I’ve received numerous reader emails since Hurricane Dorian and by far, the most commonly asked questions are “How can I help Dorian victims?” (which I’ve answered HERE) and “What Abaco businesses are open?”
To keep everyone informed (and to help me keep track, since the list is growing daily!) I’m compiling a master list of open Abaco businesses, which I’ll share over the next few days here on the blog.
Though much of the world’s media has moved on to other stories, our friends and family in the Bahamas are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
While it’s true that some communities are making progress in their recovery, many areas still have a long, long way to go. Thousands of Bahamians still have no electricity, running water or access to banks and other vital services.
The reality is that foreign aid is still very much needed in the northern Bahamas, and will be for years to come.
For those wondering how to best help Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian, I’ve recently updated my “How You Can Help” page. Please take a moment to check out the list and contribute if you can toward these worthy organizations.
In early September 2019, Hurricane Dorian swept through the northern Bahamas, devastating thousands of Bahamians in Abaco and Grand Bahama. Hundreds of people were killed. Many who survived were left with nothing but the clothing they had on. And since hurricane insurance is prohibitively expensive, most didn’t have it.
Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian will need all the help we can give them — not just today, but for months and maybe years to come.
Here are some of the many ways you can help:
25United is a group of volunteers and professionals from all walks of life who are passionate, hard-working, and devoted to rebuilding communities, replenishing supplies, and restoring a way of life in the aftermath of devastation. For more information, visit their website, their Instagram page or Facebook page.
Abaco Freight, which operates a shipping service from the Florida to Abaco, has been assisting with shipping relief supplies to the communities most in need. This is not an inexpensive proposition, and donations toward the shipping costs (they offer a ‘sponsor a pallet’ program) would be greatly appreciated. See their Facebook page for more information.
Abaco Rescue Fund has assisted in the months post-Dorian by providing rent deposits, school tuition, and humanitarian aid in the form of clothing, furniture, food, water, shoes, school supplies, bicycles, toys, and gift cards. Currently, they’re helping Abaconians complete home repairs and rebuilds, mold remediation, reroofing, supplying generators, and donating building materials to residents, churches, schools, and community parks. For more information about their day to day activities, visit their Facebook page.
All Hands and Hearts is an international volunteer response team that has committed to being on the ground in Abaco for several years, helping to rebuild the area’s schools. In addition to donations, they’re also seeking volunteers.
BAARK Bahamas has been vital in helping to rescue lost and injured animals and reunite families pets lost as a result of Hurricane Dorian. Please consider supporting this important organization.
Bahamian Life, a Bahamian-owned company that produces Bahamas-inspired fishing & diving apparel, has created a special, limited-edition t-shirt. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of this item (which comes in men’s and women’s sizes) will be donated to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas.
Blue Window Logistics offers discounted shipping rates for NGOs.They’re also collecting donations to enable them to further reduce (and in some cases, eliminate all together) shipping costs for NGOs.To learn more or contribute toward Blue Window’s NGO Support Fund, click HERE. Be sure to note “NGO FLIGHT SUPPORT” when making your donation.
Crossroads Alliance is collecting relief supplies in southern Florida and arranging to transport them to Abaco. Donated supplies (food, clothing, building materials, tools, etc.) can be delivered to: Drift Freediving, 2424 N. Federal Hwy, Lighthouse Point, Florida 33064. Financial donations can be made HERE.
Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) empowers people struck with tragedy by providing emergency aid, cash cards, food and housing.Learn more about their Hurricane Dorian relief initiatives on their website or their Facebook page. They’re also looking for volunteers to assist at their aid warehouse in Miami. Click here for more information or to volunteer.
TheHead.Org is working to help rebuild Abaco and create opportunities for those affected by Hurricane Dorian. Founded by Bahamian Lia Head-Rigby, the organization is assisting Dorian victims in the Bahamas as well as those who have had to evacuate to the U.S. For updates, see TheHead.org’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.
Bahamian relief agency, the HeadKnowles Foundation, has raised more than $1 million to date for victims of Hurricane Dorian, and is aiming to raise $10 million to help Bahamians affected by the storm recover and rebuild.
