Florida Keys refuges provide safe nesting and breeding areas for great white herons and other migratory birds. (Photo by Andy Newman, Florida Keys News Bureau)
- By: Carol Shaughnessy
- September 4, 2019
Relieved and grateful that the Florida Keys were spared impacts from Hurricane Dorian, many Keys groups and businesses are organizing efforts to assist people in the northwest Bahamas who felt the brunt of the hurricane’s devastating winds and water.
Among them is Key West Cares, a group founded by Key West city officials, business people, churches and individuals working with Bahamian representatives to aid hurricane victims — particularly those in Green Turtle Cay, whose village of New Plymouth has been Key West’s sister city since 1977.
The group’s Facebook page is rapidly becoming a clearing house for people to share information about efforts to help. Details and updates are added frequently, so people are advised to check the page regularly.
In addition, the group has posted lists of supplies that are urgently needed. Donations will be transported to the Bahamas as soon as possible. The website and Facebook page also feature links for monetary contributions through the CTC Network Inc., with all funds earmarked directly for the people of the Bahamas.
A “Key West Cares” benefit concert and auction is to be held Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Key West Theater, 512 Eaton St. Doors are to open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m.
According to the benefit’s organizer, Sheila Sands-Devendorf, items to be auctioned include 10 pounds of lobster and a porch party for 25 people at Key West’s Curry Mansion with an open bar, snacks and entertainment.
The Schooner Wolf is to hold a benefit sail Monday, Sept. 9, departing from Safe Harbour Marina at 6810 Front St.
In the Upper Keys, Islamorada is partnering with the Upper Key Rotary Club to help provide hurricane relief. Donations are requested through a PayPal link. The effort’s organizers said 100 percent of the donated funds will be used to purchase necessary supplies for delivery to the Abaco Islands, where Dorian made two landfalls as a Category 5 hurricane.
For those who wish to donate supplies rather than funds, a trailer will be set up at the Tavernier Towne shopping center at mile marker 91. More information and a list of needed supplies can be found here.
Other hurricane relief efforts around the Keys include:
— The Masonic Lodge in Tavernier at mile marker 91 will accept donations for Bahamas hurricane relief daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In Key West, donations may be presented at 1409 Atlantic Blvd. any time. Islamorada resident Billy Ray Flynn is coordinating monetary donations through a link here.
— Keys Animal Care Center at 501 Overseas Highway on Big Coppitt Key will accept any pet supply donations to be sent to the Bahamas.
— All Animal Clinic and Abigail & Stitch Pet Resort on Stock Island are accepting donations of pet food and bowls for the pets affected by Hurricane Dorian. People are requested to donate only these items until further notice, and can drop them off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 5505 5th Ave. For information, call 305-295-2444.