Bahamas help: Treasure Coast rallies to collect supplies, donations after Hurricane Dorian
Local relief efforts to help residents of the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas are multiplying across the Treasure Coast.
2,000 pounds of beef
Blue Head Ranch and Okeechobee Farms will be donating 2,000 pounds of grass-fed beef to the Bahamas as soon as soup kitchens are established there, Steven Nettere, general manager of Okeechobee Farms, said Thursday.
Calling the relief effort "Cheeseburgers in Paradise," the donation will include all the related fixings and condiments, even in the midst of the chaos on the islands, Nuttere said.
Nettere also is looking for additional meat producers to donate Halal processed beef, lamb, goat and chicken for the Muslim community in the Bahamas; and individuals or grocery stories to donate hamburger buns, mustard and ketchup.
Nettere can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Sailfish Club Foundation
The Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation has partnered with U.S. and Bahamian Customs, Blue Marlin Cove, West End Bahama Island, Day Maker Charters and the Stuart Jet Center to collect relief items for those on the islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
Donations can be dropped off at these locations through Sunday, Sept. 8:
- Stuart Jet Center, 2501 S.E. Aviation Way A, Stuart
- The Stuart Sailfish Club Tiki Hut Pavilion, 3867 S.E. Evans Terrace, Stuart
- River Palm Cottages & Fish Camp, 2325 N.E. Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach
- Hilton Garden Inn PGA Village, 8540 Commerce Centre Drive, Port St. Lucie.
All donations will be transported to the Stuart Jet Center, which will be loaded onto helicopters and taken to the Bahamas.
“Our hearts are broken seeing the devastation in the Bahamas after being hit by this catastrophic Category 5 hurricane,” said Stuart Sailfish Club President Charlie Conigliaro. “We did this same type of relief in 2016 after Hurricane Matthew and the donations we received then were amazing. I’m sure our community will put forth the same type of effort this time.
The following items are most needed at this time:
- Medical supplies and first-aid kits
- Water, diapers and sanitary wipes, feminine hygiene products
- Baby food/formula, non-perishable foods
- Tents, sleeping bags, generators and building materials, such as tarps, hammers, nails and chainsaws.
If you would like to volunteer to load planes or sort donations, contact the Stuart Sailfish Club at 772-286-9373 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cash donations accepted
Anyone who would like to make a cash donation, the Stuart Sailfish Club has set up a Go Fund Me account. Visit its Facebook page at facebook.com/StuartSailfishClub. Those who would prefer to write a check, make it payable to Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation and mail it to Stuart Sailfish Club Foundation, 3867 S.E. Evans Terrace, Stuart, FLA 34997. In the memo, write C/O Bahamas Relief Fund. As a 501(c)3, donations are tax deductible.
Missionary Flights International in Fort Pierce is preparing to take supplies to Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas as soon as the runway there is clear. It costs $2,200 per flight. Donations are being accepted to cover costs through its website at missionaryflights.org.
The United Way of Martin County has activated a Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund on its website at unitedwaymartin.org/hurricane. With a history of coordinating community responses to help those affected by natural disasters, the United Way provides a trusted source for monetary contributions. The website also provides the opportunity to volunteer or donate supplies.
Three Berry Fresh Cafe locations are collecting donations for Bahamas relief during restaurant hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, according to its Facebook page. The locations are 1718 S.W. St. Lucie West Blvd., St. Lucie West; 1429 S.E. Federal Highway, Stuart; and 3755 Military Trail, Jupiter.
Revive Church in Stuart also is accepting cash donations for Bahamas relief. Check out its website: reviveusnow.com/bahama-relief.
Additional locations reportedly accepting relief supplies and/or cash donations for the Bahamas: The Chubby Mullet at the Sebastian Inlet Marina in Micco; Action Realty in Sebastian; Walking Tree Brewery, Wes's Backyard BBQ, Mazzarella's Automotive, Glendale Christian School, Oceans Unite Christian Center and Gifford Middle School, all in the Vero Beach area.
Walking Tree Brewery in Vero Beach has been receiving so many donations of water and other supplies, a call has been put out for volunteers to help from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7, according to its Facebook page.
Rescuing dogs from Bahamas
H.A.L.O. No-Kill Animal Rescue in Sebastian is organizing relief efforts for animals affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
Executive Director Jacque Petrone said she verified by phone employees at the Humane Society of the Grand Bahamas in Freeport are safe but the shelter has been decimated.
