Hurricane Irma Relief Fund

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St. Croix Foundation for Community Development
St. Croix Foundation for Community Development

It’s been nearly eight months since Hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, and while first responders from larger NGOs have mostly departed affected areas, the focus of the community-led organizations that remain at work has shifted to long-term recovery. Your generous donation to our Hurricane Irma Relief Fund continues to support those locally driven organizations that understand their community’s needs and are able to effectively lead ongoing recovery efforts.

In this update, I’d like to report on the work of four organizations that your donation has helped fund over the last several months across the Caribbean.

After the St. Croix Montessori School suffered significant damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma, the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development set to work coordinating building repairs and an expansion of the school’s programs to serve an influx of students from across the Virgin Islands. With support from GlobalGiving donors, they’ve been able to repair and reopen the school, run educational workshops for parents, and organize 100 volunteers to build a new playground from recycled downed trees, telephone poles, and tires to provide a beautiful, inspiring place for children in St. Croix to play for years to come.

Fishing for Families in Need partnered with local leaders on the island of St. John in the Virgin Islands to assess the community’s recovery needs and supported repairs to the Gifft Hill School and funded direct micro-grants to affected families.

When natural disasters like Hurricane Irma hit, hygiene and sanitation supplies play a vital role in stopping the spread of disease. Jake’s Diapers has worked with partners in Haiti to deliver more than 4,900 cloth diapers to maternal health clinics, 3,900 disposable diapers for use in neonatal intensive care units, and more than 1,200 adult hygiene supplies to stock a cholera treatment center.

Team Rubicon Global’s volunteer network of military veterans deployed to seven Caribbean islands in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria—some teams arrived as soon as 48 hours after landfall—and delivered emergency supplies and aid to more than 24,000 survivors. In recent months, their teams have returned to the islands to train and equip community volunteers to develop community-level disaster response plans and improve the resilience and sustainability of local infrastructure ahead of future storms. 

Thank you again for your generous support of these and more than a dozen other vetted GlobalGiving partners committed to a full, community-led recovery across the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma. Watch for more stories of progress in your inbox in the coming months!

Warmly,
Rachel + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Team Rubicon
Photo from Team Rubicon

Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest hurricanes seen in the Atlantic. With devastating winds up to 180 mph, the 650 mile-wide storm left a path of destruction across the Caribbean and several states in the mainland U.S. Irma not only devastated homes, schools, and infrastructure—it wreaked havoc on the environment in a region with an abundance of flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world.

Today we’re proud to share four stories from our partners working some of the worst-hit Caribbean communities that demonstrate how your support has fueled recovery efforts focused on environmental restoration and psychosocial support.

  • In the wake of Irma’s destruction, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) is not only rebuilding their headquarters office and staff housing, they’re also resuming their projects protecting plant and wildlife species native only to St. Maarten. EPIC has resumed their environmental presentations and excursions with local schools, educating students on the importance of biodiversity and explaining the hurricane’s far-reaching environmental impact.
  • Team Rubicon volunteers were on the ground just days after Hurricane Irma devastated the region to join search and rescue efforts, but have since shifted their focus to preparing local residents and storm-proofing shelters for future storms. In the British Virgin Islands, Team Rubicon has been collaborating with the city of Tortola’s Ministry of Education to help with debris removal and building plywood classrooms for local schools.
  • Project Promise, a program of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), provides a safe and supportive environment that empowers at-risk youths in St. Croix who’ve experienced trauma due to the storm. Their holistic approach includes trauma-focused group therapy with local licensed professionals, opportunities for creative expression, and yoga as a means of stress relief. Anna Scarbriel from CFVI recently stopped by our D.C. office to meet with our team and speak to our followers in an interview on Facebook Live—check it out!
  • Barbuda Recovery and Conservation Trust is partnering with local agencies supporting animal and habitat recovery efforts, such as the Codrington Lagoon National Park in Barbuda. Their partnership is focused on restoring local lagoon ecosystems and documenting Irma’s impact on the populations of local animal species.

Thank you for your generous support, and for making the smart decision to give cash (and not stuff) after a disaster like this one—it allows your support to be put to use immediately. And if you’re looking to continue supporting recovery efforts, all the projects supporting Hurricane Irma relief, and many more, are competing for bonus prizes during our 2017 Year-End Campaign, so your donation could help earn a project extra funds!

We’ll be back in your inbox soon with more stories of progress from our partners continuing to support local communities as they rebuild in Irma’s aftermath.

Warmly,
Rachel + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from EPIC
Photo from EPIC
Fishing for Families in Need, Virgin Islands
Fishing for Families in Need, Virgin Islands

When we sent our last report, initial relief efforts were underway for Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and in Florida. Unfortunately, several days after our update, Hurricane Maria swept through the Caribbean and caused widespread damage. We have been working around the clock since these storms to connect and coordinate relief efforts with local organizations on the ground.

