St Maarten was hit hard by hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Irma, a category 5+ storm, tore into several islands in the Caribbean with 185 mile per hour winds, ripping roofs off buildings, flattening homes and filling streets with trees and debris.
Irma is one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in history and it left St Maarten, which was once my home, devastated and destroyed.
I still can’t believe what has just happened to this beautiful Caribbean island and popular cruise destination…
Footage from the Dutch ministry of defence reveals the extent of the devastation in Sint Maarten
I feel powerless now, so far away. There is not much I can do as I see friends posting more and more pictures of the destruction Irma caused. Thankfully everyone I know on the island and on neighboring islands is ok, although communication is difficult at the moment with everything being destroyed.
The harbor and airport, although heavily damaged, are open again so that aid can come in. Many roads have been destroyed and are impassable in numerous places.
Officials say rebuilding the infrastructure remains crucial in the recovery process and getting aid to the residents who remain in flooded conditions.
There is one thing we can do though to help St Maarten and that is sending financial aid
The island currently needs basic supplies: water, food and medicine. And after that it will need to start rebuilding.
All of that of course costs money and several initiatives have started to raise funds.
The Netherlands has been offering a lot of aid on the island and the Dutch Red Cross has opened a special account to raise funds for further aid.
You can find their donation page here >>
Unfortunately the website is only available in Dutch, but I hope you will try to donate anyway since the steps are fairly simple (and Google translate may help you):
Step 1: Scroll down to where you can choose the amount you want to donate (check xe.com if you want to convert Euros into a different currency)
Step 2: choose how you want to pay (credit card, PayPal, etc)
Step 3: enter your fist name, last name, gender and email address (all marked with a red asterix). Then tick the box saying you are over 16 years of age (assuming you are).
Step 4: Click on “Doneren” (= Donate) to make your donation and finalize your payment.
The Red Cross is the official aid organization in the Netherlands. This is the safest way to donate money to help St Maarten, Saba and St Eustatius, which are all part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
Thank you so much!
The Center for International Disaster Information, a part of the United States Agency for International Development, says sending money is almost always the most efficient way to help.
If you are having difficulties donating through the Dutch Red Cross website, check out Globalgiving.org’s Hurricane Irma Relief Fund. They accept online donations and their website is in English.
Alternatively, please follow RebuildSXM.com, an initiative started by two people born and raised on St Maarten to see how you can support them. They have now started accepting online donations as well.
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