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The People of The U.S. Virgin Islands Deserve The Same Rights As All Americans … Especially After Hurricane Irma

VIRGIN ISLANDS FREE PRESS:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

America’s Caribbean. That is what it says on the license plates down there: U.S. Virgin Islands — America’s Caribbean.

I should know. I lived there for three years in the early 2000s and still own a condo there today.

Actually — “owned” a condo. I am lucky because it is still standing, but the surrounding building and grounds are uninhabitable.

Power, water and food are all in rationing mode. I have friends who lost their homes, cars and jobs.

Yes. Jobs. The Virgin Islands rely on tourism to survive.Without tourists, there is no work.

With no work, there is no money to buy a new car and rebuild a home.

Nearly all permanent residents are without basic human necessities.

The grocery stores, the gas stations, the hospital, the airport; all damaged and nonfunctional at the moment. It will take time to rebuild, but they need our help.

I have been very disappointed in the media coverage.

These are U.S. citizens. They are no less important than Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston or Hurricane Irma victims in Florida.

The Virgin Islands cannot be ignored and written off as just another vacation destination.

It is easy for mainlanders who do not have ties to or have not visited the islands to quickly forget about the devastation.
Other news stories will take Irma’s place, but the residents of the Virgin Islands are still living amongst rubble with no power, no food to feed their families, no work to pay their mortgages (on homes that are gone).

It’s unfathomable to me.

One person can make a dent, but many people can make significant change.

We must demand attention to and aid for the Virgin Islands.

— Mary Roxanne Stanfel, Lake Bluff, Illinois

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

2 Comments

  1. Jim in Pennsylvania
    September 18, 2017 at 2:13 PM — Reply

    Well stated. My wife and I have visited St Thomas and St John twice. We are both sickened and heartbroken by what has happened. I’ve made social media posts reminding my friends that the US doesn’t stop at the end of the Keys and that the USVI needs just as much if not more help than the mainland. I am trying to find and vet a charitable organization I can donate to that I will know my money goes directly to the islands. If anyone knows of any please let me know.

  2. Scott Whitcher
    September 21, 2017 at 9:43 PM — Reply

    Churches are the best way to get aid directly and quickly to those in need and without “administrative overhead” syphoning off a cut.

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