Over the last month, we supported more than a dozen vetted partners in communities affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida, the British and US Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The initial cleanup and relief efforts are transitioning to rebuilding and longer-term recovery.  Your donations are helping by:

  • Providing emergency housing, food, clothing, and supplies in Barbuda. The Barbuda Recovery & Conservation Trust, with support from the Waitt Institute and local government officials in Barbuda, is supporting islanders and funding local relief efforts and livelihoods after Hurricane Irma destroyed 90% of the island’s infrastructure.
  • Rebuilding the only high school in Barbuda. The Antigua & Barbuda Student Association USA is working to rebuild the island’s only secondary school, which was destroyed in the storm. This will be an important milestone in recovery efforts, particularly for the children of Barbuda.
  • Assisting with debris removal in Florida. IsraAid sent teams to Florida to assist families with clean up efforts immediately after the storm as well as to provide emergency relief supplies.
  • Buying much-needed supplies and hygiene kits in Florida. Fishing for Families in Need has purchased and distributed 2,000 hygiene and emergency supply kits to families in South Florida and the Florida Keys.
  • Purchasing necessary short- and longer-term relief items such as food, water, baby items in the Virgin Islands. Fishing for Families in Need is also working in the Virgin Islands to purchase relief materials from local vendors, meaning that your donation not only provides emergency relief, it also helps stimulate the local market and build economic momentum during this critical recovery period.
  • Supporting local rebuilding efforts in St John. Sisterhood Agenda is working on rebuilding and repairing buildings damaged by the storm.
  • Rebuilding a Montessori school in St. Croix. Although St. Croix was spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria caused significant damage and residents are rebuilding and recovering from damage caused by both storms. St Croix Foundation for Community Development is working to rebuild the St. Croix Montessori School, which serves students ages 2-12. This will help students get back to school and will serve as a beacon of light, pride, and hope for the island.

As a reminder, your donation to the Hurricane Irma Fund will be used to support relief and recovery efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Irma. In regions where Hurricane Maria and Irma both caused damage, we will coordinate funding from our Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund to ensure that we can maximize the impact on the ground for the swiftest recovery.

Thank you for your support! We will continue to update you on how funds have been used.

IsraAid, Florida
IsraAid, Florida
Waitt Institute/ICF, Barbuda
Waitt Institute/ICF, Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda Students Association USA
Antigua and Barbuda Students Association USA
Photo by Team Rubicon Global
Photo by Team Rubicon Global

Last Sunday, as Hurricane Irma plowed into Florida, my home state, I sat glued to the news.  My family and friends sent me live updates while they had power and phone service.  I nervously waited for the storm to pass and breathed a sigh of relief as they emerged safely.

One week ago, Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to form in the Atlantic Ocean, cut a path of destruction from the Caribbean to Florida. It hit multiple Caribbean islands, including Barbuda, St Maarten, the Virgin Islands and Cuba as a Category 5 storm with historic wind speeds up to 185 mph. The powerful hurricane then made landfall into the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm as it made its way up the state toward Georgia as a tropical storm.

My family in Florida was lucky, but thousands more were not.  Millions of people are without power and thousands have been displaced. Irma destroyed 25% of homes in the Florida Keys, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, and destroyed 90% to 95% of the structures in Barbuda, according to its Prime Minister Gaston Browne. Reports of extensive damage continue to emerge from throughout the affected areas.

At GlobalGiving, we’re already working with more than a dozen vetted partners in communities affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida, the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, St Maarten, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. We’re communicating daily with these organizations to best understand their short- and long-term needs so that your dollars are put to good use. Your donations are already working to support a range of emergency needs, including:

  • Providing food to communities in Florida. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is running food and water distribution for people affected by Hurricane Irma in Brevard, Volusia, Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties.
  • Supporting immediate clean-up efforts in the British Virgin Islands, Antigua, and the Dominican Republic. Team Rubicon Global and its team of trained veterans are helping communities devastated by the storm to get back on their feet.
  • Replacing vital equipment so that Environmental Protection in the Caribbean can continue its mission of tree planting and habitat restoration in St Maarten.
  • Providing gasoline and diesel fuel for evacuees and first responders. People waited in line for up to three hours for five gallons of fuel to run generators and vehicles. Fuel Relief Fund is providing free fuel to help first responders to reach Irma-affected communities. 
  • Ensuring families with small children have diapers. Jake’s Diapers is providing long-term diaper kits to families in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Haiti, so that families don’t have to choose between food and diapers for their children.

These activities are just the beginning of the positive change you are helping making happen for those affected by Hurricane Irma. We’ll continue to update you in the coming weeks and months with details of the efforts being support and the impact those efforts are making in the long-term recovery of communities throughout the United States  and the Caribbean.

Thank you again,

Britt + the entire GlobalGiving team

Photo by Fuel Relief Fund
Photo by Fuel Relief Fund
Photo by Fishing for Families in Need, Inc.
Photo by Fishing for Families in Need, Inc.
Photo by Fishing for Families in Need, Inc.
Photo by Fishing for Families in Need, Inc.
 

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Organization Information

GlobalGiving

Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
Website: https:/​/​www.globalgiving.org
Project Leader:
Britt Lake
Washington, DC United States

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