Community Comes Together to Assist Hurricane Torn People of the Bahamas

Monday, September 9, 2019


Hurricane Dorian is well past the Central Florida region, and we were very fortunate indeed. So, now you glance at your potentially overstocked food pantry wondering how long will it will be before you cycle through all those extra food items and household supplies.

Yes, we are still in the midst of the hurricane season, but perhaps some of these non-perishable food items could help someone, or a family in great need, and right now.
 
The disaster-torn people still staying in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island in the Bahamas, whose lives look were battered by Category 5 storm winds for up to 48 hours, definitely are in need, and there is a way for us to help them.
 
If you’re near the downtown Kissimmee or St. Cloud areas, you have a place to take those food and household items.
Kissimmee Main Street is the Osceola County drop-off location working to collect and organize supply donations, and has coordinated with an organization in Orlando that has organized boats and helicopters already cleared with customs to get the donations to the islands and to the unfortunate people who need them.

Recommended items are water, canned food, manual can openers, toiletries, first aid supplies, bleach and other cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, flashlights, batteries, disposable gloves, tarps for roofs, bedding, insect repellent, sunscreen, small generators, portable stoves, and food, diapers and other baby supplies.
3 Sisters Speakeasy is also coordinating with the City of Kissimmee and Caribbean and Floridian Association to collect similar items. Shipwrecked on the Islands in Kissimmee is also a collection point for the people of the Bahamas.
In St. Cloud, Folsom Electric and Cobblestone Courtyard are among locations currently accepting supplies.
 
For those who find donating cash to be an easier solution, the American Red Cross  is accepting cash donations. While there are no Osceola County locations, Duffy’s Family Sports Grill, with locations near the Mall of Millenia and Waterford Lakes in greater Orlando, will match Red Cross donations on its website (https://duffysfoundation.com/product/donation/) through Sept. 30.
The Salvation Army is accepting money, and Habitat for Humanity will begin rebuilding dwellings in the hardest hit areas once a supply chain of materials comes together.
 
The Bahamas Disaster Relief Fund, set up by the Bahamian government, is accepting wire transfers. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency has posted instructions on its website (www.cdema.org).
 
So, this time we were spared the wrath of a terribly destructive storm, but we may not be so fortunate if there is a next time. We ask you to search your heart, and if you can, please consider assisting those who were so tragically affected by Hurricane Dorian. Thank you…
Keith

9/9/2019

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