Tag: Hurricane Relief

Bahamians Still Need Your Support – Here’s How to Help

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.

A building in Marsh Harbour destroyed by 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 Treasure Cay Airport, Abaco, Bahamas

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.

Bolo III is Back Home

A lot of blog readers have emailed to ask how the Green Turtle Cay Ferries fared during Dorian.

The Green Turtle Cay Ferry fleet, before Hurricane Dorian

Prior to the storm, GTC Ferries had four vessels in operation: Bolo, Bolo II, Bolo III and Bolo IV.

With Dorian churning toward the island, the ferry company hauled Bolo and Bolo IV from the water and secured them on the hard at the boat yard. They tied up Bolo III in Black Sound and moored Bolo II deep in nearby Munjack Creek.  

Team M/V Adventure Helps Repair GTC’s Basketball Court

On September 15, two weeks after Hurricane Dorian, the 55’ Nordhavn trawler M/V Adventure arrived at Green Turtle Cay to assist with the island’s recovery.

Vessel owners Captain Bradford and Lorraine Carlton, along with a group of friends and volunteers, quickly established a food kitchen, which they called the Adventure Cafe.

For the past six weeks, with the help of local residents, the Adventure Cafe has served two meals a day, feeding people as they work hard to put their town, their homes and their lives back together.

Green Turtle Cay, Two Months Later

When Tom and I arrived on Green Turtle Cay last week, we were prepared for what we would meet. We’d seen the images and heard stories of the destruction Hurricane Dorian had visited upon this little island.  

What I wasn’t expecting was how beautiful New Plymouth still is. Bruised and battered? Definitely. Still in need of help? Absolutely.

Thanks to Tom for this video of the settlement of New Plymouth, shot October 30, 2019

But, as the saying goes, true beauty comes from inside, from the heart. And the heart of Green Turtle Cay is bigger and stronger than ever.

Fundraiser Tonight at Key West’s DJ’s Clam Shack to Benefit Bahamian Hurricane Victims

If you’re in Key West this evening, please come by DJ’s Clam Shack (629 Duval Street) and support their benefit for Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Festivities will include t-shirt sales, raffles, giveaways, and DJ’s inaugural Lobster Roll Eating Contest, featuring local celebrity contestants, at 6 p.m. on Duval Street.

Tom’s Report on Marsh Harbour, Two Months Post-Dorian

Late last night, Tom and I arrived back in L.A. after a week in Abaco. Witnessing the destruction wrought by Dorian was heartbreaking. Even having seen it first hand, I have trouble believing it’s real.

Some of you may know that Tom’s a foreign correspondent for Canada’s CTV National News. When he took a week off work so that we could get to Green Turtle Cay and check on Fish Hooks, he planned to shoot some video for me to use here on the blog.

Tom shoots video as the freight boat arrives into the port of Marsh Harbour

In the end, however, the journalist in him took over, and he put together the following news story, which aired nationally in Canada this past Tuesday.

It’s Finally Time: A Fish Hooks Update

Over the past six weeks, Tom and I have received so many kind calls, emails, texts, Facebook and Whatsapp messages and more, inquiring about our little house by the ferry and how it fared during Hurricane Dorian. Until now, however, I just didn’t feel ready to talk about it.  

Fish Hooks Cottage – April 2019

Early on Sunday, September 1, as Dorian barreled northwest along the coast of Abaco toward Green Turtle Cay, we began hearing how severely Hope Town and Marsh Harbour had been hit. At that point, Tom and I made peace with the fact that Fish Hooks would likely be destroyed.

On-the-Ground Photos of Guana Cay (Post-Dorian)

Once again, I’m incredibly grateful to Bruce Pinder of Da Salty Pig Adventures in Spanish Wells for permitting me to share these photos with you.

Like the other Abaco Cays, Guana Cay was devastated by Hurricane Dorian. To help our Guana friends recover and rebuild, please consider:

  • Contributing to the Guana Fire and Rescue GoFundMe page. Funds raised through this effort will be allocated by Guana Fire and Rescue to the people of Guana Cay.
  • Contributing to the Guana Cay GoFundMe page set up by Katie Hoog, girlfriend of Guana Cay’s Ricky Sands. Funds are being used to purchase survival supplies, evacuation helicopters and boats, temporary housing, medical supplies and building materials.

Photos of Hope Town Waterfront (Post-Dorian)

Thank you again to Bruce Pinder of Da Salty Pig Adventures in Spanish Wells for allowing me to share these photos he took of the homes along the edge of Hope Town Harbour on Elbow Cay.

