Austin hurricane evacuee to hold donation drive for USVI

Picture of donations collected for hurricane victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Courtesy: Clare Sheehan.)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hurricane evacuees here in Austin and across the country are banding together for a nationwide donation drive to benefit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Two Category 5 storms — first Irma, and then Maria — devastated the USVI in September. Like Puerto Rico, electrical power is still not restored for most of the islands’ 105,000 residents.

Many like Clare Sheehan evacuated to the U.S. and are now scattered across the country. Sheehan relocated to Austin.

A woman is driving a rented truck across the country, collecting donations for the U.S. Virgin Islands (Courtesy Clare Sheehan)
A woman is driving a rented truck across the country, collecting donations for the U.S. Virgin Islands (Courtesy Clare Sheehan)

“I was lucky to be able to get out between the two storms,” Sheehan said. “But I know a lot of my friends who have lost everything down there had to go through Maria, which was also a Category 5. It’s complete devastation. But the people who are down there are diehard. ‘V-I til I die’ is what they say.”

Shehan and her friends are holding a donation party in downtown Austin on Sunday. It will be from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Ethics Music Lounge at 422 Congress Ave C.

Similar events are being held across the country, and a friend and fellow hurricane evacuee is driving a big truck from coast to coast picking up the donations.

They’re asking people to donate some of the following supplies:

  • non-perishable food
  • battery-operated fans and 3000 watt converters
  • solar lights and batteries
  • bug repellent, mosquito nets and bug zappers
  • diapers, baby wipes, baby food and formula
  • charcoal
  • pet food
  • camping showers
  • laundry detergent
  • household cleaner
  • vitamins and supplements
  • children’s books and coloring supplies

Monetary donations are also accepted.

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