How You Can Help Hurricane Relief Efforts

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September 15, 2017 by Monica Grant

It’s been more than a week since Hurricane Irma’s devastating assault on the Caribbean, and almost three weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and left a trail of destruction in its wake. Many of us are familiar with these regions as some of our favorite sailing grounds, and probably just as many of us have never visited either. Despite the country's shock at the ruination visible in the numerous photos and videos that have been shared among friends, on social media, and in the news, relief groups have quickly mobilzed their teams and organized networks of support. 

Yet, a common feeling at this time is “I want to help, but how, and where?”

Regardless of how many groups are already on the ground helping, and how much money has been raised, there's still room for much more. We’ve complied a list* of links to a few organizations, websites, and Facebook pages through which you can learn about what is being done, and how you can help.

Caribbean:

Victoria and Jon Vidar from Sail Me Om have established ‘Sailors Helping’ and are working with local boaters, sailing groups, Puerto Del Rey Marina, Dream Yacht Charters and others. - “Our goal is simple. Work with the resorts and marinas to understand the needs of their employees; source and deliver the materials needed to get them back on their feet; and provide opportunities to pick up a shovel, a hammer, or a trowel and help our friends that need it most build their homes back up one brick at a time.” They were also looking for volunteers to help at the Sailors Helping booth at the Newport Boat Show.
http://sailorshelping.org/  
https://www.facebook.com/groups/sailorshelping/about/

Ray Thackeray is coordinating assistance through International Rescue Group and Hurricane IRMA Response 2017.
http://members.internationalrescuegroup.org/group/hurricane-irma-2017
https://www.facebook.com/InternationalRescueGroupCauses/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/hurricaneirmaresponse2017/about/
https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-irma-2017

Bitter End Yacht Club is one of the largest employers on Virgin Gorda and has created a funding site to help all the many employees who live on the island and have lost everything.  You can help them here: https://www.youcaring.com/bitterendyachtclubemployeesthevirgingordacommunity-944198

Three Sheets Sailing & Yacht Sea Boss are working together out of St Croix to assist the BVI.
https://www.gofundme.com/bvi-hurrican-irma-relief-fund
https://www.facebook.com/Threesheetssailing/posts/1459177517493941

VI Strong is is mobilizing teams from Puerto Rico to assist St Thomas through ‘The West Side of Puerto Rico Rescue and Relief ’ - “We are a group of volunteers that have partnered with other organizations that are focused on helping our neighboring island of St. Thomas. On Sunday, September 17, we will be loading on boats to come to the island and do seven day shifts of debris removal, clean up, assist with homeowners, and in any other means that is necessary for the Islanders that are in need.”
https://vistrong.org/2017/09/12/update-west-side-puerto-rico-rescue-relief/

The Waitt Institute & Waitt Foundation, in partnership with International Community Foundation (ICF), have established the Barbuda Recovery & Conservation Trust Fund, and state that 100% of the money donated to this fund will go to Barbuda and its people.
https://donate.icfdn.org/npo/barbuda-recovery-conservation-trust-fund
http://waittinstitute.org/barbuda-trust-fund-policy-statement/
https://www.facebook.com/BlueHaloBarbuda/

American Sailing Association has created a page to help schools and instructors impacted by hurricane season: https://www.youcaring.com/sailingindustryprofessionalsaffectedbyrecenthurricanes-948269

Scott and Brittany Meyers, of windtraveler.net and ‘Aristocat Charters’ in Tortola, have set up a crowdfunding account to raise money for the BVI. “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.”
https://www.youcaring.com/bviimmediaterelief-943806

Hurricane Irma BVI Relief - a resource of links to information regarding specific sites for donations, volunteers, news and other information.
https://bvirelief.com/

YachtAid Global - “In times of natural disasters, YachtAid Global has the ability to mobilize and shift resources quickly to provide disaster relief in ways that others have not explored.”
http://yachtaidglobal.org/get-involved

Sea Shepherd - ‘Operation Sint Maarten’.  The Sea Shepherd vessel ‘JOHN PAUL DEJORIA’ is transporting supplies to Sint Maarten. Sea Shepherd is also purchasing food for the island’s homeless dogs and cats.
https://my.seashepherd.org/OperationSintMaarten

Direct Relief - “Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies.”
https://www.directrelief.org/2017/09/hurricane-irma-response-spans-florida-caribbean-in-wide-spread-effort/

Texas:

Greater Houston Community Foundation - Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. “Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett have established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods.”
https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/

Houston Food Bank  -  http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/

Thirsty Ground International is based in Corpus Christi, TX, and was founded in 2013 to respond to typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. “We are focusing on helping those with damaged/destroyed homes from Hurricane Harvey to recover & rebuild”
http://bit.ly/2fo2o1U

Austin Disaster Relief Network - ADRN is a nonprofit organization comprised of over 175 Greater Austin churches and thousands of trained volunteers. “ADRN is actively distributing supplies and donated goods to meet the immediate needs of thousands of survivors impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”
https://adrn.org/disaster-relief/hurricaneharvey/

Feeding Texas has published this list of Food Banks to which you can donate ready-to-eat goods, and cleaning products. Contact individual locations for details.
http://mailchi.mp/ac80c17d9660/harvey-food-banks
https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/harvey-food-relief
https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets.feedingtexas.org/pdf/Harvey-Donation-Infographic.pdf

South Texas Blood & Tissue Center - “Hospitals are now requesting more support as patients in areas affected by the storms continue to rebuild their lives.”
https://southtexasblood.org/harvey

United Way of Greater Houston  -  https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood

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Summer Sailstice will contribute 50% of your purchase price on all Summer Sailstice gear purchased from the Summer Sailstice Store (including clearance items) between now and October 31st, 2017, to Sailors Helping - http://sailorshelping.org/  Please help us help the people of the Caribbean and purchase that hat, or tshirt, or burgee that you've been wanting. This is a good time to complete your collection!

Wherever and however you offer your help, you will be part of a network that is helping thousands of people. 

Jost Van Dyke
‘Devastation of the island of Jost Van Dyke after Hurricane Irma’.  Photo courtesy of DFID - UK Department for International Development 


*Summer Sailstice has no affiliation with, and does not endorse the listed organizations, nor does it vouch for the accuracy, or integrity of the information provided by the listed organizations. The intention is to share information that is easily accessed on websites and social media. Individuals wishing to donate to any organization are advised to conduct their own research before taking action. 

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