Apply to Join

Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network
Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
Hurricane Irma Relief Fund
Photo: Patient Assist, St. Thomas Recovery Team
Photo: Patient Assist, St. Thomas Recovery Team

In the fall of 2017, back to back storms made landfall in the U.S Virgin Islands. Thanks to your generous donation, GlobalGiving has continued to support vital nonprofits in the USVIs impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.  

It’s been a year since we made a $10,000 grant to Patient Assist, thanks to your support. This funding helped to ensure that the most vulnerable residents across the USVIs would receive life-sustaining medicine, regardless of cost. 

Two-plus years after the storms, many workers from the hospitality sector were still waiting to start working again, as hotels and rental properties awaited government support to rebuild and reopen. One Patient Assist staff member shared the story of Ms. H:

Ms. H lost her job as a housekeeper at a large hotel after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Her job loss also resulted in a loss of health insurance benefits. Although she has been able to work odd jobs, her employer has not yet re-opened. Our work with Ms. H has allowed her to obtain her insulin at no cost from the manufacturer and, working with our local pharmacy partner, she pays nothing for her oral medications, as well! Patient Assist will continue to work with Ms. H until she is able to return to work.” 

2020 has brought new challenges, with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and restricted movement across the islands. Patient Assist has continued its important work and teamed up with another recipient of funding from GlobalGiving and our donors—St. Thomas Recovery Team—to provide much-needed supplies and food to families on St. Thomas. This prompted us to make an emergency response donation to Patient Assist last month, further extending the power of the GlobalGiving donor community across the ocean.

Thank you for your support of GlobalGiving and our amazing partners in times of need.

With Gratitude,

Donna + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: Patient Assist
Photo: Patient Assist
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Photo from International Community Foundation
Photo from International Community Foundation

More than two years after its landfall, the immense impacts of Hurricane Irma still linger across the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Southeastern states of the U.S. mainland. GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners remain hard at work on the ground in affected communities. Here is a snapshot of recent updates from three organizations that your donations have supported:

  • Patient Assist VI is committed to helping those with chronic illnesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands that continue to struggle because of the impacts of the 2017 hurricane season, especially as health and medical infrastructure on the islands goes through its own recovery process. In 2019, the organization was able to serve more patients through the provision of free or reduced price medications than it had at any time in the past and stay true to its founding principle: no person should have to choose between the medications they need to stay healthy and the food they need to stay alive.

  • The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands is serving as a catalyst for initiatives promoting environmental and marine recovery across the Caribbean. For example, on St. Thomas, the foundation will soon be concluding its Fruit Tree Restoration Project. This project has resulted in around 660 hours of volunteer labor, serving 33 farmers, and planting 440 fruit trees on St. Thomas. The fruit trees will help restore the local ecosystem and agriculture industry that was devastated during the 2017 hurricane season.

  • The International Community Foundation is now more than halfway through its Barbuda Community Grants program that is focused on 12 community-led projects that continue to advance and strengthen the community of Barbuda. These projects include the reparation of critical water sources, youth engagement, food security, and small business support. For example, the BarbudanGO Water Harvesting Initiative is providing 400-gallon water tanks, spouting systems, and fittings to Barbudan households to increase their access to potable water.

Please stay tuned in the coming months for more updates about the ongoing impacts of your donation. From the entire team here at GlobalGiving, thank you for your extraordinary generosity.

With gratitude,

Chase + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Patient Assist VI
Photo from Patient Assist VI
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI)
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI)

While images of Hurricane Irma were long ago replaced in the media’s daily recounting of the latest disaster, communities impacted by the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes continue to strive towards a holistic recovery.

Our community-led, nonprofit partners on the islands have provided updates that detail how funds raised through GlobalGiving are supporting recovery two years into the work of rebuilding. 

St. Croix

Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands is the only organization on St. Croix providing free-of-charge construction services to residents whose homes were severely damaged in Hurricane Maria and Irma’s aftermath. Although this has resulted in an overwhelming case load, LSSVI is determined to repair houses that pose a safety risk to inhabitants, especially the elderly and persons with disabilities. We are happy to have supported LSSVI through this Fund, and in partnership with Cruzan Rum’s Island Spirit Fund. 

