Bahamian community rallies to bring aid to Dorian victims
The Miami-Dade County School Board on Wednesday voted to turn more than 300 of its schools into collection sites for Hurricane Dorian relief supplies.
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho proposed waiving rules restricting fundraising at schools to make it easier for communities to donate funds and supplies for those affected by the monstrous storm in the Caribbean, particularly in the Bahamas. The proposal was unanimously approved by the board.
Carvalho said during the meeting that he will be raising funds through his nonprofit, the Foundation for New Education Initiatives, and in partnership with the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald, which have activated an Operation Helping Hands fund for Hurricane Dorian relief.
“Silence and inaction is not in our DNA,” he said.
The supplies, he said, will be collected and transported to the Bahamas by Royal Caribbean International.
The school district will also host a benefit concert to raise money for the Bahamas. Carvalho encouraged interested students, parents, staff and even School Board members to submit audition tapes to PSuarez@dadeschools.net.
As with all natural disasters, Carvalho said the district is ready to provide direct counseling to students affected. The district, he said, is also ready to activate its influx plan to accommodate displaced children from the Caribbean. The district accepted hundreds of students and staff from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Decommissioned but functioning school buses and educational equipment may also be sent to the Bahamas, “to begin the normalization process as quickly and as swiftly as possible,” Carvalho said, adding that the district is also equipped to transmit digital “educational services” to the island nation.
School Board member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall said the Brownsville center named after her has been “overloading” in donations. She encouraged everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, to volunteer and donate supplies to the Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Social-Economic Institute at 5120 NW 24th Ave.