For many, the holidays this year will be bittersweet.
For the people struggling to make daily life work on a hurricane-wrecked rock, those living elsewhere who have been displaced from their island homes, those currently without jobs and secure income, and many more who are suffering. So many lives were forever changed by this year’s hurricane season.
Scrolling through Facebook is an uncomfortable juxtaposition of life situations. In one photo, a stateside friend is sharing where they placed their “Elf on a Shelf” atop their picture-perfect Christmas tree. In another pic just a scroll below, an island friend is sharing their concerns for their friends and neighbors who are still living without a roof on their homes, forced to endure rainfall under the meager protection of a tarp.
Let’s be honest – life feels a like f*cked up at the moment. And as a result, the rampant consumerism of the holiday season is feeling extra yucky.
I’d like to encourage you all to keep hurricane relief on your hearts this holiday season. While a couple of months have passed since the storms hit, the road to recovery is still a long ways off for the islands we love and they need your help now more than ever.
I have compiled this Island-style Holiday Gift Guide to help you contribute to hurricane relief as you celebrate those you love this year. It is separated into 4 sections, depending on how you’d like to give.
GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
Looking for physical presents to give that also support hurricane relief? All of the businesses listed below are donating a portion of their profits towards Caribbean hurricane relief.
Amazon Books Hurricane Charity Bundle
Chris Tucker Photography 2018 Calendars
Christian Wheatley Photography 2018 Calendars
Crucian Gold VI Strong Collection
Graycliff Hotel – stays and dining
Joyia “VI Love” Jewelry Collection
Kenny Chesney’s Love for Love City T-Shirts
Love City Excursions Hurricane Relief T-Shirts
Remember the Adventure BVI Strong Gear
St. John Organics Hurricane Relief Candle
The Wandering Artist VI Hurricane Pastels
Tradewind Colours Hurricane Debris Art
Vero Milano (use code “Wendy Hurricane Relief” at checkout)
Yogis Unite Hurricane Relief Tank Tops
EFFECTED ISLAND BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT
Among those struggling post-hurricanes are island business owners. One of the best ways you can help them is by patronizing their shops. All of the businesses listed below are on islands that were hit by #IrMaria and have products available for purchase online. (Because of our international audience, I have not included shops without online stores.)
IrMaria Survivors Club tees & tanks by Fianna Fluess Design
PLACES TO DONATE
One of the best ways you can support the islands that need your help is through direct donations. Why not give a gift in your loved ones’ names to one of the organizations helping your favorite island?
For a full list of relief organizations to donate to, organized by island, please see our comprehensive post, How You Can Help the Islands You Love.
PLAN A TRIP & VISIT!
Last but not least, one of the main ways you can support the islands is to hop on a plane and patronize the businesses there in person. Here are a couple of great articles to help you find what’s open and ready for visitors.
Caribbean & Co: 75% of Caribbean Destinations are Open for Business
Condé Nast Traveler: What’s Open, What’s Not
The Traveling Island Girl: Post-Hurricane List of Where to Stay
Travel Weekly’s Map of Caribbean Islands
– – –
If there are any businesses that I missed, please feel free to link them in the comments below or over on our Facebook page. You can also shoot me an email to [email protected] and I’ll be happy to add them to the list.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope this holiday season brings you happiness and hope.
One love. #IslandStrong
Want to stay connected to the Land of Coconuts?
We'll send you island mail, fresh from the tropics each week.