Help for Hurricane Irma: What you can do

 

Cane Garden Bay – Tortola, British Virgin Islands

From Tortola to Tampa, the Caribbean and Florida hold special places in my heart – the people, the music, the landscape and island life in general. I’ve walked along Cane Garden Bay, eaten at Quito Rymer’s Beach Bar, swam to shore from a catamaran at the Soggy Dollar Bar and explored the Keys from Key West to Key Largo.

Hurricane Irma has caused mass devastation and destroyed so much in the U.S. and British Islands, the Florida Keys and other areas of mainland Florida. It’s heartbreaking to see piles of boats and homes and businesses ripped to shreds.

I have faith that the residents will rebuild and it will all come together, but I can’t begin to imagine the amount of time, work and funds it’s going to take to get places like St. John, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Jost Van Dyke and the rest of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands back up and functioning.

Since I can’t physically go to these places to help, I wanted to take a moment to compile a list of non-profits and organizations that you can donate to if you’re so inclined. Along with the traditional ones like the Red Cross, there is the Global Giving Foundation, the ASPCA and many more. Airbnb has even developed a plan to offer temporary free homes to displaced people.

Celebrities with ties to the affected areas have stepped up and created special funds specifically for island assistance. Country singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney has created the Love for Love City fund in honor of St. John. Chesney’s home on the island has reportedly been destroyed by the storm. “Love City” is St. John’s nickname. Business mogul and entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Donations can be made through Virgin Unite, the charitable arm of the Virgin Group.

Photo: Kenny Chesney/No shoes Nation

How you can help with Hurricane Irma recovery

Please feel free to comment with any other organizations offering assistance or taking donations for Hurricane Irma relief. Spread the love.

Update (9/26/17): Many of these same organizations are collecting donations for the recent devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Here are a few more:

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