Caribbean Nationals Providing Hurricane Relief

(CMC) – Caribbean nationals residing in New York have stepped up relief efforts to help ease the pain caused by Hurricane Beryl when it passed through the Caribbean last week, leaving a trail of death and destruction in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Jamaica.

The Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Relief, USA, Inc. said in a statement that Hurricane Beryl has “taken its toll on our beloved nation of SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines)” and over the last weekend the Relief Committee met to collect donations of items, as well as monetary donations.

“Several stakeholders have been contacted to make all the necessary arrangements to get these items into St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” the statement said.

“This is our time to activate and show our brothers and sisters at home that they are not alone,” said St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States, Rondy McIntosh, predicting “ we will rise again”.

McIntosh said he was “grateful for all the prayers and sentiments for all those affected by Hurricane Beryl “in our sweet St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We’re even more grateful for all who have made tangible contributions to the various relief efforts. We can assure you that your supplies will get to our people in the shortest possible time.

“Let me also take this opportunity to assure all affected that we in the Diaspora are here to support you, and we’re all in this together.  We’re satisfied with the contributions so far, but we’re asking persons to reach out and make contributions,” the Consul General added.

Chair of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Relief, USA, Inc, Verna Arthur, said despite the donations, “we’ll get through this.

“A couple years ago, we were ravaged by a volcano (La Soufriere’s volcanic eruptions), and we did this effort,” Arthur said her committee is focusing on items required by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Caribbean Diaspora United (CDU), headed by former Grenada United Nations ambassador Eugene Pursoo, said it was “working with the Caribbean Consular Corps and the Caribbean Community in New York in organizing a donation campaign to raise and transmit financial support to the islands hit by Hurricane Beryl.”

The Brooklyn-based Support Every Life Beyond Yours (Selby, Inc.) is also hosting a Hurricane Beryl Relief Drive and is supported by several legislators including Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the Haitian-born chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, who urged people to help the Caribbean recover from the damage caused by the category 4 storm.

“I urge Brooklynites to rally together and offer support for the victims, and I also encourage you to be comforting neighbours for our borough’s outsized Caribbean community, many of whom have loved ones abroad affected by the hurricane,” said the representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.

“I pray for the people of the Caribbean, and for the people in the storm’s continued trajectory, and here in Brooklyn, who are feeling the pain of uncertainty, or deep loss. I also remind our Caribbean community here that you are not alone, and that there are mental health resources to help with any trauma.”

Jamaica’s New York Consul General, Alsion Wilson, has appealed to members of the Jamaican Diaspora Community for “fervent prayer” and divine intervention.

“I understand the anxiety and concern many of you feel, especially those parents who have sent their children to Jamaica for the summer. The separation from your loved ones can be particularly distressing during such uncertain times. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.”

Wilson said the Jamaica Consulate General had already initiated discussions with various stakeholders “should broad governmental assistance be required”.