Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, has announced a partnership with All Hands Volunteers, the world’s leading disaster relief organization powered by volunteers, and set a goal to raise $2.5 million for the Hope Starts Here hurricane relief program. Under Hope Starts Here, the company is committing to match up to $1.25 million of donations from its valued guests, team members, suppliers and partners in order to substantially help All Hands Volunteers, a 501(c)3 non-profit relief organization, and Happy Hearts Fund deliver early relief response for the Florida Keys, and rebuild safe, resilient schools in the Caribbean islands impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“We are heartbroken to see the devastation that Hurricanes Irma and Maria have inflicted on the Florida Keys and several Caribbean islands, where our ships have been visiting since the beginning of our 50 years in business,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “The Caribbean is part of our family, and we are grateful to work with All Hands Volunteers and Happy Hearts Fund to create the Hope Starts Here hurricane relief program and do our part in giving back to these destinations. We’re proud to start our campaign with a $600,000 donation to help begin the rebuilding efforts.”
“We are incredibly grateful for this support from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., and for our continued partnership with Happy Hearts Fund to provide their support and expertise,” said David Campbell, Chairman and Founder of All Hands Volunteers. “As the single largest donation in our organization’s history, this funding could not have come at a more crucial time as we work to rebuild communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands and other Caribbean islands after the destruction brought by recent natural disasters, Hurricanes Irma and Maria. All Hands Volunteers will work together with the local communities to meet their long-term needs and rebuild hope.”
“We are thrilled to receive this donation from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. and to work in partnership with All Hands Volunteers with their hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean islands and the Florida Keys,” said Petra Nemcova, Founder of Happy Hearts Fund. “This funding will allow us to together rebuild safe, resilient schools in areas most impacted by recent natural disasters to keep children safe, but also to ensure that these communities are not forgotten when the emergency response efforts are complete. Children often wait four or more years for schools to be rebuilt, and I hope that more companies will take the same thoughtful actions for long-term recovery.”
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. immediately deployed Norwegian Sky to St. Thomas, USVI to bring 35 pallets of much-needed supplies and assist in humanitarian efforts to evacuate residents and visitors. Additionally, one of the company’s newest ships, Norwegian Escape, also housed approximately 4,000 displaced guests who were unable to secure flights home due to hurricane closures. The company is continuing to collect essential items, including medical supplies, diapers, baby formula, water, food, construction materials, blankets, sleeping pods and more, and is working with partners on the ground to support disaster relief efforts. To help hurricane relief and recovery, and to make a donation that will be matched by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. will match up to $1.25 million in donations), please visit NCL.com/hope-starts-here.
About All Hands Volunteers
Since its inception following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004, All Hands Volunteers has responded to 79 disasters worldwide, engaging over 39,000 volunteers to help more than 500,000 individuals impacted by natural disasters all over the world; including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. Philanthropic leaders say the organization is known for being nimble, collaborative, and professional in its response to the immediate and long term needs of those suffering in the aftermath of a natural disaster. All Hands Volunteers has received Charity Navigator’s highest 4 Star Rating. All Hands Volunteers currently has disaster relief programs in Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Louisiana, Missouri, Nepal and Peru. Find out more at hands.org.
About Happy Hearts Fund
Happy Hearts Fund (HHF), founded in 2006 by Petra Nemcova after she survived the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, rebuilds safe, resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. HHF works during the gap period when children are forgotten after emergency response is complete, bringing hope and empowerment to generations of children and entire communities. Globally, Happy Hearts Fund is active in 10 countries and has built 165 schools. Since inception their programs have benefited more than 110,000 children and 618,000 community members. For more information, please visit happyheartsfund.org.