LSSVI director Chris Finch describes how dire a situation some survivors face, even two years after the hurricane struck:

One of our clients, an elderly lady, slept under a pop up tent in her bedroom so she wouldn’t get wet every time it rained.  Another senior citizen had been without electricity or running water for almost two years. A third house had large openings where windows and doors used to be…. Rebuilding work continues nonstop.” 

St. Thomas

The grassroots organization founded after Hurricane Irma, St. Thomas Recovery Team (STRT) has been assisting thousands of homeowners rebuild their homes over the past two years. Director Imani Daniel points out the critical work her team has done to ensure the community heals on a psychological level, as well. 

It is important to us that we keep the spirits of our people high, be aware and sensitive to widespread PTSD during this season, and help our constituents envision a brighter future.” 

Through the generosity of donors to this Fund, GlobalGIving recently provided an additional grant to the three long-term recovery groups of the USVIs, including STRT.

The We Grow Fund, a partner of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, is helping the farmers who lost thousands of fruit trees to hurricanes Irma and Maria through their native tree restoration project. Projects such as these are critical to islanders ability to sustain themselves through local agriculture, and ensures a diverse variety of fruit including mango, soursop, avocado, caimito, egg fruit, starfruit, dwarf coconut, lime, lemon, and apples. 

As we mark the passing of another hurricane season that fortunately spared the USVI’s, the GlobalGiving community continues to work with local partners leading the recovery from previous storms and increasing resilience for the future. This would be impossible without generous donors like you!

With gratitude,

Andrea 

Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands Inc
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands Inc
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Photo from Donna Callejon
Photo from Donna Callejon

The resilient and proud residents of the US Virgin Islands continue to rebuild nearly two years after two devastating back to back hurricanes in the fall of 2017.  On September 20th, Hurricane Maria charged over St. Croix, less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma took its toll on St. Thomas and St. John. The funds you provided have assisted in rebuilding homes and businesses, providing psychosocial support, re-establishing health and wellness facilities, have supported community- and youth-led efforts to improve marine resilience, and more.  

 

For nine days in June, I had the chance to spend time on these three beautiful islands, each of which is slowly recovering, physically and emotionally. Below I’ll highlight each island, hoping to share some insights into these three unique and special communities.

 

The southernmost USVI, St. Croix, is often first to be struck during hurricane season.  Even without the devastation caused by 180 MPH winds and landslides, the social sector on this oasis has a lot of work to do. St. Croix has a long history as a trading center (remember, Alexander Hamilton came to NY from St. Croix). It was offered up by the territorial government as a place to locate manufacturing plants. For years, an oil refinery and aluminum plant contaminated the ocean, groundwater, and air, eroding mangrove estuaries and choking agriculture as a viable business for locals. Currently two rum distilleries (in full disclosure, one owned by GlobalGiving’s partner Beam-Suntory) are in full operation, working with the community to reduce their environmental impact.

 

Those trends are beginning to reverse themselves due to leaders like Sommer Sibiliy-Brown of VI Good Food Coalition. VIGFC is working with farmers to build their skills and knowledge of sustainable farming techniques, providing much-needed equipment, and helping to create viable businesses. We visited Sejah Farm, and had the chance to hear directly from Dale and Yvette Brown about the impact of climate change and storms on their farms.  They shared with us their tireless work spent on rebuilding and helping others do so as well (we also sampled the freshest, spiciest arugula you’d ever hope to taste). Three days later, President and Secretary Clinton visited with Sommer and the St. Croix Foundation team to see the first of a dozen “Farm Tiendas,” or portable “farm stands” that are being constructed.  These market stands will provide an outlet for farmers to distribute fresh produce (and more) to people across the island.

 

From St. Croix I traveled to the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network gathering on St. Thomas.  This convening boasted nearly 500 disaster recovery and resilience practitioners. Thanks to your support, GlobalGiving was proud to join representatives of the three Long Term Recovery Groups, who will be fiscally sponsored by the St. Croix Foundation, to make a commitment to provide $250,000 in funding so that these groups can reach more families currently waiting for assistance.

 

On St. Thomas alone, there are more than 5,000 people waiting to have a case worker assigned to help them navigate rebuilding their homes and livelihoods, to access counseling or job training, and to work as their advocates with public and private insurance and rebuilding agencies. Imani Daniel, Executive Director of the St. Thomas Recovery Team, has been at the forefront of the effort to help the most vulnerable people in her community after hurricanes Irma and Maria. “GlobalGiving’s support enables us to say ‘yes, we can help’ to our neighbors who’ve heard ‘no’ far too many times. GlobalGiving’s approach is worth investing in; it should be considered the model for the future of disaster recovery collaboration.” said Daniel.

