Recently a set of hurricanes ravaged the Caribbean leaving ruins in the aftermath. Hurricane Irma was one of the worst storms to hit the Caribbean, and just as residents were beginning to determine the damage and pick up the pieces, they were hit with another major hurricane. Hurricane Maria devastated many of the places identified as a refuge and source of support from Irma such as St. Croix and Puerto Rico. Now, as all of these communities struggle to pick up the pieces they are faced with the unique challenges that are associated with disaster response to islands. Unlike the mainland where evacuation to a nearby state might be an option, there is no where to go on an island. Supplying aid and long-term resources are significant problems, as the isolation and limited local resources on the island make simple necessities scarce.
The need is great and the solutions will not be short term. Though donations are coming in and FEMA and other response agencies are on the ground doing the best they can, the need for support will continue long after the immediate crisis. The majority of the Caribbean has severe damage and many months, if not years of rebuilding will be required. Right now there is attention on the issues facing these areas but that will quickly change after initial disaster relief efforts subside. In addition, many islands in the Caribbean are under resourced and isolated which will make the rebuilding effort take even longer.
Communities are now without power, clean water, food, homes, hospital access, and jobs. Given that tourism is the leading economic driver of these islands, countless island residents are now not only living without basic survival needs but have lost their jobs for the foreseeable future.
Articles on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Maria
Video on the aftermath on the BVI
HOW YOU CAN HELP
It can be overwhelming to know how to help, what to give and where to give it when there are so many needs!
The SISGI Beyond Good Ideas (BGI) Foundation was founded to build the capacity of individuals, groups and organizations working for social good. A core pillar in this work is collaboration, working together to move the needle and solve social problems. With this in mind we have established a Hurricane Fund to support community based organizations and individuals in meeting the local needs of residents in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The BGI Foundation is uniquely positioned to operate this fund and provide support not only because of its proven leadership in addressing social problems but because of its existing and deep connections within the affected communities.
With your support, BGI Foundation will provide mini grants, in kind donations and supplies to individuals and community based organizations in the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
The fund will focus on providing support after the major aid from emergency response ends and the day to day rebuilding and living begins. Over the next two years, we will connect with community groups to provide small grants to individuals towards their rebuilding efforts, work to gather supply lists from the local communities, make shipments of items, and send in kind donations that we will also work to acquire from companies and partners. Every donation will make a difference as the destruction in these communities is massive and the needs are extreme.
By pledging at least $25 each month for the next two years, you can sustain the fund and support community based efforts to rebuild. These mini grants and supplies will be used to help residents meet the needs for basic necessities, repairs and supplies to begin to rebuild their lives There are no operating costs and 100% of the fund will be used directly to support residents and communities in these three locations.
Please help us reach our goal of having at least 150 individuals pledge to donate consistently to the fund so that we are able to fund over $90,000 worth of needs. One time-donations are greatly appreciated though monthly recurring donations make the biggest impact. With your support, we can help communities move beyond crisis to address immediate and long-term needs.
TO GET HELP
All community based groups in these locations are eligible to become an intermediary for this fund at any time. This includes faith based organizations, civic groups, clinics, and nonprofits located in the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Community groups will be asked to collect documented needs, including names and addresses, and providing that information to the fund for consideration. When a gift or donation is provided a signed confirmation of receipt is required. To apply to become a community partner click this link. All requests and personal information received by the fund will remain confidential. Any information that is shared with donors will protect the privacy of the recipient.
100% Towards Local Needs
There are no operating costs and 100% of the fund will be used directly to support residents and communities in affected areas. All donations are tax-deductible.