HeadKnowles recently partnered with Canadian organization Global Medic to prepare and distribute relief supplies to Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian. Click HERE to learn more and to donate.
Heart to Heart International helps communities recover from disasters by providing access to healthcare and administering crisis relief worldwide. They are on the ground, delivering vital healthcare services at clinics throughout Abaco. Read more about their response here.
IDEA Relief is a marine-based emergency relief group that first helped evacuate Abaconians in the days immediately following Hurricane Dorian. They are still on the ground today, distributing food, clothing and other essentials for Abaconians still in need. For updates, see their Facebook page.
The Lillie Renee Foundation, founded by Nassau resident Marvin Arrington, was created to help Bahamian children, families and the elderly. The group helped to evacuate Abaconians following Hurricane Dorian, and is assisting with the massive clean up and rebuilding effort on the Abaco mainland and the Cays, so that evacuees can return home.
LoveAbaco is a network of individuals and organizations providing ongoing support to Abaco in the form of donation logistics, volunteer support and medical resources by land, air and sea.
The Mission Resolve Foundation is engaged in supplying building materials and helping rebuild homes and other structures in Marsh Harbour. They have also partnered with Mercy Corps to bring clean drinking water to residents and medical facilities on Grand Bahama through the installation of a water treatment plant.For more information, see their Facebook page.
OpenWorld Relief is on the ground in Abaco, providing aid with rebuilding, particularly in Marsh Harbour. Learn more about their activities in Abaco on their Facebook page.
Rotary District 7020 (Caribbean and Bahamas) is assisting with the hurricane relief effort by providing relief supplies, assisting evacuees, coordinating housing and more. Click HERE to learn more and to donate. For more information, email email@example.com
Samaritan’s Purse has distributed over 360 metric tons of emergency relief supplies and provided more than 1 million liters of clean water on Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands. They have assisted with clearing storm debris and tarping damaged roofs, and are currently implementing projects to assist with church and home repairs, trauma healing support groups, and training local church leaders in disaster preparedness, mitigation and response.
SOL Relief arrived in Abaco right after Hurricane Dorian. Since then, they’ve collected more than $1 million in donations, more than 400,000 lbs in supplies, and flown more than 80 relief flights to the Bahamas. Follow their Facebook page for updates.
South Carolina Abaco Relief was formed by a group of South Carolina friends with connections to the Bahamas. They’ve been flying supplies in and people out since the first days after Dorian. They remain on the ground, assisting in a variety of ways with the recovery effort. For updates, visit their Facebook page.
Team Ghosts are on the ground in Abaco, completing a variety of recovery and repair projects. Funds are still desperately needed to help small businesses, feed people, rebuild schools, and get people back on their feet. Venmo to: @TeamGhosts.
UNICEF (The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) is on the ground in Abaco, providing water tanks and purification supplies, registering displaced students in undamaged schools and covering the costs of transportation, school supplies, etc., training school counsellors, teachers and social workers to give children psychological support and helping Bahamian authorities meet the nutritional needs of infants, young children and their mothers and caregivers. Read more about their Hurricane Dorian relief efforts here.
Water Mission (whose founders, George Greene and his late wife, Molly, have been long-time Abaco second-homeowners), is providing clean drinking water to Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian. Click HERE to learn more and donate.
The Green Turtle Cay Foundation has launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds that will be distributed to affected Bahamians on Green Turtle Cay. The Foundation is a 501c3 charity, so U.S. donations are tax deductible.)
The Green Turtle Cay Foundation has also established several collection locations in southern Florida to which relief supplies for Green Turtle Cay may be delivered. Items should be clearly labelled showing Green Turtle Cay as the final destination, and may be delivered or shipped to:
AVID WAREHOUSE – 7656 Byron Drive #B12, West Palm Beach, Florida 33404 (Donations can also be mailed to this address — so feel free to order online and ship here.)
GRANDVIEW PUBLIC MARKET – 1401 Clare Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
YOGA PATH – 4514 South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
Partnering with the GTC Foundation is the Green Turtle Club/Friends of Empty Pockets, whose own GoFundMe page is collecting donations toward the Foundation.
