Cathy Greene and I sat down, and I got to hear the story of how Krewe of the 13 came to be.
7 years ago a group of 13 pirates who were part of a St. Augustine pirate crew, peeled off to start their own crew. They wanted to have a fully functional democratic crew, were all full members could vote on where the money they raised went. It was then, that the Krewe of the 13 was founded.
As of today, the Krewe consists of 75 members, 35 of those have voting rights. This Krewe is a non-profit, who take 100% of the money that comes into the organization and uses it to help families in dire need. The funds from membership dues go towards not only helping families, but putting on fundraiser events that raise money to help families in our area that need a helping hand.
Families who are in dire need, can fill out an application on the Krewe of the 13’s website, where they can tell their story, and ask for help. The Krewe of the 13 is all about issuing a sustainable helping hand. Families must prove that the help they get will get them back on their feet. they will help families who would normally have to choose between medical life saving procedures or bills. They have helped many local families who would have had to forgo medical procedures for issues like cancer, had the Krewe not stepped in to help.
The application is filled out with details as to why the family is struggling, the Krewe does not take cases that are caused by drug use and/or criminal charges. The Krewe aims to help ONLY families that are in dire need, and the must be able to sustain themselves after the Krewe comes to their aid. Once a family fills out an application, they are assigned an advocate, who then takes the families case before the voting members. The voting members vote on if they want to help a family or not.
The Krewe recently came to the aid of two Ukrainian refugee families, one had three children and another had 5, and both of them were living in a house with no refrigerator, no washer and no dryer. The family was having issues getting ahead and paying the rent due to the extra expenses that come with not having those appliances. The Krewe was able to step in and pay for two months of rent, utilities and bills, along with getting them a Refrigerator, washer and dryer that now belong to the families, and they can take it with them when they move. This help, was able to get the families ahead so that they could flourish.
Cathy also told me about a young woman who was faced with a double mastectomy, and would need to be out of work for 5 months. If she did not work she wouldn’t be able to make rent, buy food or pay bills for her and her children. The Krewe was able to come in and support the young woman through the procedure so that she didn’t have to choose between health and providing for her family. The young woman is cancer free today and is back on feet.
Since September they have given out $47,000 in grants to local families. In 2021, the Krewe raised over $50,000 dollars and the goal for 2024 is to raise over $75,000. Their March event, which is coming up, is Casino night. It is one of two annual events the Krewe puts on every year. The goal for this year’s casino night is to raise $20,000-$25,000 dollars. Casino night will consist of games, auctions raffles and so much more. Last year the casino night event raised $23,000 and the goal this year is to clear $25,000.
The other annual event the Krewe puts on is in St. Augustine. It is their Annual All Hallows Eve event. They have live music, and so much more at this event in St. Augustine.
If joining this Krewe is something you are interested in, here is what you would have to do:
First, be over the age of 21. Currently the Krewe of the 13 does not allow members under the legal age of 21. Then there are two choices as for membership. You can either be a benefactor, which is a non-working member, who is not required to help out or be active in the crew, and your annual due would be $250 a year. Or you could be an active member, who works events, helps out in the community, and is hands on as much as possible. If the hands on approach is for you, then you would join as a swabbie, and spend 9 months working with existing members, volunteering and getting to know the Krewe. Your annual dues as a hands on member are $50 a year. Before you can be become an official member, you must be voted on by the voting members and accepted.
This Krewe is a 1600-1700 time period pirate crew. They take their garb very seriously. They dress historically accurate for the time period. And while this crew sure does have a lot of fun, dressing up, being pirates, their number one goal is always helping local families. This crew takes their cause very seriously and they are always looking for crew members, sponsors, and donations, and help spreading the word about their cause.