Virgin Islands Relief Fund Inc.

For: Humanitarian Relief in the USVI & BVI
Virgin Islands, U.s.
Organizer: VIRF
Virgin Islands Relief Fund Inc. (Humanitarian Relief in the USVI & BVI)
$125,591
of $200,000 goal.
Raised by 735 donors
62% Complete

The Story

On September 6th , Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean, meeting the United States Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands head on. Irma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, with winds reaching over 220 miles per hour. In its wake, a post-apocalyptic trail of devastation remains.

Trees and telephone poles were snapped in half; the storm decimated businesses, and left up to 80% of the population without habitable homes. Many parts of the islands project to be without power for months. The scale of destruction is truly unfathomable; the beautiful islands that residents and visitors knew and loved now face years of recovery.

The people of the Virgin Islands are incredibly resilient and optimistic even in the face of this tragedy; stories of islanders helping each other in such trying times have been truly inspirational.

Unfortunately, because of large-scale storm destruction in Texas and Florida, media coverage of our plight has been limited, and federal relief agencies are only now beginning to make a dent in recovery efforts. The Virgin Islands Relief Fund has already begun the effort of supplying those in the greatest need with resources on the ground, but our accomplishments thus far are just the tip of the iceberg relative to the massive task ahead of us. Combining our resources, we have enlisted a team of individuals with a wide range of experience and backgrounds on St. Thomas, St. John, and the British Virgin Islands, and will be tackling the challenging months ahead with unyielding resolve.

The impact thus far by those engaged in the relief effort has been extraordinary, but much more needs to be done. The absolute best way others can help is by putting money in the hands of those who best know how to execute the reconstruction of the islands’ livelihoods. We have set an initial fundraising goal of $50,000, which will allow us to continue providing indispensable resources to those on the ground. 

Tackling a recovery effort of this scale will require significant resources and we ask that those in a position to contribute please do so as generously as they are able.

The people of the Virgin Islands, the families of those affected, and all those who hold the islands dear thank you for your continued support.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 6, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 6, 2017

Thank you all for helping us reach our initial goal! That being said our work is far from over. As we are sure, so many of you know, Hurricane Maria has left a new wake of devastation. Particularly hard hit are St. Croix and Puerto Rico. These are the islands that supported much of our Hurricane Irma relief efforts with their people, boats, ports and logistical support. Widespread reports from the ground remain upbeat and the pride of the Virgin Islands unbroken. Virgin Islanders are out in their communities assessing needs and delivering help to neighbors with or without any outside support. It is our mission to deliver financial and physical support to the people doing the most crucial work now and into the future.

With government resources spread thin in responding to the new devastation along with continuing efforts on St. John and St. Thomas it is now more critical than ever that we step up our coordinated private efforts. We have at this point received, sorted, and packed over 400,000 lbs of critically needed supplies for distribution throughout the Virgin Islands based on need. We have our fundraising goal on our YouCaring campaign to help all of the affected islands with their growing needs. Please consider a contribution and most certainly a share to help us get to our goal as soon as possible.

Making a financial contribution remains the most efficient way to contribute to efforts on the ground as physical contributions require a great deal of time and effort to sort and physically distribute. Cash can be put in the hands of people who will spend it to cover current priority needs.

We are so impressed by the number of you writing from all across the country asking about putting your own boots on the ground. There will come a time for this but at this point to say when would be pure speculation. It is critical that the very limited resources and infrastructure be preserved for the essential personnel on the ground now. As infrastructure is expanded to accommodate volunteers we will be in touch.  
Stateside, one of the greatest things you can do is to organize fundraising parties. Bars, restaurants and music venues along with individuals from coast to coast have opened doors to host fun events that serve the dual purpose of raising critical funds and raising awareness of the needs in our little corner of the Caribbean. Please consider putting together your own community event. We are happy to share ideas and advice we’ve gathered from successful events held thus far.

Thank you for your support of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund. Together we will continue to deliver critical relief in the short term, support effective recovery efforts in the interim and eventually rebuild a better and even more resilient Virgin Islands.

Please continue to hold the islands in your heart and of course donate and spread the word.

Thank you, The Board of Directors, Virgin Islands Relief Fund inc.

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Posted on September 19, 2017

Posted on September 19, 2017

Watching the formation and tracking of Hurricane Maria, we are overcome with anxiety, shock, and despair for our friends and loved ones on these already battered islands. It is important to take a moment to embrace these feelings before redoubling our resolve to support the islands with everything we have.

We are sending our thoughts and prayers especially to St. Croix and Puerto Rico. Some of the most heroic Irma relief efforts for St. Thomas and St. John were based out of these islands that are now in the crosshairs of Hurricane Maria. We are working to update our supply lines to also support the Crucians who so heroically supported St. Thomas and St. John.

We have faith in the indomitable spirit of the Virgin Islanders at home and abroad. We stand ready to contribute to new immediate relief efforts and the continuing effort toward recovery which will eventually lead us to rebuilding a better Virgin Islands.

Thank you for your ongoing support.


Posted on September 16, 2017

Posted on September 16, 2017

"When everyone does a little, a lot gets done."

We've met our initial goal of $50,000!

Thank you to the 321 donors at the time of this update and thank you to all those that have shared and promoted this campaign. It is incredible what we have already been able to do through the sheer force of numbers. 

Even more incredible is the community that we are seeing coming together in common purpose in the wake of this disaster.

We are doubling the fundraising goal here and starting the work of organizing our lists of folks that are committed to the long road to recovery and to rebuilding a better Virgin Islands. Please continue to contribute and share so that we have the resources to do this work in the weeks and months ahead.

Also, don't forget to sign up for our updates at our website if you have not already. We will be in touch soon!

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