Freeport, Bahamas – On Monday the 23rd of September, two Amazon Air flights loaded with hurricane relief supplies landed at the Grand Bahama International Airport – the latest in a series of aid drops benefitting the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF). Through its network of local and international donors, the GBDRF has already overseen the import and distribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief aid to the Grand Bahama community. Now, the foundation has incredible assistance from Amazon, receiving its largest single private donation of in-kind relief through Amazon’s Disaster Relief program.
“The moment the hurricane Dorian passed, we immediately reached out to Amazon to request assistance for Grand Bahama. The reaction of the Amazon team was incredible, offering support straight away. This donation and the support of Amazon has been a God-send,” said GBDRF organizer Henry St. George.
“At Amazon, we leverage our vast logistics network, operational excellence, and technology leadership and innovation to provide support for communities in immediate need after devastating natural disasters,” explained Bettina Stix, Sr. Manager & Founder, Disaster Relief by Amazon. “In our response to Hurricane Dorian, our efforts were strengthened and supported by the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation, and we were proud to work alongside them to send tens of thousands of relief items donated by both Amazon and Amazon-customers to the Bahamas.”
In addition to Amazon’s in-kind donations, Amazon launched a wishlist campaign, specifically curated by its nonprofit partners including GBDRF, where customers from around the globe had the opportunity to make donations to those in immediate need. Both Amazon and its customers donated essential relief supplies such as shelf-stable food, clothes, and personal hygiene necessities like toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“Amazon and its customers have been so generous to the people of Grand Bahama, and coordinating such a large drop off of air freight would simply not have been possible without the logistical support of the Disaster Relief by Amazon team throughout,” noted St. George. “Seeing the Amazon aircraft arrive at our makeshift airport was astonishing and will provide our entire island with much-needed relief and hope.”
Upon arrival, scores of volunteers made themselves available to provide the necessary manpower needed to unload the relief flights. Planning and logistical support was led by Glennett Fowler CEO of local business FowlCo supported by the team at Grand Bahama Airport Company, with additional expertise provided by NGO Team Rubicon UK and the Special Projects Head from Maersk, Rob Townley. The collaborative effort has meant that the relief items from two enormous aircraft were offloaded safely, quickly and transferred to a secure warehouse.
The pallets of relief items will be distributed as part of the GBDRF’s distribution partnership with more than 130 churches and relief organizations on the island. The churches are able to identify the specific needs of the individuals and families in their respective congregations and prepare relief packages to address those needs.
The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation continues to provide relief to the community throughout Grand Bahama and is proud to have been identified by Amazon as a partner for its charitable initiatives. Persons interested in making donations or volunteering are encouraged to visit www.gbdisasterrelief.org for more information. To learn more about the Disaster Relief by Amazon team, visit www.amazon.com/disasterrelief.