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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 15, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesThousands Donated at Haiti Relief Concert

Thousands Donated at Haiti Relief Concert

Tiffany Gumbs of Banco Popular counts donations at Saturday's concert.In just a few hours Saturday, American Red Cross volunteers and Banco Popular staff were able to pull in more than $12,000 in cash donations from residents who came out in droves to the Fort Christian Parking Lot for a concert to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti.

The concert, one of two held over the weekend on St. Thomas for Haiti relief, featured a number of local bands, whose singers also advocated for the cause on stage, calling out for residents to contribute as much as possible to the collection effort.

"It’s good to see so many people come out," said Keisha Prince, a Banco Popular branch manager. "Even if they didn’t stay, they made donations. People even stopped in the middle of the road to hand their money over to the volunteers. It’s really heartwarming."

The goal for Saturday’s event — cosponsored by Banco Popular and American Red Cross of the Virgin Islands — was $25,000, which Red Cross volunteer Linda Wymer said is channeled through the organization’s international contingent and put directly toward providing "immediate relief" for the victims in Haiti.

Wymer, who is also the Red Cross Disaster Relief Chair for St. Thomas, said Saturday’s event was also a volunteer drive for the V.I. chapter, which collected several applications from residents interested in actually traveling to the earthquake-ravaged country to help out.

It’s not as easy as just getting on a plane — there are several levels of certification and training to go through — but applicants seemed willing to go through the process, she said.

Meanwhile, those who couldn’t make it out on Saturday will still have a chance to make a donation. Banco Popular has set up a special account for Haiti relief, and all residents have to do is stop in at a local branch and contribute, said Marcus Monrose, one of the event’s promoters.

"People really need things like medical supplies, blankets, food — things that would give them immediate comfort," Monrose said. "It’s really for a good cause, so I hope people continue to help out."

A short ways down the road, the grounds at Yacht Haven Grande were buzzing with excitement, as residents flocked to the promenade for another Haiti relief concert, featuring Barefoot Davis, the Becca Darling Band and Ahwee Band, among others.

There was not a parking space to be found, but that didn’t stop locals from coming in — cars continued to pull in from the early afternoon into the night, and residents hopped out, even if to stop in for just a few minutes to write a check or drop some bills into the donation boxes.

Along with the United Way of the Virgin Islands, Bellows International also had a booth, with staffers serving drinks and collecting money to donate to the Red Cross efforts. The event, according to one Yacht Haven Grande staff member, was organized in just four days.

”It’s been very busy all day,” said Lisa Nunes, who works in the company’s accounting department. "People have really been generous."

For more information on the Red Cross efforts, or to make a donation, call 774-0375 or 690-1919 on St. Thomas, or 778-5104 or 690-1915 on St. Croix.

Cash, checks, credit and ATH cards are being accepted.

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