Collab&Play wishes a swift recovery for all those affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria. These natural disasters hit close to home because two of the owners Magen and Arielle are from the US Virgin Islands, islands that suffered great losses due to Hurricane Irma and then had to endure a second category 5 hurricane two weeks later with Maria.
Both of them are hurricane survivors themselves having lived through the aftermath of major hurricanes. They have lived without electricity and running water for months on end. Eating more canned food than one would wish. Many people may forget that children live through this aftermath. Not all parents have the means or resources to evacuate. Both Arielle and Magen had to attend school, while their island was rebuilt.
St. Thomas and St. John were hit pretty hard. The only hospital on St. Thomas had to be evacuated due to damage and is no longer operational. Many people have lost their homes, and several major grocery stores are destroyed.
In order to rebuild, it helps to have resources. Magen and Arielle were able to coordinate with other Virgin Islanders in Southern California that have made strides to connect with the United Way chapter on the ground. They will be shipping donated items directly to the US Virgin Islands. We decided to ask our supporters and followers to help with a Baby Supply Drive. At this time there are parents on island with young kids. There is already a diaper shortage due to the grocery stores receiving significant damage. The Virgin Islands also does not have potable water. Prior to Hurricane Irma and Maria, many islanders relied on bottled water for their drinking supply. That continues to be the case during the aftermath.
Rebuilding after a hurricane takes a long time, people have lost their homes and businesses. Infrastructure will have to be rebuilt. This will be an on-going supply drive to lend assistance as long as necessary.
We are looking to collect: Diapers, Wipes, Formula (pre-mixed is better), bottled water for breastfeeding moms, hand sanitizer,and baby safe insect repellant.
Here are 3 ways to help:
- Participate in our Baby Supply Drive.
- Purchase items from this Amazon list: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1LSXZSKOPHEX0
- Donate money to The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) https://www.usvirecovery.org/
Collab&Play is working with a Hurricane Relief Effort through a coalition of other Virgin Islanders here in Southern California. Efforts were led by Ihsan Munir who is working with United Way of St. Thomas. Here is a clip from NBC4 Los Angeles that describes the relief effort being done in Southern California.