In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Healing Begins with Love
October 24, 2017
At Grand Jewelers, we’re sorry to report that Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria have devastated the Virgin Islands. From downed power lines to flooded homes, ravaged hospitals to tarp-covered schools, we’re faced with the massive job of rebuilding all that we’ve lost. Yet aid from around the world means that boats and planes are delivering the materials we need most, and efforts to rebuild are underway. Companies from the cruise and travel industries have brought hope and inspiration to thousands of individuals whose homes, jobs, and lifestyles are suddenly being threatened. And our island communities are banding together, looking to the future as we lean on each other for help.
Royal Caribbean Cancels Cruise to Aid Relief Efforts
At Grand Jewelers, we’re astounded by the efforts of Royal Caribbean cruise lines, who announced on several weeks ago that they’ll be cancelling their Adventure of the Seas cruises so the ship can be made available for “evacuation and humanitarian efforts,” representatives told FOX News. Humanitarian calls will take place throughout San Juan, St. Thomas, and St. Croix, delivering supplies and helping to evacuate those who need it most. Regular cruise operations were scheduled to resume on October 7.
Carnival Steps in to Help
Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise line, also stepped up efforts to aid in this crisis. Cruise ships were sent to Caribbean destinations, bringing along with them supplies, drinking water, and food for those affected. The Senior Vice President of Carnival Corp., Roger Frizzell, announced that the company was in discussions with Puerto Rican authorities to decide how best to help. In addition, Carnival Corp. pledged ten million dollars to deliver relief to those in the Caribbean, Florida, and San Juan.
The St. Thomas Airport Reopens
Virgin Islanders rejoiced at the beginning of the month with the announcement that the St. Thomas airport was reopening for commercial flights. American Airlines relaunched flights between Miami and Charlotte Amalie Airport, and JetBlue, United, and Delta all coordinated similar measures to follow suit. Longer processing times meant travellers were advised to arrive at the airport extra early, but islanders were willing to forgive the long wait times. Reopening the airport is a step in the right direction, and we’re eager to welcome visitors and native Virgin Islanders alike onto our shores again.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Across St. Thomas and St. Maarten, people are working together to rebuild – and regain normalcy. While the majority of our tourists were successfully evacuated, most islanders have no choice but to remain and restore what’s been lost. “But there is a resilience of the St. Martin people,” islander Emmalexis Velasquez told The New Yorker early this month. “They have come together and are working to maintain whatever, maintain hope…We are helping to clean each other’s yards, we’re sharing food and we’re sharing water.” At Grand Jewelers, we’re still reeling from the shock of two hurricanes in two weeks. Power, internet and phone connections are still limited, water damage is rampant and the threat of additional rain storms looms overhead. Yet we’re certain we couldn’t have made it through without the outpouring of love, encouragement, and support we’ve received from our admirers, fans, family, and friends around the world.
Grand Jewelers is happy to be open for business in both of our locations for mail orders and online shopping. Although landlines and power connections are limited in St. Thomas, we are able to fulfill your holiday shopping orders, so do not hesitate to contact us! All phone lines in St. Maarten are up and running and we are ready to receive your orders.
From all of us at the Grand Jewelers family, we wish you all the best and we’re so grateful for your continued concern.
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