In early September 2019, Hurricane Dorian barrelled through the northern Bahamas, devastating thousands of Abaco and Grand Bahama residents. Hundreds of souls were lost. Many who survived were left with nothing but the clothes they wore. And since hurricane insurance is prohibitively expensive, most didn’t have it.
Less than six months after Hurricane Dorian, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, stalling much of Abaco’s post-Dorian progress.
Three years later, many areas of Abaco are making strides toward recovery. But there is still a very long way to go. Abaconians affected by Hurricane Dorian will need all the help we can give them — not just today, but for 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 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.
- Abaco Strong, a 501(C)3 based in the U.S. and working in Abaco, was founded in 2020 to help rebuild sustainable post-Dorian communities in Abaco. Learn more at their website or Facebook page, or email email@example.com. Abaco Strong shirts and sweatshirts is now available at the Bahama Beach Club in Treasure Cay. Your purchase of Abaco Strong clothing supports their rebuilding programs and contributes to rebuilding sustainable communities in Abaco.
- 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, created a special, limited-edition Hurricane Dorian Relief 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.
- The Blue Atlas Project helps with building local food systems in areas affected by disasters. They provide infrastructure support and training to create, cultivate and strengthen the connection to local food systems. In Abaco, the Blue Atlas Project’s work began with their Food Equity and Sustainability Training (FEAST) Center, which was built in August 2021. They will be kicking off their Scaling Up Agriculture Program in early 2022. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.
- 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.
- Cypress Missions has had ongoing projects helping to repair homes and vital infrastructure in Abaco since Hurricane Dorian.
- Freedom to Read is helping the Marsh Harbour Public Library to rebuild after Hurricane Dorian. Click HERE to find out how you can help.
- 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.
- Global Emergency Relief, Recovery & Reconstruction (GER3) supports crisis-affected communities to build back better than before the crisis. They assist with debris clearing, provide temporary housing, and immediately start the reconstruction process with a particular focus on affected homes, schools, and health facilities. GER 3 is committed to using sustainable, culturally appropriate, and community led interventions. In Abaco, GER3 was responsible for the rebuilding of Central Abaco Primary School (CAPS), as well as debris removal, home repairs and more.
- 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.
- Help.NGO’s Disaster Immediate Response Team (formerly known as GlobalDIRT) is helping to re-establish vital communications in affected areas and deliver much-needed relief and recovery supplies. You can help them to help our Bahamian friends by volunteering or donating.
- 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 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.
- One Abaco Foundation and the Abaco Resurrect Foundation were founded by Abaco community leaders and stakeholders, under the collaborative direction of The Abaco Chamber of Commerce and One Eleuthera Foundation. In coordination with local, national and international NGOs and the private sector, they’re spearheading the rebuilding and long-term development of the Abaco community.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shelby’s Mission – Seven-year-old Shelby H. of Tequesta, FL is collecting donations to assist children in Abaco. In August 2020, she sent more than 260 fully loaded back-to-school backpacks to Abaco kids who lost their school supplies to Hurricane Dorian. As of fall 2020, she has partnered with Abaco Freight to collect Christmas gifts (and funds with which to buy them) for Abaco’s children. During 2021, she has undertaken several other donation drives. Contribute through her GoFundMe page or Amazon Christmas Wish List.
- 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 United Nations’ World Food Programme, which fights hunger worldwide by delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience has partnered with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to help feed Abaconians post-Dorian. Learn more at the WFP Facebook page.
- 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 email@example.com.
- The Murphy Town Volunteer Work Force seeks skilled workers and material donations to assist with post-Dorian repairs to homes in that area. For more information, contact Derek Dawkins at (242) 445 9877.
- 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.
- Abaco Strong has partnered with the Treasure Cay Community to support families that were devastated when Hurricane Dorian struck in September 2019. Their team consists of community leaders, residents and volunteers working together to coordinate relief and recovery efforts and enable the rebuilding of sustainable communities in Abaco.
ELBOW CAY/HOPE TOWN
- The Elbow Cay Restoration Association is a community initiative that helps to plan, raise funds for and coordinate Hope Town repair projects. For more details and latest updates, visit their Facebook page.
