YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — One week after Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas, people are in need of help. That’s why the local community is rallying together to support the victims.
Days after the then-Category 5 storm battered parts of the Bahamas, search-and-rescue teams continue their search for survivors. As of Wednesday afternoon, 45 people were reported dead, but that number is expected to grow.
More than 1,100 miles away, the death and destruction was on everyone’s minds at a volunteer event in Yonkers, CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported.
“I look at some of the areas in the Bahamas and it looks like someone literally went … and just flattened them out,” Sonia Sandoval said.
Sandoval was one of hundreds of people prepping medical and humanitarian shipments to send to the islands. After being traumatized by Hurricane Maria, she said she wanted to give back.
“Several weeks I didn’t hear from family and that was rough, so now it’s hard to see the Bahamas go through it. We have to help because they’re our neighbors,” Sandoval said.
Shamima Momtez agreed. She took her 5-year-old daughter out of school to help.
“It can happen to us and it can happen to a lot more other communities, so it’s important to remember that,” Momtez said.
The AFYA Foundation, which put together the event, said the supply kits will be sent to the Bahamas by early next week.
Organizers said there’s still plenty of need for donations. They are collecting everyday items, including diapers, toothpaste and deodorant.
Not far away, the Bahamas Consulate in New York is also collecting donations. Flory Stanisas said she doesn’t know anyone impacted by the hurricane but dropped off food anyway.
“I don’t have too much, but I’ll give to someone in need,” Stanisas said.
“The response has been great, not just from Bahamians living in the United States but members of the community here,” Bahamas Consul General Lawrence Cartwright said.
Back in Yonkers, volunteers said on 9/11, a day of remembrance, it is more important than ever to give back to those in need.
The AFYA Foundation and the Bahamas consul general said they will be accepting donations for Bahamian victims for the rest of the month. To find out how you can help, please click here.