How helping VISAR via #BVISTRONG merchandise has changed our lives

It’s been over a month and a half since we first received an email from Brittany of Windtraveler and Aristocat Charters with an idea to design a Tee-Shirt to help spread the word and raise money to support the VISAR Relief Fund. We’re happy to report that it’s been a great success, although a steep learning curve for us.

Besides both working full time jobs, trying to learn how to edit videos, connect social media, continue to learn all we can about sailing and doing our best to raise a compassionate and confident little human, we operate a small business called Remember the Adventure. We basically provide online merch shops without the headaches of storage or shipping. Since we started the service years ago there’s been tons of other options out there on the market and we’ve never really done any advertising for it. It’s been organic, through word of mouth and our connections in the Adventure Travel industry and by connecting intentionally with bloggers/vloggers who we feel a connection to.

However, after hurricane Irma, then Maria ripped through the Caribbean and we began to communicate with Brittany, we realized that this little platform we’ve created may be able to help our fellow sailors and the people in the communities they visit and live with. The increase in volume from the #BVISTRONG project has kept us much busier than we thought and we both feel bad for all the back and forth between Brittany during an incredibly difficult time in her life. But on the flip side, It’s been very rewarding on the humanitarian level, both being able to help others, but also getting the chance to have our, very impressionable, 4 year old daughter hear our conversations over the last month and a half about what we’re doing and why. To see her Mommy’s business increase and her Daddy’s support and enthusiasm through it all. It’s been very influential and has all of our minds thinking about ways to add positively to our social circles and greater society.

Just this morning on our way to school, the subject of Santa Clause came up and Ruby said, I want six iPads for Christmas and just as I was rolling my eyes (inside), thinking, ‘Uhg, that damn iPad!’, she said, “and I would sell them and give the money to those people who’s stuff all got burned up in that fire.” Wow! We couldn’t be more proud of her!

So needless to say, we’re really grateful for the opportunity to help out, both for the people in need and for ourselves. I can’t imagine anything better than that. Now, about that…

Each month, on the first of the month we’re donating the proceeds of the online sales to the VISAR Relief Fund’s website. So far we’ve raised over $6000 from online sales and Brittany, along with the support and help from many other sailors at the Annapolis Boat Show have raised somewhere between $5000 – $7000 from the sale of Tee-Shirts! So amazing! Check out her blog post about the experience >>> ‘The Annapolis Boat Show: A Salve To My Soul’.

I also received an email from a representative at VISAR just yesterday that let us know where and how our donations were being spent. She wrote:

“Today in cooperation with Convoy of Hope, we are purchasing kitchen supplies to be used in a new school kitchen to feed students on Jost Van Dyke! We are also going to purchase school supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, highlighters, etc., for the territories students who are going back to school next week. Also, we will be donating to Al Broderick’s Lunch Box program that is feeding 300 kids daily.

The funds you have raised are going directly to these programs and we are so thankful for your support! We will be posting pictures on our social media as we go along so you can see the rewards of your support.”

How amazing is that? So, needless to say, we are still wanting to get the word out that the recovery efforts are still going strong and our support is not going away. We’re excited to see how it morphs from this point and just what lies around the corner in regard to how else we can help. In the meantime, if you haven’t purchased a #BVISTRONG tee-shirt, a trucker hat, a baby onsie or a hoodie yet, now is the perfect time to do it!  Head to Remember the Adventure and please share this post/video/information with anyone you think would be interested.

The BVI is coming back strong and fast and I can’t wait until the day that our own sailboat is anchored in that clear blue water, our hands are wrapped around an ice cold drink and our whole family has our toes covered in that warm sand on a beautiful Caribbean beach.

 

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