By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF) has partnered with local clergy on the island continue to assist those impacted by Hurricane Dorian,
The GBDRF is an organisation formed by the directors of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) to focus solely on restoring and rebuilding the island they manage.
Immediately after the all-clear was given following the storm, the GBDRF launched a multi-layered relief initiative that has evolved from rescue missions, medical aid, and provision of life-saving supplies to now working with local churches to distribute aid to every corner of Grand Bahama.
This mission, the GBDRF said, could not have been accomplished without the assistance of over 50 churches, including Abundant Life Assembly of God, Blessed Hope Seventh Day Church, Freeport Bible Church, Home for the Aged and numerous others.
"We know we needed to engage with those already tuned in the needs of the people to get our relief in the hands of the most vulnerable," said Henry St George, co-CEO of the GBDRF and vice president of the GBPA. "Rupert Hayward and I connected with Pastor Eddie Victor, pastor of Living Water Assembly of God and president of the National Pastors Alliance, who then pulled in over 50 churches and organisations.
"We know we needed to engage with those already tuned in the needs of the people to get our relief in the hands of the most vulnerable," said Henry St. George, Co-CEO of the GBDRF and Vice President of the GBPA.
What also helped efforts in Grand Bahama was aid provided by International IsraAid, an Israel-based international non-governmental organisation.
"Thousands of families have already been impacted by the relief supplies from the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation," Mr St George noted. "Working with a network of pastors from throughout Grand Bahama, from West End, Holmes Rock, Eight Mile Rock Freeport, Freetown, High Rock, Pelican Point, McClean's Town to Sweetings' Cay, these pastors are serving the people in all communities and are committed to working toward helping all those who were affected by Hurricane Dorian."
Through this alliance, thousands are being provided with access to the much-needed help, right in their neighbourhoods, he added
"In the book of Acts, the Bible tells us that it's better to give than to receive. As a God-fearing people, Dorian has really given us all the opportunity to prove that piece of scripture true," said Pastor Victor.
"This is not just an opportunity for the Church to play an active role in the rebuilding of our community but to once again create a safe space for all Grand Bahamians."
As relief efforts continue, the organisation posts daily reports on social media of aid that has been distributed.
"Transparency is of utmost importance to us," said Mr St George. "We have put together a dedicated team to make sure that we track each item we distribute, that we catalogue where and who takes our aid, and that we report it to our donors."
The GBDRF team will now look to refocus its efforts, changing donation requests from non-perishable food items to building supplies in an effort to rebuild the island from east to west.