The widespread damage seen from the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent has tugged at the heartstrings of social media influencer and businesswoman Vayne Vania Thompson so much so that she vowed to raise $10,000 USD in aid for those suffering there.
“My mom was born and raised in St Vincent and my father was born and raised in Barbados and we have immediate family in St Vincent so when the eruption first happened the only thought was, is my family okay, are my friends okay because I don’t know if they had to evacuate, if they do then we would have to make room for them here in Barbados-like my close, close family,” Thompson told BUZZ.
According to Thompson, raising the $10,000 USD was initially difficult, as she explained that Barbados was also experiencing ashfall, in addition to the movement restrictions imposed because of the pandemic.
“It wasn’t safe to do a donation drive where people came to drop off donations right away, we weren’t even allowed to go outside,” Thompson said.
However, Thompson said through the use of digital tools she was able to pull through and achieve her fund raising objectives.
“So many people were messaging me whether they were in the States or in Canada or in London trying to figure out the best way to help so that’s why I decided to raise money, ” Thompson added.
Thompson, so far, has managed to send eight pallets of food and clothing to the island, a commendable effort she said that was only made possible by her many sponsors.
However she said that she’s still far from finished and after the $10,000 is released to her she is looking to get even more supplies for those who are still reeling from La Soufrière’s wrath.
St Vincent is so near and dear to Thompson that she named her charity after her maternal grandmother who is Vincentian-The Mabel John Foundation.
The foundation was birthed out of the help needed for St Vincent and the focus of the charity is to provide educational support through travel experiences for underprivileged youth.
Thompson’s philanthropic efforts have not stopped at the La Soufriere relief but has also been using her “Between The Lines” podcast to bring awareness to the plight of those affected by the pandemic.