Relief effort for Virgin Islands at Northeast Philadelphia Airport

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Aid group helping recovery efforts in Caribbean. Bob Brooks reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on September 11, 2017. (WPVI)

A campaign of relief for the US Virgin Islands continues to grow at the Northeast Philadelphia airport and there is hope that it becomes much bigger.

The goal is to collect donations to take to St. John's and St. Thomas which were ravaged by then Category 5 Hurricane Irma.

On Monday, Action News spoke to Ben Spear who lives in St. John's, but escaped the storm.

"The last couple days have been super dire. There's been no government intervention. There's very limited National Guard. Stuff is getting stolen, stuff is getting looted," Spear said.

Spear said conditions there are getting worse and help is desperately needed.

Spear and some friends, who are stateside, created Virgin Island Relief. They came to Philadelphia for its central location.

They are looking for daily supplies, food, drinks, and anything first aid.

"All the stuff people need in a situation like this when there are no grocery stores open," Spear said.

Almost a dozen chainsaws, a number of camping tents, and air mattresses sit inside a donated trailer, all ready to help in the Irma cleanup.

Stephanie and Pon Vachaoat, who are within driving distance of the airport, brought a carload of donations.

"Our son is on the island. They're in desperate need," Stephanie Vachaoat said.

Amazon boxes sent by those too far away to drive are scattered everywhere at the airport.

If you would like to donate, you can mail supplies to Atlantic Aviation at the Northeast Philadelphia Airport.

"They're coming from everywhere which is huge for our deal," Spear said.
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