Statesboro community rallies around Bahamian students after Hurricane Dorian

Tatiana Joseph-Saunders

STATESBORO—The Statesboro community has come together to help Georgia Southern University students affected by Hurricane Dorian.  

Local organizations have reached out to Bahamian GS students, and have worked to figure out ways to help their families who have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian. 

John Long with Christian Social Ministries has made a huge effort by supporting students going through such a difficult time. 

“We have people that are providing aircraft, we are coordinating with as many people as we can to help [the Bahamaian students] with their immediate needs,” Long said.

CSM hopes to ship supplies to those families who have lost their homes or their previous way of life and plan to make the first trip during the week of Sept. 9.

CSM is also hosting drives and encourages students to donate non-clothing items that would be necessary to rebuild your daily way of life, as if you had to start from the ground-up. Some examples are towels, soap and toothbrushes. 

The Bulloch chapter of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, VOAD, is also helping through the web platform Grice Connect.

DeWayne Grice, along with David and Fayebeth Ball, organized a luncheon Sept. 7 and 23 students attended. At this luncheon, the Bahamian students shared how they are worried about surviving financially while their parents are worried about simply surviving. 

Later, Grice and VOAD found that a total of 38 students were financially affected by Hurricane Dorian.

We put a call out on social media and through local churches and other organizations for help,” Grice said. “As of now, all 14 of the college students have been matched with either individuals or organizations that have ‘adopted’ them.”

Students with families affected are still astounded by all of the help they have received over the past few days.

“(Statesboro organizations) are extremely supportive,” Brittni Swain, a GS student organizer of the local Hurricane Dorian relief said. “They are helping us financially, emotionally & spiritually. They have helped us gather families around Statesboro to adopt each Bahamian student, to get through this difficult time.”

These are the donation centers open to those who wish to provide aid to families affected by Hurricane Dorian.

-Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office

-Bulloch County Annex Building on N Main

-Fostering Bulloch at N. Walnut and Elm

-Christian Social Ministries at 122 E. Parrish or College Plaza (next to the Dollar Tree)

-Synovus Bank on Fair Road

-Weichert Realtors across from IHOP

“We just want to encourage our fellow eagles, whether current or alum, to be very sensitive towards our situation,” Swain said. “We appreciate all donations & would like everyone to volunteer with CSM, Foresting Bulloch & VOAD because all the help we can get is appreciated. Donations are still being gathered on campus to take back to The Bahamas.”

Tatiana Joseph-Saunders, The George-Anne News Reporter,