Right on the tail of Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria hit the area not even two weeks later, making landfall in Dominica as a Category 5 and affecting Guadeloupe and Martinique, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, where it made another landfall as a high-end Category 4 on September 20, making it the island’s strongest hurricane since 1928. Here’s how you can help those affected by the catastrophic storm.
Capt. Eric Bergeron has started a relief fund for the DominicanRepublic, which suffered damages from flash floods and flooding. One-hundred percent of the donations will go to people in need. There will be no middlemen, and he will directly hand out the funds.
Puerto Rico Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster will match you with groups on the ground that are responding to the storm. Meanwhile, United for Puerto Rico is taking on support of all kinds, whether it’s social media awareness, cash donations, providing transport, or material donations of emergency or construction supplies. Mercy Corps, which has deployed an emergency response team to Puerto Rico, also plans to help other local organizations since it doesn’t have operations in Puerto Rico.
ConPRmetidos is a Puerto Rico-based nonprofit accepting donations for its Maria:Puerto Rico Real-Time Recovery Fund to be used “first for immediate needs of food, shelter, and water and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.” The Hurricane Maria CommunityRelief and Recovery Fund is pledging 100 percent of all money raised to be used for immediate relief, recovery, and rebuilding for the areas hit hardest by the storm.
You can also help support the pets of Puerto Rico by donating to Wings of Rescue, which flies in supplies for pets and people and flies out dogs and cats.
AmeriCares, which provides health services to those in need, was working with officials in Puerto Rico to stock emergency shelters with medical supplies. They also airlifted $1.8 million worth of medicine and supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
You can find other donations at this GoFundMe landing page dedicated solely to Hurricane Maria.
You can donate to the crowdfunding effort, Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund, which will provide the people of Dominica with basic materials such as temporary roofing, blankets, and non-perishable food through aid relief.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The community foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), a longstanding USVI non-profit, established the Fund for the Virgin Islands — 100 percent of donations benefit those in crisis from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. The organization is working closely with the government and community providers to identify both priorities and direct resources for immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts. Donate here or send a check to:
Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands
P.O. Box 11790
St. Thomas, VI 00801-4790
(indicate FFVI in the memo field)
American basketball player Tim Duncan began the 21 U.S.Virgin Island Relief Fund following Hurricane Irma. In the wake of Maria,he has increased the fundraising goal to $5 million.
The Women’s Coalition of St. Croix, which supports people impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault, is collecting donations for those affected by the hurricanes. They are also accepting toiletry care packages,such as tampons, sanitary napkins, diapers, and insect spray, at this address:
Women’s Coalition of St. Croix
P.O. Box 222734
Christiansted, USVI 00822-2734
All Hands Volunteers works with local volunteers and groups to respond to natural disasters and is focusing its assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Donations made to GlobalGivingwill fund hurricane recovery and relief efforts in the Caribbean, first meeting immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once complete, it will then fund long-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations responding to the disaster.
SuperYacht Aid Coalition (SAC) deployed YachtAid Global(YAG) to fulfill the superyacht industry’s response to Hurricanes Maria and Irma. “The contributions and assistance coming from the response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria are unprecedented,” YAG founder Mark Drewelow told BoatInternational. “By managing SuperYacht Aid Coalition under YAG’s proven logistical dexterity, we are able to harness these efforts. We believe the response of our owners and industry is capable of being as unprecedented as the events themselves.”
To donate to YAG or help deploy aid, head here.
IGY Marinas has been supporting as many communities in the eastern Caribbean as it can, loaning its properties as make-shift hospitals and temporary shelters and providing staging for military aid operations. Now it has set a goal to raise $5 million under the NYC Eastern Caribbean Relief Fund to help provide the fundamentals of survival to families in need.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)is a regional, inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda, and Dominica. Donations will be used to purchase relief supplies and support early recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Note that as several islands were hit by both HurricaneMaria and Hurricane Irma, many relief funds started for Irma are raising money for overall hurricane efforts, providing relief for victims for Irma and Maria. Check out some of these fundraisers here.
If you are working on relief efforts not mentioned above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: The U.S. Virgin Islands via Facebook.Boston.com