Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Hurricane Fundraiser Updates, Where & How to Donate – #RebuildSXM

Since Hurricane Irma hit Sint Maarten and Saint Martin last Wednesday, I’ve been spending nearly all of my waking hours working on disseminating information through @SXMStrong on Twitter and Facebook. I subsequently started this website on Thursday, September 7, as a place to post information and provide regular updates that people could find anytime, day or night.

I’ve gotten a lot of positive notes from a number of people, encouraging me, thanking me, and asking how they can help. Your notes and emails are touching and I really appreciate all the support for what we’re doing. It’s extremely humbling to be able to help and to feel your love. Thank you for your support in helping to rebuild and provide relief to this wonderful little island.

As you can imagine, and as many of you are doing along with me, sorting through all of the information, photos, videos, Facebook posts, tweets, etc. catches up with me sometimes. I’ve been forging ahead for most of this but there are always moments where everything hits me, emotions well up, tears are shed as I type away. I feel so much love for the people of this island and it’s only growing more and more by the day. For that, I feel truly blessed.

Seeing all of the people that are coming together to support this island and it’s people is really an incredible thing. There’s been a groundswell of support in the first week since Irma hit. It’s going to be more important than ever that we keep the momentum going to support and help rebuild SXM. This is going to take a long, long time.

Fundraising Updates

I’ve updated the SXM Strong ‘Donate’ page and reorganized the causes into two different categories: 1) ‘Local (Business and People)’, and 2) ‘International Organizations Committed to Rebuilding SXM’. I’ve also added a couple more great causes there so please be sure to check back often and give as much as you can. We’re helping a community that has lost nearly everything, so anything you can give is helpful.

SXM Strong Fundraiser

I’m happy to report that the SXM Strong t-shirt fundraiser has been a huge success. I originally set a goal to sell 50 t-shirts over 30 days. So far, we’ve sold 80 shirts in just one week, raising over $1,700 in the process!! That’s just awesome!

I’ve added four more colors to choose from too. In addition to navy, there’s now red, cranberry, green (grass), and teal. All proceeds — every cent — will go directly to local hurricane relief efforts on Saint Martin/Sint Maarten.

You also have the ability to just donate if you don’t want a shirt, or you can buy a shirt and donate an additional amount. Please share with anyone who you think may want to support this fundraiser.

Dutch Red Cross Fundraiser

The Dutch Red Cross, at last check, has raised nearly 9 million euros to help support the relief efforts for Sint Maarten. That is amazing!!! There’s a link on the ‘Donate’ page to give to the Rode Kruis for Hurricane Irma relief for SXM.

Here’s a quick summary of aid that’s come from the Netherlands so far. Of course, it’s much more than this by now but I just wanted to share this with you.

French Red Cross

The French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge Française) has nearly 130 volunteers in Saint Martin helping the community to rebuild, distribute food, water and supplies, and provide medical assistance. Donate here to help support the them as they continue to lift up the French community on the island.

Sonesta Resort Employee Fund

I added the Sonesta Resort GoFundMe to the SXM Strong ‘Donate’ page yesterday. This is the official fundraising page for the employees and staff of Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten and The Maho Group, this fund will collect money to provide new clothing, supplies, and household items; it will also help support aid to the employees and staff and offset medical and travel expenses.

This fund has been set up by the Director of PR for The Maho Group – Andria Mitsakos – who is in direct contact with the resort company, the government of Sint Maarten (as well as serving on the official crisis communications team for the Prime Minister), and all humanitarian efforts and official spokespeople.

So far, they’ve raised over $6,000 in support of this worthy fundraiser.

SXM Festival Go Fund Me Campaign

SXM Festival was featured in an article by as the official GoFundMe Relief Campaign supported by the Sint Maarten Tourist Bureau. So far, they’ve raised over $30,000.

The SXM Festival GoFundMe is a fundraising effort for SXM relief and the only one that the St. Maarten tourist bureau can officially support at this time. They are registered in St. Maarten and are in constant contact regarding the needs and logistics of the island.

Bottom line, there are lots of options if you want to give, just check the ‘Donate’ page often for updates and be sure to let friends and family know. As you know, the impact of this hurricane nearly wiped out this entire island. It’s not possible to give too much. Please keep giving to help rebuild SXM.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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