21 Nov TBG Hurricane Recovery Fund
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. And I’m still donating $2 from the sale of every “No Refrigeration” book. The fund has exceeded my wildest expectations and has done tremendous good.
The purpose of this post is three-fold — and it will be updated at least once a week as recovery efforts continue:
- 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. But for those who wish to contribute to the recovery effort in the Keys:
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 12/13/17) now totals over $6200. Roughly $2,250 of that is from the sale of my “No Refrigeration” book ($2 of every sale is still going to hurricane recovery) and the rest is from reader donations.
Just over $4,900 has been spent so far on:
- Six lunches and a dinner following seven harbor clean-up sessions to clear hurricane debris from the mangroves lining the harbor. ($1330)
- Materials to re-mark the dinghy channel through the grass flats ($153 spent to date; another $100 to be spent)
- 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 for community members who lost everything (boats and often cars and jobs) but haven’t received FEMA or insurance checks yet ($1500)
- Reimbursing volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses for gas and equipment maintenance ($470)
- Sat phone minutes for immediate response in the BVI ($100 — this is the only non-BKH use of funds)
At this point, money is being used for harbor clean-ups — we are having an “official” one about every 5 days, varying days and times so that different people can participate, and many people are working on the clean-up at other times. It is hard, dirty and exhausting work, doing things such as pulling up sunken dinghies and motors, removing refrigerators and lumber from the mangroves and additional crawling through the mangroves to find and remove all the “small stuff.” You can see the pictures below.
We’ve done a lot so far but there is just so much debris that was washed into the harbor! It’s going to be a long battle and meals after (or in the middle of) a work party go a long ways to keep people going — both the actual food and knowing that others support the effort. We typically have about 50 people working in one of these sessions; lunch for 50 people costs about $200 and dinner about $300.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed!