Ann Marie Sorrell, The Mosaic Group
Yvette N. Harris, Harris Public Relations
(Black PR Wire) Miami, Florida - Since the initial eruption of the La Soufrière Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, April 9 and ongoing to as early as this week’s anniversary of the last major eruption in 1979, a number of Caribbean descent organizations, businesses, and individuals have mobilized to build a network of support to provide relief to impact victims on the island. The continuous eruptions have blanketed large portions of the island and in nearby Barbados with heavy ash and threats of pyrotechnic flows to surrounding communities in northern St. Vincent. As a result of the volcanic activity, thousands of island residents have been evacuated to local shelters or neighboring islands and are likely to be displaced for a long term.
As previously done in support of the recovery from Hurricane Maria, the US Caribbean Strong network has been activated to support a multitude of relief efforts across the diaspora in securing priority relief supplies, mobilizing volunteers for transporting and packaging supplies, collaborating with local private sector and governmental partners, and fundraising dollars to underwrite efforts.
“We must mobilize in a coordinated and efficient manner to effectively expedite the priority supplies to the most needy and vulnerable on the island. Each person and organization can contribute in their own way with money, volunteer time, supplies from home or shopping, and personal relationships with the capacity to help. Our family and friends in St. Vincent need us urgently,” Marlon Hill, US Caribbean Strong organizer.
To date, the following relief supplies are the highest priority: bottled water, N95 masks, goggles, toiletries/sanitary/dignity kits, first aid kits, medicine – aspirin, pepto bismol, nebulizer/asthma pumps/etc., sleeping bags, blankets pillows, mats, towels, baby wipes/foods/diapers, batteries/flashlights/solar lanterns, sleeping bags, blankets pillows, and mats. Clothing and basic food items are not the highest priority at this time. Several relief events are being organized and hosted throughout South Florida to collect supplies. Volunteers are needed to assist with sorting, packing, pickup and delivery, and more. Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up to do so online. For Volcano Relief Drop Off Locations, visit:
“Our message to every Vincy, you are not along, we the Caribbean are with you now and always, near and far away. You are in our prayers and please know that every Caribbean person in the Caribbean and around the world have come together like never before to assist all who have been affected by the volcano one way or the other. It is a proud moment for the Caribbean diaspora, working together, helping one another and most importantly speaking with one voice! Together, we are Caribbean Strong!” exclaimed Consul General Gilbert Boustany, Antigua & Barbuda, in Miami.
U.S. Caribbean Strong has partnered with the Miami Foundation to create a relief fund, financial contributions can be made securely made at http://give.miamifoundation.org/volcanorelief.
“Natural disasters are extremely disheartening, however as part of living in the tropics it is an inevitability – not if but when. The purpose of Caribbean Strong is to aggregate and streamline geographically dispersed disaster relief efforts: to get help faster and easier to those who need it most. Right now that’s all hands on deck for St. Vincent and the Grenadines; help is on the way!” – Devin St. Hilaire, US Caribbean Strong organizer
U.S. Caribbean Strong partners and collaborators include, but not limited to Caribbean Consular Corps of Miami, Miami Broward Carnival, South Florida Carnival Bandleaders Association, Caribbean Bar Association, Florida Caribbean Students Association, South Florida Caribbean Promoters, South Florida Caribbean business owners, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Miami Go Team, Food for the Poor, Janice Lyttle Foundation, Global Empowerment mission, Red Cross of South Florida, among others.
For more information on drop off locations, to volunteer, or to provide other resources, visit www.sflcaribbeanstrong.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
US Caribbean Strong is a global network of Caribbean descent community organizations, businesses and individuals committed to the coordination of an efficient response to disaster events in the Caribbean region and within global Caribbean diaspora communities.