We all know that in an effort to increase ratings and viewership, the media wants to show the most sensational images of any disaster. This has also been true of the disaster in the Bahamas, particularly on the island of Abaco. Well, we have been in touch directly with friends in both Marsh Harbour and Sandy Point. Things are indeed dire! The news media has actually undersold the magnitude of this horrific human disaster.
Here’s a the latest information on what we have, keep in mind that the situation is ever changing and I will keep you up to date as new developments materialize.
Since last week, I have been working to get relief and supplies to Sandy Point. The biggest challenge has been the plane or ship and their willingness to go to Sandy Point vs. Marsh, Freeport or other areas. Moreover, the typical NGOs are accepting donations but not allowing specific items to be sent to a specific area or person. Additional challenge has been restrictions on what type of cargo can be transported on the cruise and traditional cargo ships.
What has been worked out now through World Hope International and Yacht Aid Global. We have a private 365 ft yacht that is going to be departing Ft. Lauderdale or Miami Friday or Saturday of this week. It has a helipad, crane, (2) tenders and crew (37). Crew includes captain, nurse, electricians, engineers, stewards, etc. The crew can also disembark and help where needed for immediate needs as well as evaluate the situation for what needs to happen next for longer term infrastructure repair / rebuild : electricians, mechanical engineers, etc. The ship has capacity to load (2) 20 ft shipping containers and 300 pallets. One of the tenders is an inflatable so it can get into really hard to get to areas.
They agreed to allow us to determine what supplies go and where they go (for the most part). In addition to Sandy Point, the stops for aid will be Freeport, Baker’s Bay and other spots around Abaco. The catch is that they need someone to run point (CEO) the deal and said that we can use the yacht if I would agree to manage it. Admittedly, I am nervous about taking it on as I didn’t plan to be out the office AND I haven’t managed a relief effort before. I am trusting that God has blessed me with a certain set of skills that have prepared me for this wild adventure. I will have access and support of the World Hope International and Yacht Aid Global team and staff, but will need to be the executive in charge. This has been the only option that I have found for us to be able to dictate where / whom the supplies go. My heart is broken for Ricardo, Perry, Kirk, Willy and all the peoples in Sandy Point. I would also appreciate it if anyone else can make it to S. FL by Saturday to go with me.
SO HERE WE ARE.
Here’s the list of items that we have from our friends in Sandy Point:
The ship can make it’s own water and we already have procured these potable water bladders (10,000 gallon capacity). Ship can produce about 20,000 gallons of water a day AND can also make ICE.
World Hope International can and will procure all of the necessary supplies, so we can funnel the cash through them for all of the traditional tax advantages. They will procure them on a pledge, so we don’t have to get all of the money together today. What we need is the commitments of support. The cost of the ship, fuel for the ship, crew, heli, transportation has all been donated and will be no cost to us. We just need to be able to fill the ship. World Hope International is estimating that it will take about $200k - $250k+. I am in for at least $25k. The more we can commit to the more of the high dollar items like generators we can get. I prayed for a boat. I was thinking how great it would be if I could get access to 50 ft fishing boat…..God’s plan was bigger.