After Dorian Disaster, Here Is How You Can Help The Bahamian Nation

Dana Sanchez
Isheka N. Harrison
Isheka N. Harrison
Bahamas hurricane relief
Ryan Smith, 60, left, and Hiram Williams, 71, stock an auditorium with goods slated to be sent to the Bahamas at Christ Episcopal Church in Miami, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. South Florida residents spared from Hurricane Dorian’s wrath are donating relief supplies to relatives in the Bahamas. Droves of Floridians turned out Tuesday to share cans of food, water bottles and boxes of diapers. (AP Photo/Ellis Rua)

The death toll keeps rising after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian stalled for a day-and-a-half over the Bahamas and tried to bore a hole there. Bahamians are beginning the painful process of picking up the pieces, even as the full scope of the disaster is unknown.

More than 13,000 houses — about 45 percent of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco — are severely damaged or destroyed, according to Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane. More than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food and clean drinking water, U.N. officials said.

The main hospital on Grand Bahama is unusable and the hospital in Marsh Harbor, Abaco, needs food, water, medicine and surgical supplies.

Bahamas hurricane relief
A family is rescued during Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Spared the brunt of the hurricane’s devastation, Americans want to help. Around the U.S., local collection points are being posted for Bahamas hurricane relief. Piles of hurricane supplies are popping up including leftovers from Floridians on the East Coast who prepared for a storm that as yet has not made a direct hit.

In South Florida, the response has been overwhelming, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. Donations will be taken to the Bahamas by Norwegian Cruise Line, CBSLocal reported. The delivery will be made Thursday morning in Nassau. From there, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will distribute them.

Miami-Dade administrators began on Tuesday setting up a supply operation for what’s expected to be the largest relief effort in the U.S. since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Miami Herald reported. Aid workers worry that they won’t be able to handle the logistics and volume of donated supplies.

Until Bahamian airports and ports are operational, it’s uncertain how the supplies will reach the people who need them. Grand Bahama Airport was reported to be under six feet of water.

So many people brought supplies to a warehouse in Doral accepting donations on Tuesday, that the county had direct traffic. Doral is located one mile from Miami International Airport.

The National Association of the Bahamas posted a list of dropoff locations and desperately-needed supplies. The supplies list is long and includes items such as port-a-potties, flashlights, batteries, insect repellents (deet free) and bandages. The nonprofit is supported by Bahamians and friends of the Bahamas living in South Florida.

“Many of the victims of this traumatic experience will suffer major losses, which we will not be able to replace, but we can meet some of their immediate needs as they try to recover,” said association President Rosamon Gomez.

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Buddy Hield, a Bahamian and NBA player for the Sacramento Kings, donated $100,000 and raised $25,000 in the first day of his GoFundMe campaign for hurricane relief. Hield’s fundraising goal is $1 million. All the money raised will go towards the people who are going to try to rebuild their lives on the devastated Bahamas Islands through the Buddy Hield Foundation, Hield said.

Messages of support and news of donation drop-off locations are being shared under the hashtag #BahamasStrong.

Bahamas hurricane relief donation centers and fundraisers

A Bahamian Hurricane Relief Concert and Culinary Fundraiser is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11 at Space Called Tribe,
937 NW 3rd Avenue, Miami, FL 33136. When you purchase a plate, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the relief efforts, made out to The Smile Trust, the organization partnered with to fund relief efforts. Concert sponsors include The Hungry Black Man, Black Tech Week, Miami Innovation District and Simkins Family Foundation.

The Smile Trust

Donate online through the Black Professionals Network at The Smile Trust website, led by CEO and founder Valencia Gunder.

In South Florida, the Black Professionals Network asks that you visit any of the numerous locations to drop off much-needed items such as baby supplies, medical supplies, and daily household items. Please all check your municipal/city government locations, as many elected and government officials and agencies are coordinating relief efforts as well. Here are BPN’s recommended site locations:

Miami Dade CEOC (Community Emergency Operations Center)

Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Social & Economic Institute
5120 NW 24th Avenue, Miami, FL
Open: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Point of contact:
Valencia Gunder – (786) 877-7826

Vanaya Bredy – (786) 269-8070
Ruban Roberts – (305) 343-7971

Sapoznik Insurance
1100 NE 163rd Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Point of contact:
Rachel Sapoznik – (305) 948-8887
Sonless Martin, Jr. – (305) 748-3973

The Emery
801 N Federal Hwy #212
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Point of Contact:
Rachel Sapoznik – (305) 948-8887
Sonless Martin, Jr. – (305) 748-3973

Broward Community Emergency Operations Center (CEOC)
Old Dillard Museum
1009 NW 4th Street
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
Open: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Point of Contact:
Nancy Metayer – (954) 507-2095

Pizza Time Caffe
6620 Parkside Dr
Parkland, FL 33067

Point of Contact:
Mark Papaleo – (954) 345-8665

Miami News7 posted these donation points in the Miami-Dade and Broward areas.