What to Know
- Russell says the city has opened all fire stations as drop off points for items as well as the Christ Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove.
Efforts are underway throughout South Florida to help out those who suffered catastrophic damage in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian.
A major effort is centered in a part of Coconut Grove with a rich history rooted in the Bahamas.
"This is the heart of the Bahamian enclave in the city of Miami. It's where the city was founded by Bahamian settlers. We owe it to help our neighbors,” said Miami Commissioner Ken Russell.
Throughout the day Monday, people donated canned goods, bottled water, clothes and toiletries at the Christ Episcopal Church, located at 3481 Hibiscus St. in Miami, and fire stations in the city.
“We’re very fortunate on this side and to know what they’re going through, what’s happening is devastating,” Russell said in an interview with NBC 6 anchor Carlos Suarez.
Father Jonathan Archer knows what it's like to be in need of help.
“I’m a Bahamian and I’ve been through storms and I know what it is firsthand to experience that type of thing,” Archer said. "We are asking them to bring non-perishable items, canned goods, can openers, batteries, flash lights, diapers, small generators. Anything the people in the Bahamas can use.”
Items can also be donated at the Community Emergency Operations Center located at 5120 Northwest 24th Avenue.
A GoFundMe account has been established to collect financial donations.
Another effort comes from a group of Fort Lauderdale business owners who have gotten together to help after previous disasters. They are accepting donations at Riverside Market and Cafe locations. They say tarps, medical supplies and feminine hygiene products are needed.
"Our goal is to bring over supplies that people need now," said organizer Chris Rotella. "That would be housing, tents and tarps. We have been working with a group that has offered us a medical boat. The goal is to fix any scratches or bruises that people have - give them Tylenol and medication that may have been washed out of their home."
The group is also focused on raising money. So far, they have raised more than $100,000. They are also planning charity concerts.
The city of Miami Springs is also accepting donations for the relief effort in the Bahamas from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The donations will be accepted at the Miami Springs Community Center at 1401 Westward Drive.