Atlanta relief drive benefits British Virgin Islands

- Georgians who moved to this country are doing what they can to help loved ones struggling to rebuild homes on the mainland. A relief drive in DeKalb County is scheduled for Saturday.

It's hard to see what happened to people after two devastating hurricanes and not want to do something to help. And that's why people from the British Virgin Islands who live here in Georgia are doing what they can to send help home.

“All of the windows are busted out. All of the doors are busted out. There is sand inside the house at this point,” said Laurel Mustafa, Torola native.

Mustafa believes only God could have spared lives in the midst of such vast destruction. She is grateful all of her loved ones and neighbors survived the wrath of Irma when that hurricane swept through the British Virgin Islands offer Torola.

Her cousin sent her video just days after the storm.

“There is no roof…. You can see… I saw a picture and you could literally see from his front door through the entire house and look at the sky,” said Mustafa.

Mustafa and Seafield Smith are two of the many volunteers gearing up for Saturday’s Tarps 4 Tola Relief Drive. The idea is to gather tarps, water, and so many of the other basic items necessary to rebuild the British Virgin Islands one home at a time.

“They need to try to cover that until they can get to those repairs because there is still rain. There is rain since even Irma. Maria brought a lot of rain,” said Mustafa.

“It’s heartbreaking and helpless. You feel helpless because you are not there to put your hands on stuff and help with the people who are actually on the ground,” said Smith.

Smith has loved ones who work in the trucking and shipping industry. Some have volunteers to drive all of the donations they get on Saturday from DeKalb County to Miami. The others will cover the expenses of shipping the goods to Torola, where remarkably flights are still able to deliver relief despite the conditions.

“The whole island is my neighbor. That’s how we live. Right, we are one big family. So, they are affected, I’m affected. So, the stuff we are doing is not for my household. It's for the territory,” said Smith.

Donations will be accepted here at the Calabash Alley Caribbean Restaurant on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The goal is to have all of the item shipped back home on September 27.

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