Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund

by GlobalGiving
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund
Photo: Albaco Strong
Photo: Albaco Strong

This May, the Abaco Strong team received its first grant from the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund. The grant supported community-led efforts to repair and rebuild safe homes in Treasure Cay. Executive Director Martha Fleury’s enthusiasm for her community’s recovery and GlobalGiving’s partnership inspired her to post an additional project, “Bring Youth Baseball back to Abaco,” on behalf of the grassroots Abaco Youth Baseball league.

The Youth Baseball project was well underway in 2019, but the devastating impacts of Hurricane Dorian interrupted their progress.  Despite the obstacles, the spirits of the coaches and parents were not dampened—neither was the spirit of generosity of fans. Within six weeks, donors from around the world surpassed the $25,000 fundraising goal and donated baseball equipment through an Amazon Wish List! 

“Having spent years as a visitor and part-time resident, I realize the devastating effects Dorian has had, and how sports can help bring a community together.”— Anonymous Donor

In the wake of disasters, communities turn to sports as an outlet of hope and togetherness. GlobalGiving is proud to support organizations like Abaco Strong who continue to make a meaningful impact in their communities.

That sounds like a grand slam to us!

With Gratitude,

Donna + the GlobalGiving Team

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Photo from Lend a Hand Bahamas
Photo from Lend a Hand Bahamas

The twin challenges of Hurricane Dorian recovery and COVID-19 on an island nation are daunting. But longtime GlobalGiving partner Lend A Hand Bahamas rose to the challenge. See how they’ve kept up with the ever-changing challenges of the past year:

  • In March 2020, Lend a Hand began distributing food packages to hundreds of families.  As the pandemic continued, unemployment rates skyrocketed in the tourism-dominated country. By the end of 2020, Lend a Hand was feeding more than 50,000 people weekly in Nassau.
  • Lend a Hand has since scaled back to focus on feeding about 20,000 residents monthly, largely those who belong to underserved communities, including the elderly and immigrant communities still recovering from the 2019 hurricane.
  • Lend a Hand resumed their youth education and vocational training programs and are currently establishing an urban farming program to address both food security and economic development. 

“In the last 18 months, more members of our community have come to count on Lend a Hand as a trusted resource, Mitsy Burrows, Executive Director of Lend A Hand Bahamas, said.  “We are optimistic about the future and our opportunity to expand our programs with the help of our donors.”  

This is only one example of how your donation had made a real difference for people like The Bahamas. Thank you for making this work possible

But despite the amazing success of our partners like Lend a Hand, there is still much work to be done. By signing up for a monthly donation to the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund or supporting one of our Bahamian partners, you can help us continue supporting recovery efforts that last.

With gratitude,
Donna Callejon + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from Lend a Hand Bahamas
Photo from Lend a Hand Bahamas
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From Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization
From Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization

The past 15 months have been rough for the folks on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. When I traveled there in January, new signs of life were emerging—rebuilt homes, new job prospects, and reinvigorated farmers tending to their businesses. Then COVID-19 forced a nationwide shutdown, exacerbating the challenges of daily life, much less rebuilding.

Throughout these challenging times, however, both local and international organizations have worked to make good on their commitments to the people and natural habitat of Abaco and its marine communities. As in most parts of the world, outdoor work is safer than indoor, and thanks to your generosity we have recently made grants from the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund to three unique organizations:

