BVI Immediate Relief Fund - Hurricane Irma

For: BVI Immediate Relief
Tortola, Virgin Islands, British
Organizer: Scott and Brittany Meyers
BVI Immediate Relief Fund - Hurricane Irma (BVI Immediate Relief)
$168,298
of $200,000 goal.
Raised by 579 donors
84% Complete

The Story

We are Scott and Brittany Meyers (of Windtraveler and Aristocat Charters).  We have started this fund to provide immediate relief to the BVI....

On Wed, Sep 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma changed the face of the British Virgin Islands and the course of thousands of lives forever. Her velocity was unimaginable - the largest storm ever on record with wind gusts up to 220 mph - and the destruction she left in her wake was apocalyptic. Our beloved British Virgin Islands... home to over 30,000 people, the #1 sailing charter destination in the world, and one the most beloved vacation destinations for many... suffered a direct hit from this newly minted “nuclear storm” - a term that comes, no doubt, from what her wrath resembled on the ground: like a nuclear bomb was dropped.  

Most homes were destroyed, buildings irreparably damaged, roads buckled and almost every boat lost…the level of destruction cannot be understated. Not a single tree was left standing of our beautiful, lush, tropical paradise. It is complete and utter devastation, and our islands need help. The future for every single resident of the BVI is uncertain. Despite this, the amazing communities of our tiny rocks in the sea are coming together in every way imaginable to help each other and provide relief.  

The funds raised here will go directly to relief efforts on the ground RIGHT NOW by a group of BVI expats who lost everything in the storm - homes, businesses -  and are arriving in Tortola immediately to offer relief and rebuild. Scott is actually in Puerto Rico coordinating taking a boat to the BVI with supplies. These funds will be used to purchase ESSENTIAL items for relief: Food, water, VHF radios, satellite phones, generators, chainsaws, medical supplies, items to cover people’s basic needs (such as soap, diaper, wet wipes, tampons and the like), etc. Every penny of this fund will go directly to these efforts and they will start to be used IMMEDIATELY and will continue to be used during the long term relief efforts. (This site does not charge the fund an additional fee... just the credit card processing fee of 2.9%+$.30).

Please consider giving! Let’s bring the BVI back bigger and better than ever before. #BVISTRONG #Irma #relief

Thank you,

Scott & Brittany Meyers

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 24, 2017

Posted on October 24, 2017

Hello Friends! 

We just want to keep you in the loop. Scott is currently on the ground in Tortola and I (Brittany) has been busy being solo mom to our three kids while also helping with various fundraisers outside this initiative (spread the love, right?) Anyway, we are working hard on "Operation: Rebuild BVI" and here is where we are at right now, and some plans moving forward...

So far, money has been spent on the following:

  • Honda Portable Inverter Generators.A pallet with the twenty generators has finally arrived on island and the Tropical Shipping Document Coordinate in Tortola. It's been a long journey but we are almost there. The units will be distributed through Family Support Network (FSN) to those in most need. They will be used to power refrigerators, water pumps and basic lighting. We have a person on the ground with help from the RBVIYC who will prep and test each unit before release to FSN.
  • ChainsawsSixty chainsaws arrived with the same shipment as the generators. The BVI Electric Company has asked that we donate 15 to 20 of the units towards hurricane relief for their road crews. All of their budget is being used to purchase utility poles and there is no money to purchase chain saws for the line crews, we have agreed to this as once power is up in the islands, relief and rebuilding will be much easier for everyone.
  • Extension Cords and Power Strips.These are  necessary and hard to find items that are needed on island to use with the portable generators. We have shipped 50 extension cords and 100 power strips to be used as needed.
  • Needed Household Supplies.   Our rep on island has contacted both FSN and Road Town Wholesalers (RTW) about setting up an $20,000 account for FSN. These funds will be used by FSN to purchase household supplies for those in need. This is still a work in progress, but will be happening...
  • Cedar SchoolCedar School has a three month program in which they are helping island school children deal with the aftermath of hurricane Irma, in a friendly school environment. We will sponsor several public school children for this three month semester.
  • Tarps.The $30,000 of Tarps that was shipped through San Juan is in San Juan and has not yet arrived on island (due to the complications because of Maria) but will arrive soon and be donated accordingly.

So that is where we stand right now. 

If you are looking for OTHER ways to help, Brittany will be working the "Turn the Tide VI" Fundraiser in Chicago. It's will be at Murphy's Bleachers at 7pm on November 17th and all proceeds will go to Convoy of Hope (BVI) and St. John Rescue (USVI). For more information, on this great event which is guaranteed to be an amazing time for a great cause, please see: https://fareharbor.com/turnthetide/items/63309/

Brittany has also been raising money for VISAR (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue) with the #BVISTRONG tee shirt initiative. She and friends sold over 400 shirts at the Annapolis Boat show and the shirts were a huge success. So far, almost 10K in donations have been raised for VISAR through this initiative. If you'd like to sport your own #BVISTRONG gear, please shop here: www.remembertheadventure.com/bvistrong - there are hats, hoodies, kids tees, baby onesies and mens and woman's tees as well - deck out the whole fam! 

Remember, "A rising tide raises all ships!" 


Thank you all so much for your support, we are truly humbled and blown away and SO pumped and excited about what we are able to do for our community with it! 

Best,
Brittany & Scott Meyers

www.windtraveler.net

www.aristocatcharters.com


Posted on October 7, 2017

Posted on October 7, 2017

Hello Friends!! 

