Local couple helping send relief to hurricane victims in the Virgin Islands

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) —  A Mechanicsville couple is rallying around residents in the Virgin Islands.

John and Sabrina Jureidini used to live in St. Thomas.

They felt helpless watching what Hurricane Irma did to their former home.

“It’s awful,” explains Sabrina, “We spent 36 hours wondering if our friends were going to live.”

After learning their friends made it through the storm, the Juredini’s wanted to help.

“My original thought was I have to get boxes out to my two friends because I know, Sabrina said. “They both have little ones that are going to need things, that was my first thought.”

The couple knew they could do more than just send supplies to friends, so they launched a Facebook page called Adopt a Family USVI.

It matches people in the states with families struggling in the Virgin Islands. Those families send wish lists and their adopters fulfill them.

The requests are very basic.

“Formula, diapers, tarps, canned goods, life straws, batteries, solar cell phone chargers. They have cell phone signal they just don’t have power,” adds John.

The first care packages arrived Monday.

An unbelievable 7,000 people have agreed to adopt and ship supplies.

“When you don’t know how you’re going to feed your child at night and to get a container of formula, that is absolutely life-changing, and it doesn’t seem like all that to us because we can run to Target and get these things, but to the people that are getting it in St. Thomas, its absolutely their world.”

Many of the adopters are people who vacationed in the Virgin Islands before the hurricane ravaged it.

“Just think about all these folks who have nothing now. That beautiful paradise you visited is just destroyed. They need help,” says John.

Because there’s no power in St. Thomas, people are struggling to find clean water. Without electricity, they can’t use credit cards to pay for food or supplies.

It’s a dire situation with another hurricane on the way.

If you want to adopt a family, click here.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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