WeatherHurricaneBahamas after Dorian

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Volunteers deliver holiday hope to Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas

Posted at 11:47 AM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 18:14:37-05

FREEPORT, Bahamas — The presents, the tree, the cheer ... all are synonymous with the holidays.

But the lights won't be bright in one area. Many Bahamians ravaged by Hurricane Dorian in early September remain in the dark about their future.

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"Everything has to start from scratch," said Zania Bowleg.

Bowleg is a Freeport native. She's about to embark on her 30th trip back home since Hurricane Dorian's devastation.

"We don't want the year to end in a depressing state, so we're trying to buy toys to take to kids and give them something to look forward too," said Bowleg.

Three months after ferocious Category 5 winds ravaged the islands, dark living conditions are still unbearable.

"There are people still living in tents, there are still people without proper care," said Kristen Weardon of Naples, who jumped at the chance to help when she found Zania on social media. To date, Weardon has singlehandedly taken more supplies than most.

"Three boats, two planes, two 26-foot box trucks, and two semis," said Weardon, who operates KW Consulting in Southwest Florida.

More than anything, the infrastructure remains compromised. Families living on the floor with a sleeping bag are torn between fixing dry wall or putting on a new roof.

"There's so many layers. You have to think ahead before you even take a box of diapers," said Weardon.

Perhaps the biggest gift being shipped is hope. Knowing locals helping locals can rebuild lives one day at a time, especially around the holidays.

There is an Amazon Wish List for people in the Bahamas. If you would like to help the Bahamas United International Foundation Inc., contact Zania Bowleg on Facebook, or at 561-846-9731.

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