We are absolutely blown away by the kindness and generosity you have all shown. THANK YOU. We wanted to take a minute to let you know where we are at with relief and let you know, so far, where the money is going and give you an update on future planning. 

While the situation in the BVI is still dire, the needs are no longer food and water. Slowly but surely, life is starting to resume. A few restaurants are open, grocery stores are open, and people have access to food and water. What is needed now are the tools and skills to rebuild. This will be our focus moving forward, to work with groups and organizations on the ground who are REBUILDING. So far, we have raised 160K of our 200K goal, and we have spent about $90K. The items we have sent in are tarps, scrubs, generators, a satellite phone for the doctor coordinating needed medical supplies, and chainsaws. These items will be critical to fixing the infrastructure and providing residents with shelter and the ability to fix their homes and businesses. We will continue to purchase and ship required supplies including construction materials and be dispersing funds to groups that we are working with to rebuild and we are working alongside other organizations to ensure that we are not doubling up on efforts and that money and that supplies are getting where they need to go. Again, we thank you so much for your trust and generosity, and we will keep you posted as we continue. Brittany is currently at the Annapolis Boat show this weekend selling our #BVISTRONG gear (all proceeds going to VISAR) and working with the BVI Tourism Board. If you are at the show, please stop by and say hello! Scott is en route to Tortola where he will better be able to assess and forge relationships with the most effective groups on the ground. Thank you again for your support, we cannot tell you what it means to us.

Thank you so much,

Scott & Brittany

www.windtraveler.net

www.aristocatcharters.com


Posted on September 15, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on September 15, 2017

Wow, I don't even know what to say... except, of course, THANK YOU!!!  We started this fundraiser with a goal of $10,000... we are now at $122,000!... Incredible!!  Thank you to each and every one of you for having such big hearts.  

We started this fundraiser thinking we'd buy supplies to transport with the boat on which I was going to head over to Tortola (from Puerto Rico).  As you can imagine, with a devastation of this magnitude, every day... every hour, or less... things change.  Rumors fly and information changes in the blink of an eye... sometimes for the worse but overall for the better.  We initially thought we would be purchasing supplies on day 1 after this fundraiser began and I would take them over on a 35' boat.  Without going into detail, it was determined that this mission was potentially unsafe... especially for a husband and father of 3 children... as order had not yet been restored on the island.  And, we apparently had no clue of the incredible generosity of the Puerto Rican people.  By the time we were ready to head out and purchase the items on the list to bring on the relatively small boat, we learned that there was so much being graciously donated by Puerto Rico... including essentials like food, water, diapers, etc... as well as building supplies... that thankfully, the immediate needs of Tortola were being met... and that these donated supplies would be sent over in several full shipping containers by ferry (see pic) as well as by the "Puerto Rican Navy"... no, not a branch of the military, but rather a large group of Puerto Rican boats/boaters that, of course, love the BVI and due to the fact that they tend to come over to the BVI in droves for long weekends, holidays, and other large BVI boating events, were affectionately given that name some time ago.  Therefore, our 1 small boat was proving to be a small drop in the bucket.  This boat was then going to deliver an advanced satellite communication system to Tortola but even that mission was determined futile as communication is slowly being restored (via only very small patches of cell service and internet). The boat will still go over and assist with further evacuations but even that is happening at a more rapid pace each and every day by plane and much bigger boats... I believe even cruise ships are assisting with evacuations.

My decision to stay in PR was also based on what many of us on the team I am now a part of... consisting of local Puerto Ricans, fellow cruisers, and even some that were evacuated from Tortola... quickly learned: That our time is best spent assisting and coordinating relief efforts from "afar". (Puerto Rico is about 60 miles west of Tortola.)  I have teamed up with some incredible people that are doing amazing things.  And luckily, as communication improves on Tortola, our efforts are becoming more and more focused and effective as we determine exactly what the people on Tortola are specifically requesting... tarps (with the money you have donated, we just purchased $30,000 worth of tarps which will provide much needed shelter and shade (as most homes and buildings lost their roofs)... scrubs for the hospital were purchased and sent on a plane today (as they have been wearing the same scrubs for the last week!).  We are continuing to source and purchase other priority items such as chainsaws (to clean up fallen trees that are everywhere) and generators (as there is no power and probably won't be for a while).  The lists are long as the island more or less starts "fresh"... cots, tools, towels, toiletries/hygiene, and a lot more.  But our team is "pulling out all the stops" and we WILL get there... and your donations are and will continue to be a huge help in making that happen!  So again, from the heart of my bottom... er... the bottom of my heart... I thank you sincerely for your kindness.

But please don't mistake my tone of hope for a decreased need.  To the contrary, as you may have been notified already, we have actually raised our goal yet again.  Please don't read this as an additional request... we simply ask that you continue to share our post with additional friends and family either by Facebook, Email, Twitter, etc. to help all of us rebuild the BVI.  We will continue to focus on the immediate needs of our Tortolan family with much more work and necessary funding required after that. 

And here's a little foreshadowing... at some point within the following week, Brittany and I are planning on "tag-teaming" so that she can come down and offer her help  here in PR... in addition to the very helpful work she is doing to support our team from Chicago (as I mentioned in my last update)... and I can see our girls!... who all just started school today by the way back in Chicago until we figure out our next step.

Until next update, thanks again,
Scott and Brittany

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