Watch: One Year After – A Video Tribute to SXM

When Irma slammed into Saint Martin one year ago there was no way to understand what things would look like afterwards. There was also no real way for any of us to know how our lives would change. It was a personal journey for so many people.

One year ago today, my wife and I sat in bed listening to Laser 101 for updates on the situation in Saint Martin. Irma was bearing down and all we could do was listen and hope.

The next morning I felt utterly helpless. I was thousands of miles away, longing to help in some way, and feeling like there was nothing I could do but wait. I sat down at my computer and started searching Twitter for something, anything, about what was happening in Saint Martin.

As I searched and searched, I started to find a little bit of information here and there. I decided to start @SXMStrong so I could show my support for a place that gave so much joy to me and my family over the years. That led to this website. It also led to several trips to Saint Martin to help wherever I could.

Over six trips from the end of December to the beginning of June, I met and spoke to so many wonderful people who lived through Irma. I listened intently to their stories, thanking every single one for sharing with me. It was a very personal journey for me and my family.

As you can imagine, I’ve taken a lot of pictures and video, much of which I’ve shared on this website and the SXM Strong social media accounts. Today, I wanted to publish a video as a tribute to the trips I made, the people I met, and the things I saw while in Saint Martin. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Show your support for Saint Martin/Sint Maarten! Proceeds go directly to assist local residents and communities on the island. 

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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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