  • World Central Kitchen is probably a familiar name at this point. The globally recognized nonprofit founded by Chef Jose Andres has been everywhere—from Nepal to Japan, California to Guatemala—feeding those in need. What you might not know is that in addition to being an emergency response meal-providing juggernaut, WCK also has long-term Food Producer Networks, one of which is in Abaco. They’re supporting the farmers, fishers, and small food-related businesses of Abaco with direct grants to help them rebuild their operations and get back to their pre-Dorian production levels and beyond. They are working with the grantees, chefs, restaurants, food sellers, community organizations, and the Bahamian Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to build a stronger and more sustainable food economy in times of calm, and a more resilient food system in preparation for the next disaster.
  • The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization is hard at work keeping some of the world’s most prolific marine environments alive. The bottlenose dolphins are one of many marine mammals that were threatened by Dorian’s wrath and the subsequent oil spill. Because of donors like you, the 30-year old organization recently acquired a new research vessel to monitor the health impacts of the storm and document the benefits of reduced marine noise. This will help increase the resilience of the Sea of Abaco’s bottlenose dolphins, contributing to population growth in the wider Abaco region. Establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) is one of the greatest defenses against climate change and will boost the health of the entire aquatic ecosystem so these beautiful species can swim freely for years to come.
  • All Hands and Hearts (AHAH), a long-time GlobalGiving partner, is finally back in action after being forced to evacuate Abaco earlier this year due to COVID-19. After months of painstaking waiting, the guidelines for operating in the field were developed and AHAH could finally re-establish its base in Marsh Harbor and welcome its first round of volunteers in September. In October, Central Abaco Primary (the largest elementary school on the island) reopened to students and teachers in a fully mucked, gutted, cleaned, and refurbished facility thanks to the relentless efforts of team lead Chloe Forman, the AHAH staff, and their determined volunteers.

Our partners are amazing!

Thank you for generously supporting community-led relief efforts that assist these incredible projects and countless other partners in The Bahamas and beyond. In the upcoming months, we'll continue reporting on how your donations are providing continued investment in the rebuilding of livelihoods in The Bahamas.

With Gratitude,
Donna & the GlobalGiving Team

From Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization
From Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization
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Photo from FRIENDS of the Environment
Photo from FRIENDS of the Environment

One year after Hurricane Dorian, times are still hard in the Bahamas. But our partner FRIENDS of the Environment is moving forward to ensure that residents of Abaco can continue to learn about and improve their natural surroundings, even while dealing with a global pandemic. We caught up with Olivia Patterson-Maura, Deputy Director of FRIENDS, for an inside look at the recovery and resilience-building in her community.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about how your community was impacted by the combination of Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic?

A: A year after Dorian devastated our island homes many people are still without shelter or living in tents or their homes without a closed-in roof. Even with the incredible help from outside organizations, many people are still struggling with basic needs such as electricity, water, and food. Outside of the construction industry, job opportunities are slim, as many businesses are closed or operating at minimum capacity. Several schools were lost to the storm, and some are still working on repairs. Residents who were displaced from Abaco are having difficulty returning home because housing is limited and education and daycare are needed. The children, though resilient, have definitely been affected. And many teachers are still giving so much to the students, even those without an income from a lost job. 

Q: How have the funds you received from GlobalGiving made a difference for your organization and your community?

A: We find ourselves handling things each day that were not part of the work plan we had envisioned for 2019-2020—from working to address immediate concerns such as repairs to our existing buildings, to planning to rebuild our destroyed education center, to totally revising our summer camps so that we can provide a virtual experience that fits within safe COVID-19 restrictions.

Funding from GlobalGiving gave us the ability to be flexible and meet rising needs during the ever-changing landscape post-Dorian and throughout the COVID-19 crisis. For FRIENDS, it was very important to reach out to our student network to let them know that we are here to support and encourage them to continue their part in environmental conservation. We believe a purpose and positive focus, no matter how small, may help to encourage healing—it has certainly helped us! 

Q: What about your local community’s response to these challenges makes you most proud?

A: Our community members continue to be resilient, supportive of each other, work together to solve problems, and simply press on while living in a disaster landscape. Can you imagine nearly a year (September 1 is the one-year anniversary) without city power or even regular access to running water? The sun has set, and, as I write this, I can hear the sound of generators and tools as people move on from their daily occupation to the critical work of repairing their homes. Despite the challenges they face, people are hopeful and full of gratitude for the outpouring of help and generosity of others.

Q: Real disaster recovery and environmental sustainability require a long-term commitment. What inspires you to keep at it?

A: I am immensely grateful to live in such a beautiful place where I can so easily connect with the environment—an environment that is healthy and diverse and provides food and enjoyment. I am passionate about ensuring that future generations of Bahamians are able to benefit from and experience the same beautiful Bahamas that I have. There is so much that I want to share with my children and enable other children to experience. 

