Thursday Update from Celia

More information from Celia of the St. John Community Foundation: 

Getting on 1pm call with FEMA director who just landed in STX…here is 11am update
9-14 IRMA update from SJCF-VOAD: We continue connecting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) VALs to coordinate with federal, state, local, and partners on the ground in St. John to support the local response and recovery efforts. Curfew is still 6pm-6am and people are feeling more secure with strong military/police presence. Shelters and feeding sites are working well both in Cruz Bay (Red Cross) and in Coral Bay (a “multicentric” community driven effort from Fire Station, Guy Benjamin Community Center and CBCC-Sharon’s team)
Communications are improving with another wifi hotspot at DMV and others being worked on for cell service too. Connections in Cruz Bay has once again become the information hub it is known for and has returned to its original roll of communications exchanges via message boards and more. Cory is there organizing resident volunteers at 10:45am and 1:15pm to assign them in 2 hour shifts with transportation to various sites for cleanup and other tasks.
Search and rescue continues in an organized manner (STJ Rescue, DIRT, Military, FEMA) with houses that have been searched being marked as such and the news is reassuring. Evacuations continue with hundreds getting out each day. People go to the National Park to get their name on the list and there is a priority scale of injured, family with children and elderly, etc, and it is working effectively – many who have made it to STX and P’Rico are already back in the states and able to share their experiences with the media for the much needed awareness of devastation for long term attention.
We are looking into waste management and will be passing information. Right now people are asked to keep as much on their own property as possible; compact and sort as much as possible for pickup/drop off as it is arranged – take caps off water bottles so they can collapse to reduce bulk.
SJCF- VOAD volunteers Erin, Aubrey, Mike and others report in several times daily and we have shifted from immediate feeding, shelter, rescue concerns to donations management. We are coordinating things with the established channels and getting approval for others. Although monetary donations are still key, we are looking into ShelterBox homes, TIDE washer/dryer setups, water filtration systems and more. We are also working on relations with Immigrations on behalf of unofficial residents who need but are reluctant to accept assistance.
A supply needs list will be released as soon as we have a handle on the bulk items on the way into current distribution channels…please refer to yesterday’s update/post on the information needed if you have bulk items being organized for this effort. Volunteers from the states who want to come down are encouraged not to rush down yet due to limited accommodations and to register with the Red Cross and and NVOAD – National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster – you can be affiliated with St. John Community Foundation that way and connected to all the National Relief Agencies who are organizing efforts on behalf of St. John.
Rest assured, your donations to the Foundation will continue to be used for IRMA relief efforts now and through the long term recovery phases in a fiscally responsible, conscientious and direct manner. Cash donations to voluntary disaster relief organizations enables them to purchase exactly what is most needed – whereas donated items require voluntary agencies to spend money and considerable time for sorting, inventorying, warehousing, and distribution. If you would like us to direct your donation to any specific St. John organization, let us know, and we will do so.
To make a donation to the Foundation for St. John IRMA relief efforts go to http://thestjohnfoundation.org/donate
As you may know, we were formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Marilyn and have been responsibly managing local and federal funds for over 28 years. Feel free to ask us any questions, we have current Good Standing with the VI Govt, you can look us up on D&B, and Guidestar, etc. ….our EIN # is 66-0463145 and your donation is fully tax deductible.
Much love and many blessings – Celia

47 thoughts on “Thursday Update from Celia”

  1. Has anyone checked on Dana and her horses? Also want an update on the donkeys. How are they eating with no vegetation? Is that guy at Caneel still feeding them doughnuts?

    • I have been in contact with her sister Tania who is in England. Dana has contacted their mom and is okay. Apparently she lost one donkey, but it is not clear if the donkey left because it was spooked or if it was unfortunately killed. Let’s all prepare to help Dana financially to rebuild for her beloved animals when she is able to receive messages and funds. I left her a message at [email protected] to let me know when and where to send help.
      -Patsy

      • Thanks so much for letting us know this; I had ridden with Dana twice and am a horse owner so I was extra worried! Pleas keep us in the loop how us horse folk can help.

    • Thank you for asking this question-I would like to organize sending down supplemental food for the wild donkeys and wonder who we can contact?

  2. Question, what are they doing about septic and sewer? Has anyone brought in composting toilets? Is the power still off and when do they predict that coming back on?
    Also, what about adopting families? We would love to help and that seems to be a great way to do it. Our community adopted families in Rockport and Houston area.
    Thanks!

  3. I just registered with NVOAD and it was an easy process. It allowed me to put in the dates that we were already planning to be on the island for a vacation. If they put together a volunteer team that could use me on those dates, then I might as well go and try to help.

  4. Can anyone let photographer Steve Simonsen know that I’m offering a place for he and his wife to stay if they want to come to Savannah? He can call me at 912-547-5212. God bless you all.

  5. I also was wondering how the wild donkeys will get food with all the vegetation gone. Is anyone helping them? I would gladly send down bags of beetroot pulp and hayextender pellets to supplement them until some vegetation comes back to meet their needs. Very worried about them starving. Does anyone have an answer?

