Boxes of relief items from the St. Maarten and wider community living in the Netherlands collected by “Clothes4StMaarten.” Distribution starts Friday.
POINTE BLANCHE--More than 30,000 pieces of clothing, bottles of water, non-perishable food supplies and other items for people affected by Hurricane Irma have arrived from the Netherlands. Distribution starts on Friday.
The items were gathered on initiative of St. Maarteners Denicio Levenstone and Sharida Moeslikan who launched Clothes4StMaarten right after the hurricane slammed into the island on September 6, 2017.
The collected relief goods were packed into a 40-foot and a 20-foot containers. However, by the time all items were collected shipping companies were no longer offering “relief aid” freight prices. In spite of serious legwork by the initiators the shipping lines refused to extend a special exemption for them.
Learning of the dilemma from Levenstone and Moeslikan, Member of Parliament Franklin “Frankie” Meyers (United Democrats) paid the freight cost that allowed the two containers to be shipped here from the Netherlands. He is now coordinating distribution on behalf of the Netherlands-based duo.
Meyers said packages have been put together for drop-off at the Red Cross St. Maarten Chapter, White and Yellow Cross Foundation and at several senior citizens organisations on Friday.
“I commend Levenstone and Moeslikan for their efforts. There are so many of our people still in need and these items will bring some comfort. St. Maarteners take care of each other. That is our own way of life; we help each other, we take care. We don’t sit by idly and watch each other suffer,” Meyers said on Sunday.
Following the Friday drop-offs, the remaining clothes for men, women, children and babies and other items will be available for anyone in need to collect from the Watkan warehouse in Pointe Blanche. The items from the two containers were off-loaded and stored there for sorting and distribution.