Helping Pick Up The Pieces Of Hurricanes Irma And MAria

The opportunity to give shouldn’t be squandered. The hurricanes Irma and MAria caused massive devastation, loss of life, and homelessness when they hit the Caribbean late last year. The most intense hurricanes to hit the US since Katrina, they are to date the two costliest weather disasters to hit the region. Although it’s almost been a year since they first struck, they have left huge crises in their wake, so what can we do about them?

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With a lot of controversy around the aid and disaster relief being offered to Puerto Rico, a lot of the efforts undertaken to help with food distribution, home reconstruction, and even tasks like repairing schools and playgrounds are being done by volunteer groups and local businesses in the area. Voluntourism is a trend that involves supporting the local businesses while you vacation. Puerto Rico tourism has recently opened back up, supporting an industry of over 50,000 citizens. Explora PR is an adventure travel company, for instance, which offers not just summer camps and tours, but internship and volunteer opportunities. These help with providing a portable water purifying systems, medicines, non-perishable foods, construction materials and more to communities at risk on the island.


Not every student can afford to take the time and spend the money to take a trip out to the most heavily affected areas in the Caribbean, of course. However, giving is always an option regardless of how much or how little you can contribute. There are businesses like Cane Bay Partners heading up initiatives like Cane Bay Cares out in the Virgin Islands. Donations to initiatives like these offer direct aid to citizens of St. Croix and the other islands, as well as coordinating the efforts of charities and businesses in the area to help assess and address the continuing needs of the people. Cane Bay Partners double every donation made through Cane Bay Cares, which have so far provided generators to neighborhoods, distributed bottled water, provided food and mosquito repellant to displaced citizens and much more.

Start a fundraising program in college

There are likely already plenty of summer service projects and campus charity efforts going on in your college community. Take a look to see if there are any that you can contribute to. Otherwise, you can end up providing a lot more if you join forces with like-minded students than if you donate alone. There have already been lots of fundraising efforts like dance-a-thons, pie sales, care package programs, and much more. However, as time goes on, we risk forgetting that areas like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are still in need of help. Coordinating with student governments could potentially help you gain even more visibility and support for the cause.

Though the average student may only be able to contribute a little time or money towards the efforts to protect the people and rebuild the homes of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the collective good we can do together can make a huge impact. Consider lending what you can to help.

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