FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA — The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF) has announced the completion of its initiative to reconstruct homes for Grand Bahama residents whom the devastating Hurricane Dorian significantly impacted in September 2019.
The project was guided by a dedicated team of four individuals—Andy Stofleth, Cameron Quinlan, Caroline Delvin, and Dara Olivencia—in collaboration with the St Bernard Project (SBP).
“We have been able to assist 640 households with home repairs over the last four years thanks to GBDRF’s early and continued support of our work. Words cannot express my gratitude,” said Andy Stofleth, Executive Director for the Caribbean at SBP.
Since the inception of the construction endeavor, millions of dollars have been invested in reconstructing homes scattered across the island, including those in the Central and East Grand Bahama regions.
Deann Seymour, GBDRF Board Member, emphasized the significance of launching this project during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, underscoring the Foundation’s commitment to aiding the island’s residents during their most challenging times.
“With over $2.5 million dollars in funding, the Foundation first provided relief of food, water, personal hygiene, and survival tools immediately after the storm and subsequently assisted with rebuilding over 200 homes over the last three years. An additional investment value of $2 million dollars was invested through the furniture relief program, supplying residents through a transparent process with necessary furniture and equipment to return them to a semblance of normalcy,” Seymour explained.
The Foundation’s outreach extended from East to West, encompassing feeding programs that continued for at least two years.
Expressing gratitude on behalf of recipients, Deborah Knowles, a beneficiary of the program, shared: “My roof was destroyed during Hurricane Dorian. Heavy rain and storms caused leaks in the hallway and in the bathroom. Overall, it took the team about a week and a half to repair the roof, and now I can relax during storms. I am extremely grateful for the work the GBDRF has done for my home and my family.”
As the GBDRF continues to rebuild and help the Grand Bahama community, the organization remains steadfast in its commitment to being prepared for future disasters.
“As we continue to rebuild and rebound, the Foundation’s goal is to be ready for any disaster event. The collaboration with SBP exemplifies the power of partnerships in achieving impactful and lasting change. The GBDRF also partnered with NGOs like the Rotary GB Disaster Relief Foundation and other organizations to help bring help where it is needed most,” GBDRF Executive Director Karla McKintosh concluded.
The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation was founded by The Grand Bahama Port Authority after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 to help the Grand Bahama Community in the event of a Natural Disaster.