Images of destroyed homes, roads washed away and cars haphazardly tossed about from the intense wind and floods that ravaged parts of the Bahamas for two days are still reeling through my mind.
My immediate response? My hometown of Fort Lauderdale was so close to having the Category 5 storm (“the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic basin since 1935“), approach South Florida. Thankfully, we were spared and only experienced wind gusts and rain. Nothing compared to what our nearby neighbors experienced only a short plane and boat ride away.
I’ve been meaning to visit the Bahamas someday, and it’s such a short trip from my home, but I haven’t had the chance yet. In the future, I hope to visit, though for now, I’m looking to gather support for the people from these beautiful islands while they undergo a likely lengthy process of rebuilding.
The outpouring of love for the Bahamas is amazing! Various companies and businesses, locally and nationally, have been pledging resources or money to aid in restoration efforts. The United Nations and various cruise lines (the Bahamas is a key cruise destination) such as Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line are some of the companies helping.
How Can You Help?
After I heard about the devastation, I immediately wanted to help. Across social media, I’ve seen many people looking for ways to help, so I did some research to find organizations looking for donations or volunteers. Here is what I found. If you are not local to South Florida, don’t let that stop you from looking at the following places…some are accepting monetary donations or accepting items shipped to their organization.
I noticed some people are looking for places to donate clothes…of all the places I found accepting donations, none appeared to be accepting clothes. Many are in the search/recovery and relief phase, so popular items are first aid kits/supplies, water, food, and hygiene products. Please share in the comments below if you know of any organization accepting clothing donations!
Click on each business to view their donation list:
- Chick Fil A (Pompano Beach)– Donations
- Island Water Sports (Deerfield Beach) – Donations. Buy a “‘Bahamas Strong x Island Water Sports’ T-Shirt. 100% of the proceeds from sales of this shirt will go to the United Way of Miami-Dade in aid to their Bahamas relief Operation Helping Hands as they begin to recover & rebuild from Hurricane.” They are also accepting donations that will be placed on a barge to the Bahamas.
- Global Empowerment Mission – Donations and Volunteers (locations in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach counties).
- Press & Grind Cafe (Fort Lauderdale) – Donations accepted through Friday September 6.
- Preferred Marine Sales Group (Pompano Beach) – Donations
- BC Surf and Sport (Fort Lauderdale) – Donations
These are just a few companies participating in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts that I found on social media and news organizations, though there are plenty more out there!A few of the above companies are partnering with other local businesses or charity organizations, so you may find a drop-off location closer to your home than those listed above. Larger organizations like the American Red Cross and World Central Kitchen are also accepting donations. Just remember to verify the company you are giving monetary donations or supplies to…unfortunately there are scams after disasters, so it’s best to ensure your well-meaning gift is going directly to aid those in need.
For more on why cruise ships can’t go to the Bahamas to rescue Hurricane Dorian victims, check out this article by ABC Local 10 News.
In inspiring news, read about this man who purchased over 100 generators to be sent to the Bahamas!