Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean, leaving tropical paradise in complete ruins and taking the lives of at least 38 people. The U.S. and British Virgin Islands experienced total devastation from the Category 5 storm. It destroyed roads, homes and businesses on the tropical islands, including a home owned by country superstar Kenny Chesney.
Chesney has owned a house in St. John for many years. After hearing about Irma’s intensity, he quickly opened the doors to his home to serve as a shelter for more than 15 people during the hurricane. When the storm passed, he also helped them evacuate the island safely.
He also jumped in to help complete strangers in the aftermath of the storm. As covered previously, the star quietly helped teenage brothers Jahbioseh and Jah-Haile Bruce leave St. Croix via his private jet to be reunited with their mother in Philadelphia.
Chesney’s heroic efforts did not stop there. A St. John-based EMT named Jake Bradley shared a post about Kenny and his team working to get supplies to the island daily.
“Supplies, supplies, supplies. If you want to send anything to us, it needs to go through Jeff Quinlan. Contact him on FB. He has been coordinating with Mr. Kenny Chesney and his folks stateside to get us airdrops daily,” Bradley wrote. “That’s right, our medical supplies are being provided by a country singer, not the government. I have always respected Kenny Chesney as a musician, but over the last week, I have grown to respect him as a man, an islander, and an American. He is keeping us alive, and I thank him for it.”
Bradley also went on to share a heartfelt message directly to the country singer, writing, “Kenny, if you ever see this, know that from me as the EMT in the field who has been using those supplies, you have saved lives through your enormous generosity. The entire hospital nearly cried when we saw your first helicopter touch down with supplies a few days ago. Thank you.”
The country music hit-maker posted the message below via his official website:
“As daylight is hitting the islands, and we’re really getting a sense of how bad this all is…
I don’t know what to say. I’ve never been in war, but the devastation, the people’s faces in a place I know by heart have left me feeling helpless. It’s total devastation.
These are people who live off the sea, who depend on it. They live right there, and it’s gone. Most everyone’s displaced. They are frightened, confused, and they don’t know where help is going to come from. Those lives have changed and will never be the same. Those small islands are hard to get to and they rely on each other to get through what life hands them. For all of them, though, they’ve been where I’ve leaned for emotional and creative support for fifteen years because they are so generous.
We’re going to help. I want to enlist my friends to figure out the best ways to make a difference, to help in whatever ways, small or larger, that we can. I’m blessed with so many great people… We’re already talking, trying to figure out how to get in there. And I know the No Shoes Nation is mighty. They’ve dug in before and made a difference. I have a feeling once we have our plans in the place, they’ll be there again.
Pray/send good thoughts to everyone who’s been affected or is in the path of Hurricane Irma. This is unlike anything they’ve ever seen from St Maartens to St Barths to Puerto Rico then the Caribbean and onto Key West.
Be safe. Tell someone how much you care. Remember to Spread the Love.
The Tennessee native isn’t slowing down when it comes to helping out the islands he loves. He has established the Love For Love City Foundation just shortly after the storm hit. He also called on his No Shoes Nation to donate and created a limited edition line of merchandise to benefit disaster relief. Chesney recently shared that he is in the studio recording music to benefit the cause, but no details have been announced on the release of the new tracks.
With Hurricane Maria adding to the distress of the already battered region, these people need our aid more than ever. Please visit KennyChesney.com to learn more about how you can help.
Share this news of Chesney’s good deeds and efforts with others!