A little more than 24 hours after non-profit group HeadKnowles turned to the crowdfunding website gofundme.com to begin to raise money for hurricane relief efforts, it had already surpassed $80,000 of its $1 million goal.
The non-profit and others across The Bahamas and in the United States have already begun to ramp up their relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Those efforts began even before Hurricane Dorian began to impact the northern Bahamas. A flyer that appeared on social media early on Saturday, just as Dorian was becoming a strong Category 5 hurricane, urged those in the Miami area to bring donations such as toiletries, canned goods, cleaning supplies and water, to the Miami-Dade Community Emergency Operations Center.
HeadKnowles co-founder Gina Knowles told Guardian Business yesterday that the group’s relief efforts are being organized from the New Providence Community Centre, while co-founder Lia Head-Rigby is organizing donations from Orlando, Florida.
Knowles said the planes that will carry relief supplies to Abaco, Grand Bahama and Bimini are ready to go when the all-clear has been given.
She explained that 15 non-profit groups have come together to centralize their relief efforts.
HeadKnowles was instrumental in getting hurricane relief supplies to islands impacted by Hurricane Joaquin, but she noted that the need will be far greater this time, given the size of the populations of the affected islands.
Knowles said she is still waiting to hear from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
She added that anyone who wants to assist HeadKnowles with its efforts can volunteer at NPCC from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., or deposit their donations to HeadKnowles’ Royal Bank of Canada account, 05745-2883452.
According to Knowles, most of the donations are being used to fuel the supply planes that will take relief items to the islands and bring affected people who want to leave back to New Providence.
She explained that courier service Tropix Shipping has an online shopping center with a HeadKnowles section, where people can buy items for the affected islands and have them shipped direct.
Another group preparing to bring relief efforts to The Bahamas, West Palm Beach-based Eagles’ Wings Foundation, said on its website that it is “preparing to deploy an advanced team into Abaco, Bahamas to begin emergency response operations”.
“The vulnerable population of The Bahamas will be in critical need of food, water and other relief supplies planned for delivery by the Eagles’ Wings Foundation,” its website states.
“A group of experienced pilots with 10-plus planes who all have a long history of flying to the Abacos already are ready to assist – staging from Lantana Airport.”