  6. Wondering about a few people and businesses we’ve come to know over several visits. Anybody have updates on Tony McGowan (Cruz Bay Watersports at the Westin), How are Skinny Legs; Beach Bar? There are so many more, but we thought we’d start with them. Thanks.

  7. This is is unreal people are asking about wild donkeys to meet their needs? When humans are suffering and perishing due to the Hurricane cut off from society and collapsed homes! Tsk tsk tsk Shame on you. Where are your priorities for human compassion?

    • I think most everyone would agree that people come first. However, whereas people have the Red Cross and each other for food and basic survival resources the Donkeys and dogs do not. I for one would risk my life for my dogs, and I suspect that many in St John feel the same about the donkeys.

    • How do you know these people haven’t already sent donations for the humans? Some of us are capable of having compassion for more than one thing at a time.

      Judge much? Tsk, tsk.

  8. I have a home in KNOXVILLE Tennessee and am more then willing to house a family here
    In my home – 3 extra bedrooms with 2 full baths. I housed a Katrina family for 9 months.

    • I read something earlier about using your voicemail message to let everyone know your whereabouts and needs. As long as your phone is on, they’ll get your voicemail when they call. Be detailed and specific. Thought that was clever.

  9. I too registered with NVOAD it was easy. My heart belongs to St John ( got married on Trunk Bay beach ) Any news of AnneMarie Porter ?? Her FB page said she was “safe” Wondering if there is any other news.
    Thank you

  10. Does anyone know the well being of Kathy McLaughlin and Leah M Randall ?? Wayne Campbell ? The Tap Room people ? Steve Horner family and staff ??

  11. These comments are wonderfully helpful to those of us who would love to be there but can’t be right now. We have heard from our rental villa and it survived the maelstrom and will be able to accomodate us in March when we are able to come, dependent on the island’s ability to receive us. We will come ready to work – experienced in electric, plumbing and structural work and ready to do whatever is needed.Everyone on this site should contribute as they are able.

  12. I am looking for information on Terry Witham if anyone has any.

    And to Lisa – It is a shame to assume that if someone asks about the donkeys or other animals on the island that they are not worried about the humans. We do not know what else Kim is doing, feeling, or worrying about. She simply asked a question. Personally, I too, would be willing to do whatever is need to save or provide for both the humans AND animals in need.

    To Jenn – Much love. Keep on doing what you are doing!

  13. Hi, I was a physician who worked on St John for several years post Hurricane Hugo. I have been trying to contact the Myrah Keating Smith Hospital / Dr Barot / Administrator to see if they need assistance (doctor and nurse) in any way. I have sent my credentials to St Croix and the board is clearing them today. Is there anyone who can help me get word to or from the hospital? It would be greatly appreciated.

  14. Has anyone seen or heard from Jane Kyser? She has been a St. John resident for years and is very involved in the St John animal rescue league. Thanks!

  15. This was the last we heard from her…..

    I am moving up to 15 Rockridge Rd (Bowry’s house) to ride out this hurricane. I will have no internet and little cell access for the duration. Just wanted to let you know; so you don’t worry if you don’t hear from me for a while. Stay safe all my STJ family of friends!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Just decided, after the weather update, to ride out Irma at a more secure, dry place in Great Cruz Bay with friends from St John, then will head up to Rockridge. Don’t want to do this one alone like I’ve done before. It’s times like these that you realize what wonderful friends you have !!!

  16. Hello St. John…hope you nice people made it through the the hurricane.

    We are Looking for Kathleen Boze ( Cat ) and STEVE who live on a sailboat on Coral Bay.We havent heard from them since since before the hurricane. Cell goes directly to message…..Things usually dont scare me but now I am are scared
    Cat was my deck hand in Alaska…best hand I ever worked with. If any one has info please let us know….Bless all of you….From what Cat tells me St John is one strong community

    Sincerely Bob and Lynda Haskell
    Lake Havasu City , Arizona

  17. Thank you so much for continued information. Keep us informed about
    Adopt-a-Family. We have stayed on this beautiful Island so many times,
    with Donald and Deborah Schnell and Artistic Villas. I was so happy
    to hear from Deborah today to know they are alright, but so heart-
    broken as we are. The National News took so long for video coverage. You are the link to keep us up the date, & let us know where we can donate. Many Thanks
    directly to the Island.

  18. Anyone willing to help St John in the future with….well, really anything….I am helping St John Rescue gather info and contacts, so they are all ready to go when needed. Please send emails to: [email protected] This is real; please spread the word. I know there have been posts from builders, attorneys, etc… so let’s get all the names and resources organized.

    I don’t know if St John Community Foundation might be thinking/working on this already too?

  19. So glad we have this forum for spreading the word about the welfare and location of people. Anybody know if the Kekoa and her crew are alright? And I’m just as happy to hear that the critters at the ACC all made it through. Food for the donkeys and the deer are a concern of mine also and in no way impacts what I do for the people. I’ve already sent money to 2 St John organizations but would like to send something that offers relief for the wildlife, too. Let us know if there is something (other than the ACC to whom I support throughout the year) that will care for the animals of STJ. Thanks.

  20. Does anyone know how “It’s About Time” Villa fared on Ajax Peak? Also, what about Miss Lucy’s? We met a bartender that was planning to leave the island this fall?

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