It is your generosity that allows us to continue supporting local organizations in their work to recover and rebuild from Hurricane Dorian, even with the challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you for supporting community-led disaster recovery, and I can’t wait to share more updates with you in the coming months.

With Gratitude, 

Donna Callejon + the GlobalGiving Team

Learn more about FRIENDS’ ongoing work.

Photo from FRIENDS of the Environment
Photo from FRIENDS of the Environment
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Photo from HeadKnowles Foundation
Photo from HeadKnowles Foundation

The planes full of tourists stopped arriving at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport in late March. With one of the most restrictive “shelter in place” policies globally, the Bahamas has been on an intense lockdown for nearly two months. President Minnis and his leadership made clear the seriousness of the restrictions: 

The order instructs every individual, excluding for essential workers, to remain to the confines of their residence, including their yard space, to avoid contact outside of the family, except for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or gas station to refuel.”  

While some aspects of life in this multi-island country are returning to “normal,” it’s important to remember that just months prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Bahamas suffered catastrophic casualties and destruction from Hurricane Dorian.  

It is estimated that more than 50% of GDP in the Bahamas is tourism-based. And while Nassau was seeing a return to more typical levels of activity in early 2020, Grand Bahama, Abaco, and many of the Out Islands were still struggling to repair, rebuild, and recover. Once COVID-19 became a serious concern, all work to rebuild housing, repair, and reopen schools, and to establish marine habitats came to a grinding halt. 

Many of our international partners were forced to pause or severely limit their work, as well as evacuate their teams from the islands. But this hasn’t changed local teams’ commitment to their nation’s recovery. Because of your generosity, we have been able to provide much-needed emergency funding to Lend a Hand Bahamas and Head-Knowles Foundation, two anchor nonprofits that have continued serving their communities and those impacted by the continued adversity experienced by the people of the Bahamas.  

Lend a Hand Bahamas works with at-risk youth and provides programming in the Grants Town community in Nassau. But all the usual programmingbasketball tournaments, computer classes, and sewing classeswas halted to abide by lockdown and movement restrictions. Leveraging relationships allowed the Lend a Hand team to provide healthy meals to 150 children and the elderly each week during the month of April. In addition, they have mobilized in new ways to support their core community:

We have rolled out a mobile connectivity plan for the youth and seniors in the community to include 100 participants. They are utilizing smartphones to connect via group video calls to stay in touch, to participate in an online literacy program, virtual art program, receive other critical updates/have access to online educational resources, to learn to sew masks, and even to participate in community virtual karaoke and exercise programs.” 

- Shelagh Pritchard, Director, Lend a Hand Bahamas

Beyond Grant’s Town, Lend a Hand is working in partnership with other local nonprofits to provide food and hygiene and household supplies to 120 families in the Gambier neighborhood.  

Much of the post-Dorian recovery has been focused in Nassau and on Abaco and Grand Bahama Island.  But the Bahamas is a country of more than 100 islands, several dozen of which are inhabited. While task forces have been formed to address food shortages in New Providence, the need is still acute on several of the Out Islands. Head-Knowles Foundation, a new GlobalGiving partner, is using your donations to the Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund to get food and supplies to families on Andros, Eleuthera, and Long Island, and more remote parts of Abaco. Since the storm, Head-Knowles has been a driving force in the provision of food and water, medical supplies, furniture, and more. They are now also working to establish storm bunkers, full of crucial resources, to promote preparedness for future storms.

Thank you again for your contributions to the Hurricane Dorian Relief and Recovery Fund. Your generosity allows our nonprofit partners to stay nimble in the face of numerous hardships. And, of course, I hope you will continue to stay safe and well during these complicated times.

With gratitude,

Donna Callejon + the GlobalGiving Team

Lend a Hand Bahamas Making Deliveries in Gambier
Lend a Hand Bahamas Making Deliveries in Gambier
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Organization Information

GlobalGiving

Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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Twitter: @GlobalGiving

About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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