54 runners. 54 Islands – one cause. #54Strong.
On the 6th September Hurricane Irma passed over the 54 islands of the British Virgin Islands as the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in history rated as a category 5 plus causing widespread catastrophic damage. Then on the 18th of September Hurricane Maria hit and destroyed what little was left of the islands.
Even now, many months later, many of our friends are without essential services like power. To further complicate the situation for most in the BVI, the economy is highly dependent on tourism. The destruction of hotels and charter fleets in the islands has left many without the means to make a living, and even the most optimistic projections do not have the major hotels reopening for almost another year.
In the last 30 years, the BVI has been a home away from home for our entire family. The happiest memories of our entire lives were made in those islands, and many of our closest friendships forged during the time my brother and I spent living there. I met my husband, Greg, for the first time on the upstairs porch of the home I shared with amazing people who drove cross country to attend our wedding and dropped everything to travel and see me when I needed them te most. Sadly that house and those of many others were completely flattened by the power of Irma and Maria.
I have struggled over the last several months to find a way that I can help. The goal of "54 Strong" was to create a team of runners, one for each island, connected by their love of the BVI who could raise funds for Richard Branson's Virgin Fund, which is donating 100% of the proceeds to rebuilding the BVI. Team 54 Strong is running all donations through the Cayman Islands Charity Network Inc. which is registered in the US as a 501(c) (3) so 100% of your contributions are tax deductible.
Thanks so much in advance for your support.