After seeing the aftermath of Dorian, many of us feel compelled to act. Please know, the best way to really help is to make a donation to a reputable relief fund. Relief organizations can use your money to buy in bulk at wholesale prices the truly needed items; and they have distribution systems to get those supplies directly to the areas that need it most. Plus, the need in the Bahamas is long-term. It will take years to recover and cash is what is most needed.
That's why we are recommending you make a financial gift to Operation Helping Hands.
With a large Bahamian community in South Florida and close ties with island, United Way of Miami-Dade, the Miami Herald/el Nuevo Herald and Univision 23 have activated Operation Helping Hands to help with relief, rebuilding and recovery efforts. You can help victims in the Bahamas and other affected areas by donating.
100% of all donations to Operation Helping Hands will go directly to supporting response efforts in the affected areas. We will work with local United Ways and nonprofit agencies in the affected areas to support both immediate and long-term recovery needs.
Additional ways to give directly to the Bahamas:
There is something after a disaster called the “Second Disaster.” It’s what happens when an affected area is inundated with donations many of them useless to relief workers. There is little storage, limited manpower and no way of cleaning used goods. Donated items may not have covered storage, get rained on then mildew or go bad in the heat.
When making the decision to donate goods, please ask the following questions:
1. How will you get it there? Do you have a local contact with the ability to distribute once it arrives?
2. Is it something relief workers are requesting?
Note: Current items being requested by the government of the Bahamas:
• Cots - adult size
• Hygiene kits (diapers, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, deodorant, toothpaste, soap, baby formula)
• Potable/purified water
• Non-perishable food items
• Water bladders
• Water containers
• First aid items (sterile bandages/gauze [all sizes], tape)
• Portable generators (15 kw to 25 kw)
• Plastic tarpaulin
• Debris removal tools (shovels, rakes, axes, wheelbarrows)
• Portable single and double burner stoves
• Portable outdoor lamps/lights
• Water purification kits
• Insect repellents
• Portable radios
• Portable potty
• Cleaning supplies/disinfectants (bleach, brooms, mops, household cleaning products, garbage bags)