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Hurricane Dorian has severely impacted the Bahamian Islands, and Freeport, Grand Bahama Island was inundated with severe winds, rain, and storm surge for nearly two days straight. The damage assessments are still being done, however, based upon initial reports from Freeport the best estimate is at least 40% of the homes and buildings are either under 5-15’ of water or the 200+ mph wind gusts have completely leveled them down to the foundations. A good portion of those still standing have extensive wind damage. The airport at one time was under 15’ of water, currently it is still submerged but receding. The port is an unknown. Anticipated challenges are indicative of island responses: long supply chains, damaged local infrastructure, and limited areas remaining for on-site staging. Long term recovery will require extensive rebuilding of the infrastructure, homes, and lively-hoods.
So what Champs Missions doing? The 501(c)3 organization has been serving the Carribean islands for over 30 years and has focused on serving broken families and their children. Several hundred children are served by this organization’s efforts. They just recently completed constructing a large 40’ x 80’ metal building that was elevated 4’ off the ground on a large parcel of land. They believe that it only suffered minor wind damage and flooding, and are in the process of trying to get closer and confirming that information.
Champs has a close relationship with the local government and has secured the necessary documentation and permits to bring in duty free relief supplies. Also, they have established the logistics infrastructure necessary to support both the initial push and the on-going recovery effort.
So to the point! They are looking to meet an urgent donation goal of $18,000 to purchase and ship 15 6500W generators. Then they are asking for funds to purchase, stage, and ship supplies critical to those first few days (food, water, water filters, basic first aid, diapers, hygiene supplies, blankets, tents, chainsaws, and basic tools). Finally they will be asking for donations to transition to the long term recovery of homes and livelihoods. Their initial funding goal is $600,000 with hopes to be able to have a sustainable long term presence since they are already a part of the community.
If you or any of your contacts are interested in helping please first consider donating to the trustworthy and proven local organization at www.champsmissions.org. To coordinate in-kind donations please e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via facebook (and I’ll give you my contact info) and we will provide you with the addresses to bring the requested supplies. To verify that this is a legitimate organization you can check the EIN 800513525 on the IRS website.