 

Once the CGI summit concluded, I was ready to take the short ferry to St. John, a place I visited as a tourist nearly a decade ago.  Arriving into the bustling Cruz Bay dock at sunset, I was reminded why it has become home to so many mainlanders attracted by the island vibe, vibrant local culture and nearly 15,000 acres of national park.  

 

St. John has only a fraction of the population compared to its sister islands, but suffered the same crippling blow in 2017.  Power was nearly non-existent for months. Fishermen struggled to regain livelihoods as their boats were smashed to pieces by the category five winds of Hurricane Irma. Hundreds of homes were damaged. Curvy, hillly roadways were blocked by trees and wires, making cross-island travel challenging.

 

On St. John I met with all of the primary leaders of the Resilient Housing Initiative - The St. John Community Foundation, St. John Angels Long Term Recovery Group, Love City Strong, and All Hands and Hearts.  After a long day volunteering with All Hands and Hearts, I spent the following day visiting with long time, local homeowners still coping with the aftermath of the storm (19 months later!) and hoping that their family homes will soon be habitable again. 

 

One example was Carmen, whose father built the home in which she raised her four daughters.  Due to a variety of technicalities, Carmen had been waiting for her roof to be replaced for nearly 20 months.  The day I visited, the crew from Love City Strong was there, having been called into action by a Long Term Recovery Group case worker. Examples like this one demonstrate the power donors like you can play in improving the lives of others.

 

We will continue to bring you stories of resilience and strength from these beautiful, special United States islands.



Warmly, 

Donna + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo of Sejah Farms owner from Donna Callejon
Photo of Sejah Farms owner from Donna Callejon
Photo with Secretary Clinton from CGI
Photo with Secretary Clinton from CGI
Photo of Donna volunteering alongside AHAH
Photo of Donna volunteering alongside AHAH
Photo of SJCF assisting a homeowner from Donna
Photo of SJCF assisting a homeowner from Donna
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Photo from St. Thomas Recovery Team
Photo from St. Thomas Recovery Team

In the year and a half since Hurricane Irma devastated cities and towns across the Caribbean, our nonprofit partners have made tremendous progress leading recovery efforts and improving the resiliency of their communities as they prepare to withstand future natural disasters.

After conducting a Nonprofit Disaster Recovery and Capacity Assessment last year, the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development learned that more than 90% of nonprofits surveyed on the island experienced hurricane-related damage to their facilities. At the same time, nearly 70% of these nonprofits reported an increased demand for their services. In response, the foundation will be supporting a 12-member AmeriCorps VISTA Team that will provide programmatic, technical, research, and outreach assistance to St. Croix's nonprofit community.

Project Promise has taken a holistic approach to disaster recovery on St. Croix over the past year. Their community service projects focused on rebuilding efforts across the island, including planting a grove of coconut trees to aid in the coastline restoration and bringing students from Howard University to the island as part of an alternative spring break program which tackled three rebuilding projects in a single day. They've also provided trauma intervention services to residents still coping with the psychological and emotional trauma experienced during Hurricanes Irma and Maria through their St. Croix Trauma Intervention & Relief Project.

We're happy to share that one of the leaders of our Irma recovery partners, Imani Daniel of the St. Thomas Recovery Team, was selected as a member of the first class of Disaster Feedback Fellows of the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving. She joined nine other fellows from community-based nonprofits to spend a week in Washington, D.C. this past October learning from each other, promoting their disaster recovery projects to peers and funders, and speaking at and attending the 2018 Feedback Summit.

Your generosity has helped make these stories—and so many more—possible. Thank you for supporting community-led disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma. We can't wait to share more updates on the impact of your donation in the months to come.

 

With gratitude,
Will + the GlobalGiving Team

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

GlobalGiving

Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @GlobalGiving
Questions about this project? Contact us
$3,028,499 raised of $3,100,000 goal
 
16,751 donations
$71,501 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser
GlobalGiving's Disaster Recovery Network

When a disaster happens, we can quickly send funds to the local organizations that are best-suited to drive relief and recovery.

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.