“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
– Fred Rogers
I’ve thought of this quote many times since Hurricane Dorian. On days when the needs of our Abaco family and friends were enormous and we felt helpless to meet them.
Days when it felt like our government was working at cross-purposes. Rainy, cold days when we knew so many were barely surviving in flimsy, leaking tents.
And days when Abaconians – having fought tooth and nail to reopen their businesses after Dorian – were further stymied by a global pandemic.
Over the past fifteen months, there’s been no shortage of scary, frustrating, dark days. But there have also been sources of light.
Helpers who, even before Dorian’s winds had died down, turned up in boats and planes laden with water, food and tarps. Who landed choppers on hastily cleared fields to deliver sandwiches to the hungry and evacuate the elderly and injured.
Who donated everything from tents, blankets, food and clothing to medical supplies and firefighting equipment. Who volunteered their time and expertise and came out of retirement to help their friends and communities recover.
These helpers have transported tons of donated relief supplies at no cost. Sent Halloween costumes and candy, Christmas gifts and back-to-school supplies so that Abaco’s children could have a bit of desperately needed normality.
Uprooted their own families in order to provide long-term, on-the-ground help in Abaco. Brought beauty and hope back to broken communities through uplifting works of art.
And they’ve been there whenever I or others have sent out calls for help. They understand that Abaco’s recovery will be measured not in months but in years, and they remain solidly committed to supporting Abaconians for the long term.
Today and every day, we recognize and thank all who have served as beacons of light during some of Abaco’s darkest days.
If you’d like to help the helpers, here’s how.