Friday, October 22, 2021

Locals Organize Hurricane Relief for the Bahamas

Residents of Marco Island and the Isles of Capri are coming together to lend a helping hand to the besieged residents of the Bahamas, as they struggle to rebound from the terrible battering they have taken from Hurricane Dorian.

The storm came ashore on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Islands on Sunday and into Monday. For two days, Dorian battered the once pristine beaches and ravaged homes and businesses with wind gusts measured up to 225 mph and sustained winds of 185 mph.  Storm surges, which measured over 20 feet, pushed along waves submerging cars and homes in its patch.

Al and Gladyvette Benarroch, owners of Affordable Landscaping, began rallying residents to begin a relief effort here on Marco Island to help the residents of the Bahamas with their needs.

“This is personal for me, because I know how devastated Puerto Rico was after the two hits from both Hurricane Maria and Irma in 2017.  We worked together to help bring much needed aid to those people then and we will do the same for the Bahamian people now,” said Gladyvette Benarroch.

Initially Gladyvette joined in with Barbara Evans, another local resident and fishing aficionado who often frequents the Bahamas for competitive fishing events, and who was active in other storm relief efforts for the Bahamian people.

They were soon joined by the Marco Patriots, another non-profit that became involved after Hurricane Irma hit Marco Island in September 2017.  Together they have joined forces to raise awareness of the needs in the Bahamas and collect donations to be shipped to the islands.  The Benarrochs have arranged to have 14 shipping containers available to pack supplies at the port in Fort Lauderdale for transport to the Bahamas.

Donations of those much-needed materials and items can be dropped off at Affordable Landscaping’s office at 941 Windward Drive on Marco Island.  Windward Drive is located between Walker’s Marine and the new First Integrity Bank on Bald Eagle Drive.  Affordable’s office is on the right before Windward intersects with East Elkcam Circle.

The first load will be transported to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday for shipment.  Their combined efforts are being coordinated with the ABACO RELIEF on the East Coast of Florida.

A listing of the much-needed items can be found below so that only items that are in dire need might be initially provided to deal with the conditions most requiring immediate attention.

Below is a list of those items requested by the ABACO RELIEF effort, which is coordinating the shipment and collection of items on the East Coast.

In addition to the Marco effort, the residents of Isle of Capri are banding together to raise money and donations of much-needed items to help with the relief efforts. Those donations can be left off at the Capri Community Center or by calling Chuck Tabeling, owner of Thurner Construction and a member of the Isle of Capri Civic Association’s Board of Directors at 239-280-8831.

“We all have a responsibility to step up.  Even the smallest donation will make a huge difference. Hygiene products, baby food a box of diapers or a gallon of bleach; they need anything and everything we can bring to them,” said Tabeling.

The Capri Community Inc. Board (CCI) issued the following statement regarding Hurricane Relief Efforts for the Bahamas:

The Capri Community, Inc. Board of Directors would like to ask our fellow Capriers and Marco Island residents to assist us in collecting supplies for our friends in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian. This has caused catastrophic destruction throughout the Abacos and Grand Bahama Islands. Reports of deaths and complete obliteration of cities within these islands is trickling in, and we want to do that we can to help this beautiful paradise cope with such devastation. 

We are currently collecting medical supplies, tents, tarps, water, protein bars, beef jerky, food that will not spoil, clothes and flip flops. We will update our list as needs arise.

In addition to accepting supplies for The Bahamas, CCInc. is also accepting monetary donations. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please mail or drop-off your donation in the drop-box behind our board at the Capri Community Center.  Include in the memo section of your check “Bahamas Hurricane Relief.” The address for the community center is as follows: Capri Community Inc., 338 Capri Blvd., Naples, FL 34113 c/o Patricia M. Arcoleo, Treasurer. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this critical issue in the Bahamas.

We will collect donations/supplies at the Isles of Capri Community Center, 338 Capri Blvd., Naples, Florida 34113. Volunteers are needed for the hours shown below. Please contact Joyce Beatty, President CCI at 814-403-5366.

The hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Friday, September 6, 2019 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Monday, September 9, 2019 from 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Tuesday through Friday, September 10-14, 2019 (same hours as shown above).

The Capri Community Center will be closed to all activities during the Hurricane Relief Support for the Bahamas to allow collection and preparation for transport of goods. There will be trucks scheduled for transport to the shipping location provided by the Bahama receiving contact.

Check back to or check in on our Facebook page to follow the wonderful work being done by local Marco Island and Isle of Capri residents to help in the Bahamas relief efforts




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