If you’re reading this then odds are that the devastation of St. Maarten/St. Martin from hurricane Irma has impacted your life and/or the life of a loved one. Seeing the devastation on this beautiful island is truly heart wrenching.
Like many of you, I’ve been to the island countless times – it is truly a second home to my family. I’ve been there while courting my wife, for my 40th birthday, during winter, during summer, my wife and I go there regularly to celebrate our birthday — which is actually on the same day — and it’s the first place either of our two boys — now 4 and 5 — have travelled to internationally.
In fact, our oldest son has been to the island five times already. We live in Phoenix and it’s a pretty long trip for us that requires an overnight stay in Charlotte. But, we go. And we go not only because we love the island and all of it’s beauty, but we go because we love the people.
When I heard that the island was in the direct path of hurricane Irma my heart dropped. I, like so many others, felt totally helpless. But I had to do something. So, I decided to start gathering news and information and disseminating it via a Twitter account I created named SXMStrong.
I’ve dedicated every waking hour since Wednesday morning to spreading news, helping families find their loved ones, creating this website where people could get reliable information, and pouring everything I have into helping this cause. Seeing the impact SXM Strong has had has been a truly humbling experience.
I love that there have been so many happy endings for families who’ve found loved ones, for tourists that are now safely off the island, for all the people that survived such a brutal storm. But our work has only just begun. In fact, there are still many people stranded on the island trying to get off. I assure you, there is help being coordinated to get these people to safety.
Over the next several months and likely years, the beautiful people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin will need our help more than ever. The goal of SXM Strong is to help people, regardless of where they are from, and to help the island recover, completely. I will not relent in my efforts to help rebuild.
It is in the spirit of brotherhood with the people of St. Maarten and St. Martin — people who’ve welcomed all of us for years to the ‘Friendly Island’ — that I’ve worked to identify a few different charities that I believe will have a substantial impact on the island’s efforts to rebuild.
Below you will find links to a few different organizations and fundraising efforts. I will also be posting links to these organizations on the Donate page. If you know of other great causes that are working to support the rebuild, please shoot me a note.
Above all, please give to help rebuild Sint Maarten/Saint Martin.
List of charitable organizations supporting the SXM Rebuild:
With the help of Jonathan Falwell, Samaritan’s Purse was one of the first organizations to send a plane into the SXM after the storm.
— Samaritan’s Purse (@SamaritansPurse) September 10, 2017
SXM Festival Go Fund Me Campaign
SXM Festival was featured in an article by Billboard.com as the official Go Fund Me Relief Campaign supported by the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau.
— SXM Strong (@SXMStrong) September 10, 2017
If you’d like to show your support for the rebuild you can purchase an SXM Strong t-shirt for only $22 and wear it on your chest.
All of the proceeds raised (100%) will go directly to local charities and relief efforts on the island. And it’s a cool way to show you support the island too.
Dutch Red Cross
The Dutch Red Cross — or Rode Kruis — is in the midst of sending support and supplies to the island. They will use proceeds from donations to scale up emergency aid to victims. Initially, it involves clean drinking water, food, tarpaulins, tents, generators and other emergency aids.
— Rode Kruis (@RodeKruis) September 10, 2017