By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 11, 2017: As Saint Martin national Malaika Maxwell used Facebook live to appeal globally for more soldiers on the island and donation of basic emergency supply including water, milk for babies, flour and sugar, a US non-profit organization has announced it will be taking a second round of supplies to the islands of St. Martin/St. Maarten today, Sept. 11th.
Samaritan’s Purse is a North Carolina-based non-denominational evangelical Christian organization which has been providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world since 1979.
On Sunday the organization’s DC-8 plane took a second shipment of relief supplies and a second Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Puerto Rico. The team and supplies are bound for St. Maarten today and include blankets, shelter plastic, hygiene kits, and household water filters for 2,000 families.
Samaritan’s Purse, which recently pitched in to help in Houston and Texas during Hurricane Harvey, has already taken down emergency supplies to the islands. They delivered a first round of relief supplies and a DART to St. Maarten on Sept. 8th for 2,000 families.
The organization will be working with government officials and church contacts to identify people who will most benefit. Samaritan’s Purse said its DC-8 was a welcome sight to storm-weary Irma survivors stranded on St. Maarten on Sept. 8 and they were also able to bring back 29 people who had ridden out the storm.
“This was a significant encouragement to the people, that somebody cared that much for them and was willing to go and help them in their time of need,” said Samaritan’s Purse Hurricane Irma response manager. “We believe God has opened a unique door on St. Maarten, and we want to show the compassion of Jesus Christ and bring His hope to people who are suffering.”
“We’re taking critically needed supplies to storm survivors, enough to provide shelter and warmth for thousands of families,” said Samaritans Purse President Franklin Graham. “Please pray for all those affected by this horrific storm. These are difficult days, but we are more committed than ever to help the hurting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The island of St. Martin/St. Maarten has extensive infrastructure and building damage; water and food supplies are dwindling and security has become a major issue with looting and criminals reportedly roaming some areas with guns and knives. However, several members of the Gendarmerie Nationales are on their way to Saint Martin to help.
Former President of the Office of Tourism in Saint Martin, Jeanne Vanterpool said the island will take years to bounce back and needs food and roofing supplies immediately.
Her comments come as French president Emmanuel Macron is set to travel to the battered Dutch-French island of Saint Martin on Tuesday following the passage of hurricane Irma and fellow storm Jose.
“Emmanuel Macron will leave to Saint Martin on Tuesday morning with goods and reinforcements,” French interior minister Gerard Collomb told journalists on Sunday after a meeting with Macron at the Elysee palace in Paris.
Royal Caribbean is sending cruise ships to the Caribbean to help with Hurricane Irma relief efforts and to transport those impacted by the devastating storm to safety, the cruise line announced Sunday.
Ships from Royal Caribbean’s fleet are being mobilized and filled with supplies to “help people in need,” according to a press release. On Sunday, the Adventure of the Seas said it will be making humanitarian stop in St. Martin, while the Majesty of the Seas will make stops in both St. Thomas and St. Martin. That ship will then assist in transporting evacuees from the island.
Irma reportedly killed 10 people in the French part of Saint Martin and in nearby island of Saint Barthelemy. Seven people are still reported missing.