Northern Va. aids the US Virgin Islands a truck at a time

WASHINGTON — A 53-foot tractor-trailer in Fairfax, Virginia, is being filled one can, box and bag at a time to help hurricane victims in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Love of the Virgin Islands, and the people he met while living there for three years, inspired Daniel Craig of Ashburn to co-found with Denise Wierzbicki the NoVa United States Virgin Islands Hurricane Relief Drive.

Dozens of area bars and restaurants are accepting donations for the cause.

“We have a large group of friends that are in the food and beverage industry and reached out to them and everybody got together and did what was right and are helping us out,” Craig said.

The group is working with Adopt A Family USVI and the USVI Family Resource Center of St. Thomas to ship donations from Florida to the islands before distributing them through their networks on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.

Pretty much everything is welcome as a donation: “We’re looking for clothes, water, nonperishable food, towels, diapers, blankets, batteries, flashlights, pet food, first aid equipment, coolers, Tupperware, over the counter medicines — solar lights would be great since they won’t have electricity for at least six months,” Craig said.

People with larger loads of donations are encouraged to bring them directly to the trailer at 12101 Lee Highway, in Fairfax across from the Merrifield Garden Center. The public drop-off is every Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. through at least Oct. 15.

To raise money to help with shipping costs, the group is sponsoring a Hurricane Relief Party in Springfield Oct. 7. It’s at Kilroy’s, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The $20 entrance fee includes beer and light fare.

Donation dropoff locations in the D.C. and northern Virginia area

  • The Main Street Pub, Clifton, Virginia
  • MJ Salon & Color Group, Manassas, Virginia
  • The Birchmere, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Velocity Wings, Purcellville, Virginia
  • Velocity Wings, Bristow, Virginia
  • Hooters, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Fat Tuesday’s, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Fat Tuesday’s, Warrenton, Virginia
  • Westwood Country Club, Vienna, Virginia
  • Blue Iguana, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Greensboro Park Office, Tysons, Virginia
  • 3 Stars Brewing Company, D.C.
  • Rebellion, D.C.
  • The Commodore Public House & Kitchen, D.C.
  • Black Rooster Pub, D.C.
  • Radiator, D.C.
  • Kilroy’s, Springfield, Virginia
  • Rhodeside Grill, Arlington, Virginia
  • Primetime Sports Grill, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Brookside Yoga, Warrenton, Virginia
  • Ragtime, Arlington, Virginia
  • Bar Louie, Loudoun One Ashburn, Virginia
  • Bertucci’s, Gainesville, Virginia
  • Top Kick Martial Arts Center, Potomac Falls, Virginia
  • Patriots, Fairfax, Virginia
  • Red Rock’s Cafe and Tequila Bar, Centreville, Virginia
  • The Electric Palm, Woodbridge, Virginia
  • The Westin, Alexandria, Virginia

The collection effort is scheduled through Oct. 16, but it might be extended if the truck isn’t full by then. Some supplies might ship sooner.

“Right now, we’re trying to separate items like food, water and diapers and maybe ship that out sooner, because they’re more in immediate need,” Craig said.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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