Shipping company organizes donation drive for Bahamas

First ship from Betty K Agencies to arrive in Bahamas Friday

MIAMI – Shipping company Betty K Agencies organized a donation drive this week for those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, as many of their employees and clients were born there.

"This is really personal for us," Ashley Dalberiste said. "Like I said, our headquarters is located in Nassau, Bahamas, and we see these people. We know them, so this is really just a different level of hurt that's hitting us, as well. So we had to step up and do what was necessary."

And what's necessary is getting tons of water, canned foods, diapers and more supplies quickly to the people who need it the most.

The Miami River Commission is making sure the ships don't encounter any last-minute delays upon departure or arrival in the Bahamas.

"These ships don't draw much water. They don't require deep-water ports, so they can go close to the Bahama islands and into the shallow draft ports of the Bahama islands to go right up to the wharf to unload, and big boats can't do that," said Horacio Aguirre, of the Miami River Commission.

The ship will set sail soon and is expected to arrive in Nassau sometime Friday morning, where the cargo will be offloaded and received by a very important organization, the National Emergency Management Agency, or NEMA.

"NEMA will be receiving the items from Nassau and, from there, they go on to Abaco, and then Freeport," Dalberiste said. "NEMA is basically like FEMA here in the USA."

Relief supplies are continuing to be collected between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 3611 NW S. River Drive in Miami, as well as between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. at 3701 NW S. River Drive in Miami.

The need to help is just as strong at another collection site, Dolphin Mall, where city and law enforcement agencies have set up a drop-off site for pet food, baby items and sleeping material.

The devastation caused by Dorian means the need will be long-lasting.


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