The 2017 season was brutal for hurricanes. Houston, St. Martin, the Virgin Islands (both US and British), Puerto Rico and Florida have all been devasted.
About the time Irma hit, I decided to drastically reduce the price of my Storing Food without Refrigeration ebook and use the proceeds for hurricane recovery in the Boot Key Harbor area of Marathon, Florida. Then a bunch of readers sent me donations. The fund has exceeded my wildest expectations and has done tremendous good.
The purpose of this post is three-fold —
- report on what’s in the fund and what the money is being used for
- share pictures of the recovery efforts and events
- put out a DONATE button for anyone who still wishes to donate to recovery efforts in the Florida Keys
I can’t help everywhere, and I know many readers are donating or helping out in other areas. Thank you so very much wherever you are helping — and yes, the reality is that the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico desperately need help, too.
I have removed the DONATE button as I am no longer accepting donations.
IMPORTANT: You are giving money to me and you are trusting me to use it for hurricane recovery (this post and photos on Facebook are my way of being accountable). This is not an official charity and donations are not tax-deductible. It is people helping people in accordance with current needs and no red tape.
The Boat Galley Hurricane Recovery Fund (updated through 1/22/18) now totals over $6750. Over $2,300 of that is from the sale of my “No Refrigeration” book and the rest is from reader donations.
Almost $6,100 has been spent so far on:
- Seven lunches and a dinner following eight harbor clean-up sessions to clear hurricane debris from the mangroves lining the harbor. ($1600)
- Materials to re-mark the dinghy channel through the grass flats ($173)
- City Marina Kids’ Bike Fund (two donors asked me to forward their donation) — every year, City Marina (Boot Key Harbor’s official name) takes up a collection to buy Christmas bikes for needy kids in town. This year, the need is even greater with the hurricane. Money for 40 bikes, helmets and locks — a new record — was donated! ($200)
- Beer for the community Christmas potluck ($100 was a specially earmarked donation) — very much appreciated as many are short on cash this year. ($106)
- Community meals in the month following Hurricane Irma: 1 lunch and 3 dinners for the Boot Key Harbor cruisers and liveaboards ($1250)
- Twenty $75 grocery store gift cards and a $100 cash donation for community members who lost everything (boats and often cars and jobs) but haven’t received FEMA or insurance checks yet ($1600)
- Reimbursing volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses for gas, equipment maintenance and an insurance deductible for damage to equipment ($670)
- Donation towards Key Lime trees for the community garden. This was a special Christmas collection taken up by cruisers at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage. These trees replace ones that were planted in memory of two long-time harbor residents who died last year: Captain Jack and Cajun Dave. ($25)
- Paint for a mural on the side of the marina office that was destroyed in the storm. The artist, Christina Raciti aboard Patience here in the harbor, is donating her time and talent. ($300)
- Sat phone minutes for immediate response in the BVI ($100 — this is the only non-BKH use of funds)
We’ve done a lot so far but the clean up continues. Several newcomers to the harbor have told me how much more “cleaned up” the harbor is than the rest of the city. Both the marina staff and volunteers here have worked hard to make that happen — and the donations from readers have really helped with expenses and also fostering the community spirit that is essential to getting it done.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed!