As another hurricane rips through the Caribbean, some Montrealers are trying to help residents of one island that was "reduced to rubble" by Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
Days after Irma passed through, Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said Barbuda "endured winds of up to 230 miles per hour [370 km/h], and that in itself created an unprecedented amount of damage."
Browne said 90 per cent of the properties were damaged or demolished, and hundreds have been left homeless.
Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Montreal are working to send packaged food, toiletries and building materials to the ravaged nation.
Volunteers from Mtl's Antigua&Barbuda Assn collecting kids' (new) clothes, food, toiletries, sheets for Irma victims pic.twitter.com/uVeR4Y7amj— @ShariOkeke
"Think about it: you have no house, you have no school, you have no hospital, you have no church, you have no livestock, animals have been destroyed. So right now, we need to help those people," said Juleen Barrington, the association's president.
They had a shipping container parked in the Sami Fruits parking lot on Lafleur Avenue in LaSalle and were accepting supplies until Thursday at 1 p.m.
They are now accepting goods at Gordon's Tire, at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and St-Jacques Street, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Accepting donations through the weekend
Erene Anthony, a board member of the association, said she was speaking with the country's consulate general in Toronto to ensure that any donations are well used.
"Everybody's hearts went out to Barbuda, because we realized the devastation that they'd been through."
Rebuilding Barbuda will be more challenging because, unlike Caribbean islands such as Saint Martin, which is shared by the French and the Dutch, it's not a territory of a richer country that it can rely on for aid.
But many believe Barbudans will rebuild the island, one donation at a time.
The Antiguan and Barbudan community is small in Montreal, but Barrington said other the associations of other island nations are pitching in.
Constantine Greenaway w/ St. Kitts and Nevis cultural assn of Mtl just dropped off toilets! Plus sugar & milk & more pic.twitter.com/1AlIc9yiEA— @ShariOkeke
The association is arranging pick-ups for people who can't get to the drop-off points. Anyone interested can call Anthony at 514-233-3589 to set something up.