Canvas for a Cause - USVI Hurricane Relief Fund

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In September of 2017, two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, made landfall in the Leeward Islands (including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico etc.) causing mass destruction and displacing thousands. The USVI Relief Fund was created in response to this devasting natural disaster to help aid the people of St. John and St. Thomas and restore the islands back to their serene states. 

Photographer Sara Bobeldyk, of Latitude X Photography, applied for our Canvas for a Cause Program soon after the hurricanes and asked us to pledge our support. With the efforts of volunteers like Sara, the USVI Relief Fund has been able to process, catalog, and move over 400,000 pounds of donated relief supplies to be distributed by the organization and contacts on the ground in the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.  You can learn more about the USVI Relief Fund Mission and efforts here.

On behalf of Canvas for a Cause, we donated prints featuring Sara's work to fundraising events in both Breckenridge and Denver, Colorado this fall. Keep reading to learn more about Sara's amazing efforts to support this cause, and how our print donations, as well as your own generous donation, can help restore and rebuild the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

What is the USVI Hurricane Relief Fund?

The USVI Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization started by residents and friends of the U.S. Virgin Islands to help raise money to assist in the recovery of the structures and land that were almost totally destroyed by the devastating Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in 2017.  The United States Virgin Islands, specifically the islands of St. John and St. Thomas, suffered almost total devastation from the wrath of these storms, and now the community there is coming together to rebuild the islands, and get them back to their beautiful state.  With the donations to the Virgin Islands Relief Fund, more homes and structures are being rebuilt and displaced people can get back to their lives on the island.   
 
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How Did You Get Involved with the Organization? 

As a travel photographer and photojournalist, I was affected by the devastation of these storms to the islands.  I had often visited the Virgin Islands and photographed the beauty of the beaches, landscapes, and wonderful people that call it home.  I created friendships with some of the locals, and felt that I needed to help in any way I could.  I got in touch with the Virgin Island Relief Fund through one of the displaced locals in Denver, CO who also wanted to help his friends in the islands. With the help of the co-founder and director of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund, Matthew Atkinson, we found a way for me to help through the donation of some of my photographs to their fundraisers in Denver and Breckenridge.  With the generous donation of CG Pro Prints, beautiful canvases of my work were sold at an auction to help raise money for the cause. 
 

How Did Our Canvas for a Cause Donation Support the USVI Hurricane Relief Fund?

The donation from CG Pro Prints allowed the printing of multiple canvases of the islands when they were in their beautiful state.  These photographs by Sara Bobeldyk at Latitude X Photography were then auctioned off at two different fundraisers for the Virgin Islands Relief Fund.  The sales of the canvases alone raised $1,100 for hurricane relief, and both fundraisers together raised thousands of dollars for the cause.
 
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How Can Others Support the USVI Hurricane Relief Fund?

All those willing to donate to this great cause can do so at VirginIslandsRelief.org or through their Facebook Page.  Both sites show images and videos from the devastation to the islands, and the efforts by this group to rebuild.  There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to get the Virgin Islands back to their beautiful state, and with your help, change can happen.  
 
I'd like to say thank you to the CG Pro Prints Canvas for a Cause Program for supporting the USVI Relief Fund! More photographs of the Virgin Islands before the devastation, as well as others can be found at my photography website, Latitude X Photography
 
You can learn more about our Canvas for a Cause Program and apply for a donation, here.