Just a day after Hurricane Dorian departed the Bahamas, leaving at least seven people dead and untold destruction in its wake, the country’s consulate general in Atlanta has already sprung into action mobilizing emergency supplies and funds from around its 10-state territory.
Atlanta-based Consul General Astra Armbrister-Rolle called it “the worst storm our country has ever seen” and said the consulate would be coordinating with its counterpart in Miami to ensure donations get to those on the ground.
Her comments echoed Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, who said the Bahamas was in “a state of war” during the hurricane with no defense against nature’s relentless assault.
“I have spoken to many of our Bahamians living abroad and friends of The Bahamas who are watching in horror as our islands are battered. We all feel helpless and are restless, waiting for the worst to be behind us,” Ms. Armbrister-Rolle wrote in a Facebook post on her personal account Monday afternoon.
“I want to personally thank those Bahamians and friends of The Bahamas that have called and offered prayers and support,” Consul General Armbrister-Rolle said. “The responses are pouring in from people who are willing and ready to assist. The consulate in Atlanta has already begun receiving donations of relief items and will continue to accept donations until the relief effort is complete.”
Where to Give
The consulate has published three locations where concerned Atlantans can drop off supplies:
1. Consulate General of the Bahamas in Atlanta
2. Conch Heaven Restaurant — Doraville
3. Conch Heaven Restaurant — Riverdale:
The consulate has also posted instructions for monetary donations to be sent to a relief fund account in the Bahamas, both in U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar funds:
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc., which flies to multiple destinations in the Bahamas, announced Wednesday it had donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts. That’s over and above a $1 million annual grant to the relief agency. Delta customers can also give through a Delta microsite or contribute SkyMiles to nonprofit organizations through its SkyWish program.
Atlanta’s Caribbean community, from business groups like the Georgia Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce to the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation, have been circulating messages of support and calls for assistance on social media.
What to Give
The consulate is asking for the following supplies:
- Nonperishable food
- First Aid Items
- Cleaning Supplies
- Canned Goods
- NEW bed pillows
- NEW blankets
- Box fans
- Utility knives
- Leather work gloves
- Hand sanitizer
- Water filters
- Desalinization devices
- Water purification tablets
- Solar panels
- Solar powered phone chargers
- Bio lite stoves
- Family hygiene kits
- Baby items/supplies
- Plastic water bottles
- Portable potties
A relief line has been set up at the consulate at (404) 214-0492, and the consulate can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the Bahamas Consulate General’s Facebook page here for ongoing updates from the government’s official outpost here in Atlanta. Global Atlanta will post any further updates within this article.
Ms. Armbrister-Rolle is also organizing a relief drive the evening of Thursday, Sept. 5 beginning at 5 p.m. at The Gathering Spot. Learn more about the Stronger Together event here.
She expressed hope that the island will bounce back with the help of partners in the U.S. and beyond.
“We are a resilient nation and coupled with the strength of our international community, we will certainly overcome.”
Ms. Armbrister-Rolle early in her tenure participated in a Global Atlanta Consular Conversation where she made prescient comments about the need for infrastructure upgrades to prepare for future storms after the Bahamas was left largely unscathed by Hurricane Maria.
Read more from that interview here, which outlines the many ways Atlanta is connected to the island nation in areas such as business, film, civil rights, tourism and culture:
She also presided over an investment forum that focused heavily on agriculture and technology last November. Read more about that here.