Petrone has secured planes to fly in supplies to the island, as early as Sunday. Each flight is expected to cost about $2,000 so Petrone has set up a GoFundMe page. To donate, go to gofundme.com/f/save-the-potcakes-bahamas/donate.
H.A.L.O. also needs foster families for the 150 dogs and cats they're planning to bring back from the Bahamas. To apply to be a foster family, go to www.halorescuefl.org/foster. The rescued animals may be here as early as Sunday.
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The Farm Dog Rescue in Palm City is working with other animal rescue groups to coordinate getting stranded dogs off the storm-damaged Bahamas.
"Today we started a campaign 'The Farm Marathon' to get our dogs adopted, making room for potcakes," said Keri Burgess, president of The Farm Dog Rescue.
Potcake is a mixed-breed dog found on several Caribbean islands, including the Bahamas.
For more information, call 772-224-3323 or email email@example.com.
White's Tackle, a full-service fishing and tackle store in Vero Beach, Fort Pierce and Stuart, started accepting hurricane relief supplies for the Bahamas on Sept. 5.
What's needed? Water, cleaning supplies, bleach, tools, generators, diapers, nonperishable foods and batteries are among the items suggested on the Facebook page.
The public can drop donations off at one of these locations:
- 1106 U.S. 1, Fort Pierce
- 4271 S.E. U.S. 1 in Stuart
- 3006 Cardinal Drive, Vero Beach
Weather permitting, the supplies will be taken to the Bahamas by boat as soon as allowed. For more information, email White's Tackle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angels of Hope Outreach
Kelly and David Long, of Angels of Hope Outreach Ministries, began accepting donations Sept. 4 at these St. Lucie County locations:
- Angels of Hope's Closet, 310 Indian Hills Drive, Fort Pierce
- Gardner Locksmith, 2925 S. U.S. 1, Fort Pierce
- Shell Bazaar, 10100 S. Federal Highway, Port St. Lucie
Supplies being accepted:
- Water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, baby formula
- Nonperishable canned food with easy-open tops
- First aid kits and medical supplies
- Bug spray, sunscreen and towels
- Tents, tarps, sleeping bags, flashlights and batteries
- Paper towels, sanitary wipes, garbage bags and toilet paper
- Diapers and feminine hygiene products
- Paper plates and plastic cutlery
Kelly Long emphasized that no clothes will be accepted at this time.
Angels of Hope is working with local pilot Eric Townsend, Missionary Flights International and the Palm Beach Yacht Club to get the supplies to the Bahamas as soon as it's safe to travel there.
CVS and Walmart have donated pallets of water, which will be among the first items taken to the Bahamas, Kelly Long said.
"As long as the storm moves up the coast, it only takes a couple days for the waters to calm down," she said. The goal is to get enough supplies by Sept. 6 so the first shipment can be sent starting Sept. 7.
Townsend, who has volunteered to fly the supplies to Treasure Cay, a community near Marsh Harbour, said everything depends on how soon they are given access to the airport there. Plans are to coordinate a fleet of boats to take supplies too.
"It's all based on the weather and safety of the runway, which will need to be inspected by the FAA," said Townsend, who also operates a yacht management company that has clients in the Bahamas. "I'm there 12 to 14 days a month taking care of my clients."
"I've worked very closely with (the Bahamian) government, and across from the airport is a ferry dock, where we hope to unload supplies brought by boat. That's kind of why we're trying to get some boats loaded with supplies over there first."
Townsend said the goal is to get boats there by the weekend. Along with supplies, the boats will need to carry extra fuel since none will be available in the Bahamas.
"It's total devastation," said Townsend, who's been talking to a friend there by satellite phone. "There's no electricity, fuel, roofs are gone from homes and buildings. It's more of a rescue mission."
Operation 300 has opened a donation center at Hangar 3 at Witham Field in Stuart, with the assistance of Steven Leighton, Rep. Brian Mast's chief of staff.
Witham Field is at 1845 S.E. Airport Road.
“We will have a number of semi-trailers there that have been identified to local outer islands, and you can bring your necessities,” Leighton said. “We will then start that collection for short-term relief and will work into … a long-term effort as well.”
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Joshua Solomon, Janet Begley and Jeannette Weiss contributed to this report.