Virgin Islands – Relief, Recover, Rebuild (VI-R3) Originally known as Irma Relief for our Sister Islands took a "boots on the ground" approach in order to supply food, water and relief goods as quickly as possible for the islands impacted by Hurricane Irma.
The day after Irma we were busy collecting donations and working with the Coast Guard to get clearance to take boats full of disaster relief supplies over to our sister islands of St. Thomas and St. John. We executed the transport of relief supplies, evacuation of hurricane victims, housing of evacuees on St. Croix and complete evacuation to the US Mainland. All of these efforts were 100% volunteer based and crowd funded through Irma Relief for our Sister Islands GoFundMe account.
We cannot thank all the volunteers and donors enough for their time, money and energy. None of this would have been possible without them!
In the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria it became apparent the need for a non-government, non-profit organization that is focused not only on relief efforts but also on the recovery and rebuilding of the Virgin Islands after a catastrophic event. Thus, VI-R3 was formed with the intention of continuing to support these efforts within the Virgin Islands. VI-R3 was founded in hopes to be able to stay in place to respond immediately should the Virgin Islands experience another natural disaster in the future.
VI-R3 works with local Virgin Island businesses (as much as possible) to source supplies and services in order to help restart the local economy and provide employment to the people of the Virgin Islands.
The goal of VI-R3 is to continue to provide relief supplies as long as needed, facilitate recovery projects on each island that help to stabilize the community, and identify and support long-term rebuilding projects.
In September of 1989, St. Croix was devastated by hurricane Hugo. As a result of having suffered through Hugo’s aftermath and rebuilding of the island, Sarah Ridgway and her brother Matt Ridgway (both born and raised on St. Croix) started Irma Relief for Our Sister Islands the very night Irma hit St. Thomas and St. John. The idea was to respond swiftly to the needs of the people of the Virgin Islands post hurricane Irma by supplying food and water until the government could mobilize their response teams.
Together with the help of their friends, volunteers and the generosity of the St. Croix community they were able to do just that!
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