When First Officer Olivia Stead of M/Y Moon Sand was in the process of updating the vessel’s medical supplies and getting rid of a large box of soon-to-be expired goods (but still a few months in date), Bosun Holly Robertson remembered a Facebook post she saw earlier that day. Someone had posted that any and all medical items were being accepted to help the wildlife affected by the bushfires in Australia, and it seemed like a perfect fit.
With their captain’s permission, they made Facebook and Instagram posts around January 6 asking other boats if they also had any expired or items they’d like to donate, hoping some nearby vessels would be keen so their shipment would be worthwhile.
“What we didn’t expect was for those posts to be shared all over and to be contacted by as many people as we did,” Robertson says. “The response was rather overwhelming, and in ten days, we received over fifteen bags and three large boxes of supplies from all over (a box was even shipped from the UK thanks to Global Services).”
Some of the items received — and most in demand based on Robertson’s readings — are bandages, dressings, sterile gauze, IV fluids, eye wash, and burn-related kits. The crew then spent an afternoon going through each loose item, removing restricted items (any prescription items, sharp objects, or those that can cause harm, such as needles and scissors), categorizing, and writing up an inventory list. All of it exceeded their expectations and they’re incredibly grateful to see the kindness overflowing from everyone.
Although they encountered some logistical issues with shipping the supplies, Robertson says that they’re all set for shipment during the first week of February, thanks to many phone calls to border security and a lot of assistance from Karine Rayson of The Crew Coach.
The Moon Sand crew are no longer accepting any more donations, but Robertson suggests checking out a Facebook group called Animal Rescue Collective, which is a space full of volunteers doing fantastic things in Australia. There’s an address list of hubs where supplies can be sent for those who are interested in sending their own supplies and contributions. The volunteers are helping to organize where things can be sent and distributed, what items are in dire need, and are great at answering any questions you may have.
“Any donation is amazing. Keep in mind you’re shipping to Australia, and they have strict customs. However, it is not impossible,” she says. “Any help at all is making a difference. And doing good feels good!”
Crew of M/Y Moon Sand
For more related content:
M/Y Elixir Fundraise for Australia Bushfire Relief
Crew with a Cause: The Green Stewardess
Deckhand Assists in Rescue in St. Barths