The Caribbean community in Georgia is springing into action to help St. Vincent and the Grenadines after a series of volcanic eruptions this month forced the displacement of some 20,000 people in the small island nation.
This Saturday, April 24, the Caribbean Association of Georgia will host its second weekend drive for relief items like non-perishable food, ventilation devices, N95 masks, baby care items and toiletries.
The United Nations has appealed for donations of more than $29 million in aid to the country of 110,000 people; the World Bank has already disbursed $20 million, while neighboring countries have supplied goods like food, bottles of water and cots.
St. Vincent is located in the eastern Caribbean, west of Barbados and south of St. Lucia. Water service has been interrupted and supply contaminated in many areas, as thousands are being housed in more than 80 temporary shelters, prompting fears of COVID-19 outbreaks in country where case numbers have been low.
The volcano, La Soufriere, erupted for the first time in 40 years April 9, a day after some residents had already been moved. Subsequent explosions left large areas blanketed with ash, and activity could continue for weeks, some experts have predicted.
The Caribbean Association of Georgia is working with the St. Vincent chapter of Lions Club International to coordinate collection of donations on the ground and to keep track of where they end up.
“We are working closely with people who are actually helping residents through this crisis and they are telling us what they need. Despite these incredibly difficult circumstances, I believe together we can do all things,” CAG President Samantha Samuels said in a news release.
Donations will be accepted in Atlanta at Golden Krust restaurant in McDonough April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Beyond the above-mentioned items, the association is asking for cleaning supplies, soap, toothpaste, markers, tape coloring books, baby wipes, flashlights, clothing, batteries and many other items. See a full list in the graphic below. Donors are asked to double-check expiration dates on items they purchase, as the delivery of donated items can take considerable time.
In a March 31 event with four female Caribbean diplomats, Global Atlanta learned how the Bahamas and other nations have been linked more closely with Atlanta in recent years through outpourings of support following natural disasters. Read more about lessons learned here:
Sign up for the April 24 volunteer effort in Atlanta here: https://www.caribbeangeorgia.org/
Donate funds at the St. Vincent government’s official fundraising website here: https://www.helpstvincent.com/