Those words stopped me dead in my tracks when I read them in Parade magazine this weekend, because they might as well have been taken straight from my own mouth. Singer Bruno Mars, who’s of Puerto Rican descent, was explaining why he performed in the Hurricane Maria relief concert One Voice: Somos Live! last month. While I’m not Puerto Rican, I do have fond memories of three trips there. I also have fond memories of travels to the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua, and other Caribbean destinations. From the moment I saw how massive Hurricane Irma was, to the nearly incomprehensible path of destruction it and Hurricanes Jose and Maria subsequently left, I’ve felt sick to my stomach. I also wanted to do something, anything.
I donated to the Red Cross. I supported other charitable organizations. As a journalist, I put on my reporter’s and editor’s hats and ensured we at MegayachtNews.com covered some of the yachting industry relief efforts, as well as the efforts to ensure accurate information was being disseminated.
It wasn’t enough.
In reading about the upcoming annual Giving Tuesday movement, it hit me: raise funds directly.
I therefore created the donation drive #GivingTuesday for the Caribbean, via YachtAid Global. And, while November 28 is technically Giving Tuesday, #GivingTuesday for the Caribbean is a month-long effort, through December 28, to raise $5,000.
If you’re not familiar with Giving Tuesday, the concept originated six years ago. Briefly, a group of New Yorkers wanted to focus attention on the importance of supporting local communities in the midst of the holiday shopping (read: spending) craze. Wonderfully, that concept spread via word of mouth around the world, to become the global giving movement it is today.
What could be more wonderful, then, than raising–and matching–money that will go to a non-profit that has proven time and again over 11 years that it has disaster-relief logistics down to a science? Money that this non-profit will use to purchase and deliver medical supplies, chainsaws, generators, food, water desalination kits, and more? In fact, since Hurricane Irma hit, YachtAid Global and the SuperYacht Aid Coalition, comprised of a variety of yachting businesses, have coordinated the delivery of 175,000 pounds of aid, much of it aboard more than three dozen superyachts.
Seemingly, every single one of those yacht owners, crewmembers, and donors asked themselves the same question: If you’re in a position to help a cause that breaks your heart, wouldn’t you? Rather, why wouldn’t you?
I asked myself, and immediately had my answer. And now I’m asking you. Five thousand dollars is a lofty goal for sure. But it’s worth every ounce of effort. Better yet, it’s achievable. Whether it’s 20 dollars or 200 euros, or something else entirely, it will make a difference. Donate here.