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Volunteers take 'a break from their day jobs' in support of humanitarian efforts

Posted: 9:39 PM, Sep 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-06 22:11:53-04
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PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — More aid is on the way to the Bahamas. Whether it’s by boat or by air. And there’s an army of volunteers growing in numbers. They’re people who decided to take a break from their day jobs to ensure planes are loaded with donations collected county wide.

”It wasn’t like I made a choice - I just knew i had to be here,” said Gladys Van Otteren, a Palm Beach county real estate agent and with Eagles’ Wings Foundation volunteer.

Van Otteren is part a growing number of volunteers who have ensured approximately 30 flights in the last three days have left Lantana Airport with humanitarian aid.

“We’re doing everything we can to help our fellow human beings,” she said.

She’s not alone. Edward Hinckley is one of dozen local pilots who’s donating his airplane, time and fuel to ensure things like generators, power cords, cleaning products, hygiene essentials and non-perishables arrive in Treasure Cay, where they’ll be distributed to the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

”This is your chance to give back,” said Hinckley.

Volunteers are working in collaboration with Eagles’ Wings Foundation at their warehouse donations are moved out as fast as they arrive. The bulk coming from businesses in the City of West Palm Beach and the Town of Palm Beach.

“We have up to about 75 cooperative drop-off sites right now and we’re working with hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals right now to collect those donations and get those financial donations to the Bahamas,” said Amy Simion, Wagles’ Wings Foundation volunteer.

The next humanitarian aid flight from Lantana Airport is scheduled to leave Saturday morning.