TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The plight of thousands in the Bahamas made headlines this week as Hurricane Dorian bore down on the country, killing at least 20 people and leaving thousands of others displaced.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” said Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Monday, adding that the “devastation is unprecedented and extensive.”
Although the worst impacts were on the Bahamas, Dorian’s effects could be felt in Florida on Wednesday.
Now the storm has its sights set on Georgia and the Carolinas, forcing residents to flee. If it makes landfall, the impact could be severe.
“Now is the time to leave,” the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said in a statement Wednesday.
If you’ve been following the news, you may be wondering how you can help the victims. Fortunately, many local charities are responding to the tragedy.
If you’re looking for ways to support victims of Hurricane Dorian, consider donating to the following organizations:
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are hosting a supply drive Friday, September 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, September 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
LEGOLAND is offering discounted $25 single-day theme park tickets this Saturday and Sunday and donating a portion to assist Bahamas relief. LEGOLAND says $10 of each ticket sale will be donated to the American Red Cross.
The LEGOLAND Florida Resort will also serve as a collection point for guests wanting to donate items like nonperishable supplies like water, toiletries, baby products, radios, batteries, candles and bedding.
Park and collection hours this weekend are between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Learn more at www.legoland.com/relief/.
Sun ‘n Fun and Aerospace Center for Excellence
The two non-profit organizations have organized an effort to send supplies to Bahamians affected by Dorian. A receiving station will be available on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus to process and distribute the supplies.
Sun ‘n Fun will begin receiving non-perishable supplies Friday, Sept. 6 at 9 a.m. Those wishing to donate may drop off supplies at Hangar C on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus.
Hangar C is located at 4040 Laird Blvd., Lakeland, FL 33811.
The trampoline park is collecting various items and will give a free 120-Minute Jump Pass to everyone who donates an item on Wednesday.
“I can only imagine the fear the Bahamian people must feel,” said Jay Highley, owner of Sky Zone Tampa. “The aftermath of Hurricane Dorian is expected to be devastating to the islands and we will do everything we can to help them in any way possible.”
Here is a list of recommended items to donate:
- Non-perishable foods (canned food)
- Baby Supplies (Formula, diapers, etc.)
- OTC Medical Supplies (Neosporin, bandaids, etc.)
- Cleaning Supplies (Disinfecting wipes, trash bags, etc.)
- Hygiene Products (Deodorants, soap, etc.)
- Feminine Products (Pads, Tampons, etc.)
- Tents, Sleeping Bags, & Towels
- Flashlights & Batteries
- Mosquito Repellent
- Dried Pet Food
- Hand Sanitizer
Sky Zone Tampa is located at 10137 E. Adamo Drive.
For more information, contact Kat Flores at 813.833.1740 ext. 2000.
The St. Pete-based charity has been flying supplies from Tampa Bay to the Bahamas. They’ve been collecting everything from water to diapers, batteries and tarps.
For more information, visit Sol Relief’s website.
The grocery store’s parent company has launched a community donation program in all stores to raise funds for the American Red Cross. To make a donation, visit your local Winn-Dixie store.
Tampa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
The sorority is hosting a donation drive Saturday, Sept. 7 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tampa Heights Junior Association, 2005 N. Lamar Ave. in Tampa. Supplies will be loaded onto a truck and dropped off in Orlando, then transported to the Bahamas, where sorority members will distribute the donations.
JL Marine Systems, Inc.
The maker of Power-Pole Shallow Water Anchors is collecting supplies for those impacted by Dorian. The company is asking for batteries, generators, and cell phone and USB charging devices.
You can drop off supplies at the entrance of Power-Pole headquarters located at 9010 Palm River Road in Tampa, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 4 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET until Friday, Sept. 6.
Electa Lee Magnet Middle School
Teacher Richard Daenell and students who are members of the Future Business Leaders of America have been collecting monetary donations, food, clothes, hygiene items, water, and other items for victims of Hurricane Dorian.
You can drop off the items at the school, which is located at 4000 53rd Avenue West in Bradenton.
For more information, contact 941-727-6500 or email@example.com.
Haines City & Davenport police departments, Miracle Toyota
The Haines City Police Department has teamed up with the Davenport Police Department, Miracle Toyota and another agency to help those affected by the storm.
The agencies are collecting various items at three offices in Tampa Bay.
Haines City Police Department, 35400 US-27, Haines City,
Davenport Police Department, 16 Bay St W, Davenport
Miracle Toyota, 37048 US-27, Haines City
Diesel Life in Auburndale
A spokesman from the City of Auburndale said the local business has set up a GoFundMe page to help victims.
“ALL MONIES COLLECTED will go toward water, food, diapers, and delivering supplies by boats,” the page reads.
If you have a boat and are interested in helping them transport supplies, contact Ashley Feldkamp at 863-221-6382.
NOTE: News Channel 8 will be adding to this list of organizations asking for donations. If you have a donation drive the public should know about, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check if a charity is reputable, go to Florida’s Check-A-Charity website. The online tool tells donors whether a charitable organization was properly registered. You can also call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).