WeatherHurricaneBahamas after Dorian

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Palm Beach Gardens family wants to open home to Hurricane Dorian victims

Posted: 2:52 PM, Sep 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-11 19:19:58-04
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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The devastation and destruction left behind by Hurricane Dorian has inspired many people in our community to help our Bahamian neighbors.

RELATED: Help victims of Hurricane Dorian

Outside a humble home in Palm Beach Gardens, you’ll find a warm message.

"I have a sign on my door that says welcome, and that’s exactly what it means. Welcome," said Mary Dasilva.

Dasilva stands by that simple world. As a mother, grandmother, and dog mom, she’s used to a full house. So when she saw Bahamian families devastated by Hurricane Dorian, she said her first instinct was to help.

"I’m not the richest person, but my wealth is what I can give to them," said Dasilva.

For Dasilva, that means opening her home to a family displaced by the hurricane, and giving them shelter and support.

"I want to know that these kids feel safe, that these moms know that there are people out there that are willing to help," said Dasilva.

"The response was almost overwhelming from people who just wanted to give, get involved, and do whatever they possibly could to help," said Lexi Savage with the United Way of Palm Beach County.

Savage recommends researching an organization before getting involved.

"Do your due diligence, do your research," said Savage. "Any non-profit can be looked up on Guidestar or Charity Navigator. Those are great resources because you want to make sure you’re connecting with a non-profit program that can do the most good."

After around 1,400 evacuees arrived in Palm Beach County by cruise ship on Saturday, officials said 68 people needed emergency shelter and are now in temporary housing.

Savage said the United Way is working with the county and other partners to help families who have taken in loved ones impacted by the hurricane.

"That means that those local families and friends that are helping them now will feel additional burden of having those families in their homes," said Savage.

If you'd like to help those families, visit the United Way of Palm Beach County's website by clicking here.