BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE: Georgia Southern students who are from the Bahamas hoped to organize a drive to collect supplies to send back home, but community members are stepping in.
A handful of the 19 students met with members of local nonprofit groups.
Community members learned the students’ families are isolated and have no way to support them here. The groups are matching up local families, churches, or groups to unofficially adopt them and help them with supplies, groceries, and other essentials so they can stay in school.
“They reached out to us when they saw us try to help ourselves, and that’s really a blessing from God," said GSU students, Peter Williams and Philysse Forbes. “Thank you Statesboro.”
Peter says a few of them have been able to reach family members by telephone to check on them, but service and electricity remain spotty at best.
Meanwhile, local volunteers are trying to figure out how to get some of the collected supplies from here to the Bahamas.
The devastation in the Bahamas and the Carolinas have people in Statesboro jumping in to help.
Organizers already have some supplies collected to go to victims in the Carolinas left behind by Hurricane Dorian.
John Long with Christian Social Ministries rolled barrels into banks and other places for people to drop off cleaning supplies, non-perishable food and anything else. He says the drive began as soon as Dorian passed by the area.
“As soon as we knew we were out of the cross hairs, we started looking and making plans,” Long said.
They’ve made contacts with friends who live in the devastated areas to figure out how and where they’ll deliver. Friday afternoon, organizers met with some of the 19 Georgia Southern students from the Bahamas. Local pilots hope to fly them home to check on their families, but also find out what supplies they can send their way to help people who lost so much.
“One person can’t help everybody, but everybody can help one person. When you get help like this, you can’t help but turn around and help somebody else,” said GSU student, Brittani Swain.
Organizers say they still remember the damage Hurricane Matthew did here, and the help that came their way.
“I can remember going down the road and cutting trees to get through and helping people get out of their homes. I can remember the days without power,” Long said.
They have confidence the community will respond.
Below is a list of drop-off locations:
- Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office
- Bulloch County Annex Building on N Main
- Fostering Bulloch at N. Walnut and Elm
- Christian Social Ministries at 122 E. Parrish or College Plaza (next to the Dollar Tree)
- Synovus Bank on Fair Road
- Weichert Realtors across from IHOP
For more information, call John Long with CSM at 912.512.0107, or Chris Yawn with Fostering Bulloch at 912.690.2498.