Posted on September 15, 2017
Thank you so much for your generosity. It's been a wild last week and a half and your kindness has already made a HUGE difference. We wanted to provide an update on what we've been doing, and where your money has gone so far.
A few days after the storm hit, Budget and Thrifty in St. Thomas and some island family and friends, set up a distribution center on St. Thomas to provide those in need with essential supplies required immediately. This personally funded initiative began on a super small scale with friends' power boats shuttling people who needed to get out of St. Thomas to Fajardo, Puerto Rico, and sending back food, water, and other items purchased during the quick stopover at Fajardo stores.
When Jennie, Chrystie, and Kacie arrived in San Juan on Sunday, they decided to help out by sending one carload of whatever medical supplies they could get donated from hospitals and sending it back to St. Thomas on a friend's boat the following day. We sent a request for help to whoever we could think of asking for medical connections in San Juan, and attention on the devastation from the media who up to that point had been focusing entirely on Florida, ignoring the over 50,000 US citizens living in the islands.
Within hours, emails and phone calls came pouring in and we were immediately inspired by peoples selfless willingness to help. With Jennie and Chrystie in Puerto Rico collecting supplies, Laura in St. Thomas on the receiving end, collecting and distributing items, and Kacie in the States coordinating countless details and efforts, we've been able to accomplish SO much in just four days.
Here's where your support has gone so far through purchases made in Puerto Rico and distributed directly to those in need in St. Thomas:
- Prescription medications through emergency dispense prescriptions (tetanus, numerous antibiotics, etc.) urgently requested by Dr. Flowers and Dr. Livingstone who are on the ground in St. Thomas.
- Medical supplies including braces, slings, gauze, antibiotic ointment, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.
- Non-perishable food
- Tarps, rope, bungee cords
- Flash lights and lanterns
- Hand sanitizer, bug spray
In addition, we've received over $20k in in-kind donations including:
- Insulin and other diabetes medication and supplies from Insulin for Life USA
- Diapers, non-perishable food, milk, bottled water from Hospital Hima Caguas
- Essential food and water from Motorambar, Inc Puerto Rico
- Numerous other medical supplies coordinated by our friends in Puerto Rico
- Car rentals through Thrifty and Hertz San Juan
As stores begin to open and shipments are received in St. Thomas, the urgency for supplies from Puerto Rico is diminishing, but the need for assistance is still great. We are committed to doing whatever we can to support the effort to rebuild our beautiful island home.
The next step is to make sure people have roofs over their heads. In coming days, we are attempting to contact anyone who can help with the reconstruction of our island homes and businesses. If you, or anyone you know, can help in any way or has connections to any organizations who execute these efforts, please let us know or pass our information on to them.
Be assured that every dollar you've donated will make a difference, and is going directly toward what's most needed to rebuild our home. We will continue to update you on where your money is going and how things are going on this side. Thanks again, you are the reason we can make this happen.
- Chrystie, Jennie, Kacie, and Laura