As you can see, our Hope Town friends were also hard-hit by Hurricane Dorian. Here’s how you can help them:

  • Contribute to the GoFundMe page of Hope Town second-homeowner Matt Winslow, who’s working with the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue folks to raise funds and bring in aid.

More On-The-Ground Green Turtle Cay Photos (Post-Dorian)

Many thanks to Trina Sasine (she and her husband Robert own Sandpiper, on Gillam Bay) for allowing me to share these photos, taken in the days following Hurricane Dorian.

Did you know that 70,000 Bahamians — that’s more than one in six! — have lost their homes and/or businesses? Here’s how you can help them rebuild their lives.

Aerial Photos of Green Turtle Cay (Post-Dorian)

Hi, all. Below are a number of high-res photos of Green Turtle Cay taken during a fly-over shortly after Hurricane Dorian. I’ve tried to put them in order roughly from north to south.

As you can see, some homes have been lost all together and most others are heavily damaged. Our family and friends on the cay and throughout Abaco and Grand Bahama need as much help as we can give them in the weeks, months and years ahead. Here’s How You Can Help.

North End of Green Turtle Cay

How You Can Help Bahamian Victims of Hurricane Dorian (Updated November 12/19)

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:

  • Bahamas.com, the official website of the Bahamas, has put together a Hurricane Dorian Relief page listing various ways you can help the Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian. This page also includes information on donation drop-off sites in the U.S. and Canada, and information about bringing relief supplies and goods into the country.
  • 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 rotary7020relief@gmail.com
  • 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 has 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.
  • World Central Kitchen, an organization that delivers food to people in disaster zones, have served more than one million meals to date in Abaco and Grand Bahama. To help them continue to feed Bahamians in need, please consider donating to their cause.
  • 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:
    • ISLAND TYME HANGER, LANTANA AIRPORT – 2633 Lantana Road, Lantana, Florida 33462 (Hangar 214)
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Marsh Harbour boat captain, Errol Thurston and his wife, Mercedes have set up a GoFundMe page to benefit the people of Abaco affected by Hurricane Dorian. Donations will help purchase survival supplies (water, food, toiletries, medical items) as well as items needed for cleanup and rebuilding. The Thurstons are also collecting donations of relief supplies at various sites throughout Florida, and have secured boats, planes and fuel to transport items over to Abaco. For more information, email errolthurstonbahamas@gmail.com.  Donations can be brought to any of the following locations:
  • Abaco Freight, which operates a shipping service from the U.S. to Abaco, is holding a Toys for Tots drive to collect items to fill a “container of cheer.” See their Facebook page for more information.
  • Water Mission (whose founders, George Greene and his late wife, Molly, have been long-time GTC second-homeowners), is providing clean drinking water to Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian. Thanks to a generous sponsor, all donations will be matched, up to $1 million. Click HERE to learn more and donate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Key West’s Island Roots Heritage Festival committee has begun an Amazon Wish List to collect supplies for the Green Turtle Cay’s Amy Roberts Primary School. Since they’re a nonprofit 501c3 organization, all donations are tax-deductible. Note: when purchasing from the wish list, please be sure to select “SHIP TO GREEN TURTLE c/o of Island Roots Heritage Festival” during checkout.
  • 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.
  • 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 effort on the Abaco mainland and the Cays, so that evacuees can return home.
  • BAARK Bahamas has been vital in helping to rescue lost and injured animals and reunite families pets lost as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

For more information about relief efforts on Abaco and Grand Bahama post-Dorian, visit the Little House by the Ferry or the Bahamas: Abaco & Grand Bahama Hurricane Dorian Updates Facebook pages.

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.

How You Can Help the Bahamian Victims of Hurricane Dorian

Southwestern Bahamas Devastated by Irma

There’s no shortage of images of the effects of Hurricane Irma in the national and international media today. But you’re probably not seeing these.

Southwestern Bahamas Devastated by Hurricane Irma - Here's How You Can Help

Photo courtesy of the  Team Cooper/Chester Cooper Facebook page

This is Ragged Island, in the southwest Bahamas.

Southwestern Bahamas Devastated by Hurricane Irma - Here's How You Can Help

Photo courtesy of the Team Cooper/Chester Cooper Facebook page

Though Irma traveled far enough west that the northeastern Bahamas (including Abaco) felt nothing but a strong breeze, islands in the southern and western Bahamas were subjected to her full wrath.

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