. 

If you know Tobi, you know that her smile lights up a room, that she has an incredibly magnetic personality that draws people to her, and that she would do anything for her family and friends.  Now it's time for us to help her out. 

All money raised will go directly to Tobi and Ray and will be used to help them rebuild their lives, including replacing all their personal possessions, which were lost, destroyed or stolen.  Any excess beyond what they need will be used to help rebuild their community on St. Thomas (Red Hook/Nazareth). Tobi will be drawing the money directly from this campaign; I will not have access to the funds.
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An update from Tobi:

"On September 6, 2017, I endured one of the most frightening experiences known to man: a beast Category 5 Hurricane named Irma. Prior to that fateful day, my husband and I lived on St. Thomas, USVI, along with our two cats. We were gainfully employed, living blissfully amongst the sunshine. We had a three bedroom house and had just finished putting the decorating touches on the room that was to be for our bundle of joy, Baby Harry, who is due to enter this world on November 8th, 2017.

"Then Hurricane Irma happened, and our life was destroyed. I was 32 weeks pregnant and fled to a condo on the east end of St. Thomas with 7 other people, 4 dogs and my two cats. While there, I witnessed the destruction of my home, my island, and everything else I knew as home.

"There was no running water. There was no electricity. Food was scarce. I began to feel faint, dehydrated, and out of sorts. The group I was with did all they could but they knew I was fading, so they went on a mission to get me off the island. Luckily, on September 8, 2017, the National Guard medivaced me out of a parking lot via helicopter and brought me to St. Croix, since the hospital on St. Thomas had been destroyed.

"While on St. Croix it was determined I was having contractions that were timed at 3 minutes apart, and emergency care was required. I was immediately placed into the custody of FEMA, who had the Air Force transport me via C-17 Cargo Plane to Puerto Rico. Thereafter I spent 8 days in Hima Hospital-San Pablo in Caguas, Puerto Rico. It was awful.

"After 8 days, I was transported to the airport in San Juan, and sent back to Philadelphia to my parents' home in Broomall, PA. It was in Philadelphia that I was finally reunited with my husband, Ray.

"Now comes time to start over. We lost it all: our cars, our home, our clothes, everything. Donations have come in, but, among other problems, there is a significant amount of difficulty in keeping it at my parents' small home.

"I have yet to see a doctor in PA, but I have an appointment for the 28th to see how Baby Harry is. I have attached a 4-d pic of my little man."

Both Tobi and I want to thank the many of you who have come out to help in this crisis. We've raised just over $2,000 at this point, which is amazing, but it's going to take a lot more to get Tobi and Ray back in business, since neither have jobs (or much of anything else) at this point.

This campaign is trending and has been shared over 120 times(!) but we're still a long way from our goal. Please, please keep getting the word out and, if you haven't already, please consider donating. Even a small amount helps so much. And, if you're on the fence, just take a look at sweet baby Harry's adorable face :)

Many thanks to all,
Melissa
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$4,215 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 58 people in 5 months
Created September 18, 2017
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$100
William Dougherty
4 months ago
$40
Anonymous
4 months ago
$20
Nichole D'Annunzio
4 months ago
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$50
G F
4 months ago
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$200
Bob Coleman
4 months ago
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$100
Kristy Cusick
4 months ago
$20
Liz Lake
4 months ago
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$100
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4 months ago
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$100
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4 months ago
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$100
Melody & Chris Westfall
4 months ago
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