Local groups organize donation drives to help Dorian victims in Bahamas

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a weekend of giving across South Florida as local organizations gave residents an opportunity to drop off supplies to help the people of the Bahamas still reeling from Hurricane Dorian’s path of destruction.

North Miami Beach residents came together to celebrate diversity as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Saturday night, but this year’s music-driven festivities became a mission to collect donations for victims of the storm.

“It really hits home and it touched my heart to see how many people are giving,” said North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo.

DeFillipo said he is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the donations.

“We have a lot of supplies coming from people. We’ve already given five trucks’ loads full.”

Saturday was packed with drives and events throughout the area, like the United Way’s 5K in Coral Gables.

“We’re celebrating 95 years of United Way in the Miami-Dade community,” said a spokesperson.

The event doubled as a donation site for hurricane supplies, as boxes of donated items were loaded into a truck to help the island nation.

People also dropped off donations in Miami Springs, where organizers loaded up a trailer with first aid supplies, food, diapers and formula.

Organizers said they were heartened by by the support the South Florida community has shown in Dorian’s aftermath.

“If me and everybody comes together, we can really make a difference in the world,” said organizer Javier Gorguis.

It was a similar sight at New Season Church in Lauderhill, where the generosity continued to flow in.

“We have a responsibility in this area to help the people as much as we can,” said the Rev. Stephen Buchanan, the church’s pastor.

Authorities said the recovery in the Bahamas is expected to take years, and while the need is great now, it will be even greater in the years to come.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will be sending supplies to the hardest-hit areas.

“The United States is proud to stand with our neighbors and will continue to stand with our neighbors and friends in the Bahamas as we respond to and help them rebuild from this terrible storm,” said Mark Green with USAID.

For a list of donation sites in South Florida, click here.

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