Freeport, Bahamas – In the month since Dorian ravaged both Grand Bahama Island and Abaco, the islands have received countless donations in support of the ongoing restoration efforts. Through the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), donations have been received at their shipping address from near and far, providing much-needed relief items to the families and individuals most severely impacted by the storm. “This has been a truly trying time for residents here on Grand Bahama,” said Cheri Wood Warehouse Coordinator with the GBDRF. “We are eternally grateful for all the support and the many donations of food, water, and supplies that have been a great help to local communities.”

Over the past 30 days, the foundation’s warehouse teams, led by Wood have had the daunting task of sorting through the thousands of donations, coordinating volunteers and arranging care packages so imagine Cheri’s surprise when she found tucked inside one donation shipment from Florida, a stack of brightly colored cards and personalized art plates from the students at the Ave International School in Florida. Having gone through a similar experience with hurricane Irene just two years ago, the school’s administration jumped at the opportunity to not only provide donations but offer a sense of hope to affected residents as well. More than forty students, drew, painted and colored personalized messages of love and support.

“Our students are very young but they can draw, paint and send their love to all of you with those cards and plates,” said School Director Alexandra Castro.

“Finding the cards was an emotional experience,” said Wood, “it’s nice to know that people care for us during this very difficult time.”

As the GBDRF continues the work of distributing the aid it has received, the personalized cards have also gone out as part of those care packages. Just this week, up to 50 donated mattresses were inflated and distributed along with food, water, and coconut water all of which were accompanied by the tender messages from the young students of the Ave School.

“Most families who received these beds were sleeping on their floors so these were greeted with enormous smiles.” The organization’s website and social media platforms have, and will continue to provide daily reports on how all donations are distributed as well as provide details on how others may continue to support the effort. Persons interested in making donations or volunteering are encouraged to visit www.gbdisasterrelief.org  for more information.

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