Cat Island is reachable by air and by the once-weekly visit by a mail boat. The mail boat leaves Fort Lauderdale and works its way though the Family Islands (formerly the Out Islands). It's on this mail boat that the bulk of the material aid destined for Cat Island gets delivered.
Air lifts are a great way to get emergency supplies over there, but it's what ends up on the mail boat that will sustain everybody until they can rebuild themselves.
I'm still planning to fly down there on Tuesday but Hurricane Katia looks like it's positioned to thwart my plans. Even though Katia isn't going to threaten Cat Island directly, the disturbance she's causing will make flying prohibitively dangerous. Add to that the lack of outside news available on the island once there and it's looking pretty grim.
My fundraising has been an incredible success and I thank everyone who's donated with every fiber of my being. Every dime you sent will go directly to the people who need it. If I don't make it down there this week, I'm going to wire the money we've raised to Fort Lauderdale and to the Armbristers of Fernandez Bay. Once in the hands of the Armbristers, your donations will be turned into food that'll be distributed to anyone who's hungry and in need. If you want material aid to go to the orphanage or to schools, just let them know. You can also donate to Remote Island Ministries, they too have pledged to donate every penny they collect.
In addition to raising money, the Armbristers are collecting and distributing non-financial assistance. They're loading up the mail boat and giving away anything that comes their way. If you, your church or your school wants to donate something other than money, the gang at Fernandez Bay will take anything. In particular, they need soap, first aid supplies, Home Depot gift cards, flashlights, batteries, tarps, nails, Publix gift cards, canned food, Costco gift cards, candles, games, children's books, school supplies and clothing. You can send any donations to Tameron Armbrister at 151 North Nob Hill Rd., #310, Plantation, FL. 33324. Fernandez Bay will cover the costs of shipping everything to the island.
In addition to that, my best friend in the universe and able pilot JD has sweetened the pot for the next two weeks. He's kicked in $250 to the money we've raised so far and he's agreed to match every donation, dollar for dollar, for the next two weeks. Please take him up on this generous offer. I love him to death but even so, make this hurt!
|JD in better days on Cat Island|