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Help for Affected Communities in the Virgin Islands
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TO: Unitarian Universalist Friends

FROM: Reverend Qiyamah A. Rahman, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix (RevDocRok@gmail.com 704 458 7676)

RE: Hurricane Relief Efforts

DATE: September 26, 2017

I am writing to remind you about the Unitarian Universalists residing in the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island) and Puerto Rico. We are small and our numbers insignificant and it would be so easy to forget that we exist. I encourage each of you to give what you can to help hurricane victims in the Virgin Islands as well as Florida and the earthquake relief efforts in Mexico.

Keep in mind, folks, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are islands - no convoys of trucks can reach us, all support must come by land or sea, and the airports and seaports were damaged along with the rest of the islands infrastructures. Currently, none of the residents have power, water or reliable communications except the rations that are distributed or purchases they are able to make. I recently saw a loaf of bread selling for $9.99. St. Croix is still under a 24 hour curfew except for four hours between noon to four. The situation is dire.

Here are some comments that friends have texted me as I await the opening of the airport so that I might return to St. Croix:

  • …There are telephone poles and trees blocking the streets. A lot of people can’t get out of their homes. There are some deaths emergency services can’t get through. A lot of people trapped in their homes. The governor lifted the curfew which has been on since the day of the hurricane for four hours today. You have to have a curfew pass to go out after 4’oclock today. The military is enforcing it along with the police. They’re not expecting to have electricity until sometime next year. The governor cut off the WAPA (Water and Public Authority) water the day of the hurricane. So we have not water and no electricity. Most of the roads are impassable. Especially in Frederiksted. Most of the businesses and homes lost their roof or at least half of it. I could go on but it gets depressing the more I talk about it. “

  • …Good morning, it was a nightmare my roof was lifting and house has a lot of water. Thank God for life – a lot of destruction. You need to bring you some survival supplies. You take care and thanks for checking. This night was worst than Hugo and comparable to hurricane Marilyn.”

  • …I’m glad you are safe. I agree, it was awful! The south west areas got it badly too. Also, I saw _____ yesterday and he is safe but lost his roof.”

This Message from the President of our UU Fellowship:

  • …Maria was tough. We are fine and getting the house back in order. No cell coverage so I am on a hill above us. Hope all did well.”’

This Message from one of our UU members:

  • Today was interesting. The lines for food and gas were horrendous. Hours waiting and most stores ran out of water. A few bad turns today, but staying positive. They say you should keep 3-6 months of food and water in your home. This is a common Mormon practice. You never can tell how things will change in an instant. Governor says we should not expect power back for months. I'm ok and will be for a while. Will be at the shelter tomorrow trying to get people with disabilities registered with FEMA.

Other messages:

  • …I'm seeing homes that I've never seen before because the trees and foliage are gone. Love the resilience of Afrakans wherever we are. Folk who've lived thru Hugo (1989) and Marilyn (1995) have said the recovery is much better than then. As a rule folk are helping each other out in innumerable ways: helping securing tarps, ..Everything is cash. No banks or ATM OPEN. Should have kept more reserve $$. Drove around trying to get access to $. No luck. Worried about my HIV patients getting their meds. Have meds for my TB patient for 5 days only (not good.) Praying. One of my ladies had pre/term CTXs. Hospital was able to quiet them down. No ability to save baby. Concerned about 5 pregnant ladies with high risk issues. Had a dream one of my ladies was in a room with others. Went to check on her … a qt. of water have been like manna from heaven. On my way to have my bucket shower.


I left after hurricane Irma for a trip thinking we had missed all the bad weather. Instead, hurricane Marie struck and devastated St. Croix. Eighty percent of island structures have been destroyed or heavily damaged on my island of St. Croix. I am trying to return home but all the airports are closed. I have heard from several of the members of the UU Fellowship of St. Croix. Some of them sustained property damage but all survived without injury. Seven deaths have been reported on St. Croix. Individuals are still digging out from under ruined houses, downed power lines, telephone lines and trees. If you have seen any of the videos I have been posting on my Face Book page they are heartbreaking.  

Please remember us in your joys and concerns, please call our name in prayer and meditation and please send donations to the following local sources or any of the UU hurricane relief efforts.

And thank you for thinking of us.

Warmest regards, Rev. Qiyamah A. Rahman

 

 

Want to help? Check Out Reputable Relief Funds Below:

Tim Duncan Disaster Relief Fund:

Face Book Link

Direct Donation Link


St. Croix Foundation Disaster Relief Fund:

Website: http://www.stxfoundation.org/

Direct Donation Link


Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund:

Website: http://www.cfvi.net/

Direct Donation Link


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