- The Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society is working to restore the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, the only remaining non-electric, manned light station in the world. For latest updates and fundraisers, visit 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.
- Contribute to the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue hurricane relief fund. Funds raised through this initiative will support the recovery effort on Elbow Cay/Hope Town.
- Southeast Rescue and Relief is bringing aid and volunteers to Elbow Cay. For more information, see their Facebook page. Click HERE to register as a volunteer.
- The Wyannie Malone Historical Museum has an extensive list of projects that must be completed before it can reopen post-Dorian. They are in need of volunteers, material donations and financial donations with which to pay skilled tradespeople. If you can help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Great Guana Cay Foundation has 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.
GREEN TURTLE CAY
- 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.)
- A GoFundMe page has been established to raise the estimated $100,000-$200,000 needed to repair and restore the Albert Lowe Museum, which suffered significant damage during Hurricane Dorian. Please contribute if you can.
- Partnering with the GTC Foundation is the Green Turtle Club/Friends of Empty Pockets, whose own GoFundMe page is collecting donations toward the Foundation.
- 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.
- United Aid Foundation has partnered with Team M/V Adventure to help the folks of Green Turtle Cay. Learn more at their Facebook page.
Huge, heartfelt thanks to the following groups and organizations which, though they have now moved on to other projects, were instrumental in helping Abaconians in the days, weeks and months following Hurricane Dorian.
- Abaco Freight transported literally thousands of pounds of donated relief supplies at no cost. From first-aid supplies to blankets and bedding to back-to-school backpacks and Christmas gifts for Abaco children affected by Hurricane Dorian, Abaco Freight has helped generously with Abaco’s recovery efforts.
- The Green Turtle Cay Hurricane Recovery Fund, a 501c3 corporation formed and directed by Dr. John Shedd, Tyler Survance and John G. Shedd, raised more than $100,000 in donations to be used toward helping Green Turtle Cay’s recovery. In October 2019, this organization joined forces with the Green Turtle Cay Foundation. Here’s an article about the GTC Hurricane Recovery Fund’s relief efforts from ClickOrlando.com.
- Heart to Heart International helps communities recover from disasters by providing access to healthcare and administering crisis relief worldwide. During their time in Abaco, they held clinics, supported the Bahamian Psychological Association with tele-counselling and provided funding for Dr. Hull’s mobile medical clinic.
- Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Project (HARP) specializes in delivering off-grid communications, medical aid and search and rescue services.
- After 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.
- The Love & Life Foundation began flying in supplies in the immediate aftermath of Dorian, and then undertook a large-scale operation to rebuild Abaco’s broken communities by donating beds, shelter and home furnishings.
- Samaritan’s Purse concluded its Hurricane Dorian response at the end of May, 2021. Having arrived on the ground less than than 24 hours after Hurricane Dorian made landfall, their Disaster Response Specialists treated more than 6,500 patients at a 40-bed Emergency Field Hospital and helped affected families in the months and years following the storm. They equipped pastors to hire local contractors to repair homes across the northern Bahamas—restoring hundreds of homes through tarping, drywall installation, and mold remediation as well as window, door, and roof repairs. Additionally, team members continued to maintain hand-washing and clean water stations across the Bahamas—delivering more than 100,000 liters of clean water to water points and churches around the islands each week.
- World Central Kitchen, an organization that delivers food to people in disaster zones, served millions of meals in Abaco and Grand Bahama in the months following Hurricane Dorian.
- The U.S. Coast Guard, US State Department, US Customs and Border Protection, US Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- The British, French, Jamaican and Dutch Marines
- Between September 4, 2019 and November 21, 2019, Team Rubicon operated a mobile medical aid operation to provide mobile medical services to affected communities in Abaco. The group also assisted with debris management and removal and home repairs.
For more information about relief efforts on Abaco and Grand Bahama post-Dorian, visit the Abaco Sun or the Bahamas: Abaco & Grand Bahama Hurricane Dorian Updates Facebook pages.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Abaco Sun is neither affiliated nor involved with any of the above relief agencies. Nor are we in a position to formally audit or endorse any of them. You should always do your own due diligence and ensure your own comfort level before contributing to any charitable organization or relief group.