|Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM
Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville (second from right) joined Lance Brown (right), Branch President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (GB); Scott Lewis, Pathfinders Task Force Leader (left) and NEMA’s Warehouse Manager, Tammy Mitchell (second from left) for the donation of building supplies to NEMA’s Warehouse on Friday morning, January 6, 2017. Both Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Pathfinders Task Force joined efforts to bring more than $250,000 worth of building material and food items to The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Minister Darville was on hand to receive a portion of those supplies into Grand Bahama. Third from left is Carol Lewis. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - Thanks to a partnership between the Pathfinders Task Force and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a quarter of a million dollars worth of supplies (including food) have been donated to The Bahamas as a part of ongoing relief efforts following the passing of Hurricane Matthew.
A great portion of the donations was delivered to Grand Bahama.
Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville on Friday, January 6, 2017 said that the supplies donated will go a long way for Grand Bahama residents, many of whom are still in need of such supplies, particularly building materials.
“On behalf of NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency), the Minister responsible (Hon. Shane Gibson) and myself, we would like to thank the Pathfinders Task Force and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for their gifts of love,” said Minister Darville during a presentation of building supplies at NEMA’s warehouse.
“When a disaster such as a hurricane hits, in the aftermath people donate willingly in the heat of the moment. But to have these two organizations continuing to make donations to local residents long after the storm has passed means a great deal.”
Minister Darville noted that both the Pathfinders Task Force and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are working in conjunction with NEMA, the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Renewal to ensure that those in need receive the donated supplies.
He thanked the international organizations for their ongoing support in the restoration process presently conducted on Grand Bahama and throughout The Bahamas.
“After a hurricane is over, people have the tendency not to come forward with donations anymore, so to have groups like Pathfinders Task Force and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints continuing to give and donate supplies, including food items, to the residents of Grand Bahama as a humanitarian effort -- it speaks a lot for such organizations,” Minister Darville added.
The initial donations from Pathfinders Task Force to The Bahamas were mainly food items, but recently more focus has been on the donation of building supplies and materials. Friday’s presentation included mostly roofing materials.
NEMA’s Warehouse manager, Tammy Mitchell said that distribution of supplies happens through the Department of Social Services, where local residents report their need and a list is created and passed on to NEMA.
“We have been supplied with a list of names of residents from Social Services and from that list we will begin the distribution process of these items to persons who basically have minor damages to their homes.
“We’re finding that a number of people who may be in need are still getting lost in the cracks, so what we’re doing now is trying to reach those people and assist them as best as we can with what has been donated.”
Scott Lewis, Pathfinders Task Force Leader, said that his organization has had a long history in assisting Bahamian residents in the aftermath of major hurricanes. Since stepping forward to offer help when Hurricane Floyd had hit Grand Bahama, their organization has been giving and donating supplies and food items to The Bahamas.
This marks the 18th year that Pathfinders Task Force has been working with other organizations in the United States to bring supplies to islands devastated by hurricanes and natural disasters.
“We’ve become sort of a trusted agent for U.S. organizations to donate and ensure that their donations get to the right people, and NEMA has been terrific in helping with that,” said Scott Lewis.
“We rode out Hurricane Matthew in The Bahamas, and we were among the first group of workers on the ground two days after the storm here in Freeport.”
Lance Brown, Branch President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Grand Bahama, said that Pathfinders Task Force operated as their middle man and helped to identify the proper local agencies with which they could work to distribute the supplies that have been donated.
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