Green Turtle Cay’s Bluff House Beach Resort has set up a GoFundMe page to benefit the Green Turtle Cay community. Funds will be used to buy tarps, tents, portable stoves, work gloves, machetes, solar lamps, and other emergency and rebuilding supplies.
Key West Cares For more than 40 years, the settlement of New Plymouth (on Green Turtle Cay) and the city of Key West have been sister cities. Now, city officials, the business community, churches and general population of Key West are uniting to help the residents of Green Turtle Cay affected by Hurricane Dorian. Key West Cares is collecting financial donations and coordinating volunteers, vessels and planes to help with delivering aid. Learn more at their Facebook page.
Hope Town United is a community-driven, 501(c)3 charity established to provide aid to the people of Elbow Cay, assist in the island’s reconstruction and recovery and help restore the region’s primary industry, tourism. To learn more, visit the organization’s website or Facebook page.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Guana Fire and Rescue, led by Troy Albury. Funds raised through this effort will be allocated by Guana Fire and Rescue to the people of Guana Cay.
Another Guana Cay GoFundMe page has been set up by Katie Hoog, girlfriend of Guana Cay’s Ricky Sands. Funds will be used to purchase survival supplies, evacuation helicopters and boats, temporary housing, medical supplies and building materials.
The Great Guana Cay Foundationhas been established to sustainably rebuild the island’s homes, parks, roads, buildings and businesses.
The Man-O-War Relief Fund is a board-run charity focused on providing funding for the repair of critical infrastructure and support of Man-O-War residents affected by Hurricane Dorian.
A Rebuilding Man-O-War Amazon Wish List has been established to purchase items requested by Man-O-War Cay’s disaster coordinator. Items purchased via this list are being collected by Travis Blane, owner of Mack Sails, and shipped via barge to Man-O-War.
A Marsh Harbour Wish List has been compiled by area residents, listing the items that are in greatest demand. Items from this list may be sent to Abaco Freight (West Palm Beach,) who will arrange for trasnport to, and distribution in, Marsh Harbour. Donations can be shipped to or dropped off at Abaco Freight at: #AbacoStrong, 10130 Northlake Blvd., Suite 214–192, West Palm Beach, Florida 33412
Marsh Harbour boat captain Errol Thurston and his wife Mercedes have been collecting funds and material donations to help Abaconians affected by Hurricane Dorian. Currently, their focus is helping Abaco’s schools rebuild and restock their classrooms. To support their efforts, visit their GoFundMe page, or mail a cheque or money order to: ETB Relief Fund, Attn: Mercedes Thurston, PO Box 2288, Palm City, FL 34991. For more information, or if you’d like to donate in some other way, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abaco’s Every Child Counts school – which provides education and vocational training for more than 100 children and young adults with learning, developmental or physical disabilities — has suffered significant loss. Alishia Liolli, a dedicated, young ECC teacher, was killed during the storm. And the ECC campus – including a recently completed transitional living facility, brand new vehicle, electronics and equipment – was destroyed. School administrators and staff are committed to rebuilding as soon as possible. Though they aren’t yet able to accept donations of materials or supplies, here’s how you can make a financial contribution.
Huge, heartfelt thanks to the following organizations which, though they have now moved on to other aid projects, were instrumental in helping Abaconians following Hurricane Dorian.
In the days and months following Hurricane Dorian, InterVol collected and donate more than 12,000 pounds of personal care supplies to help northern Bahamians who had lost everything.
The First Responders Relief Fund helped to rebuild and re-equip various fire and rescue departments around Abaco by procuring building materials, recruiting volunteers, replacing damaged fire trucks and equipment and providing training.
World Central Kitchen, an organization that delivers food to people in disaster zones, served millions of meals to date in Abaco and Grand Bahama.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am neither affiliated nor involved with any of the above relief agencies. Nor am I in a position to formally audit or endorse any of them. It’s true that these are groups and organizations to which I would be personally comfortable contributing. But you should always do your own due diligence and ensure your own comfort level before contributing to any charitable organization or relief group.