New York, NY – According to the Red Cross, Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, devastated much of the northern section of The Bahamas when it hit last month, leaving 13,000 homes flattened or destroyed in the wake of its 185 mph winds.
At the time of this writing, approximately 2,500 people have been reported missing – 61 people are confirmed dead.
Since October 5, over a dozen members of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters’ nine local unions [NYCDCC] have signed up to volunteer their time and skills in the rebuilding efforts following the widespread devastation.
One of the members of Bahamian descent was appreciative of the help that his union family will bring to the island.
“I am proud to be a carpenter for a union that is helping to rebuild the Bahamas,” said Eugene Hart, a 21-year member of the union. “It shows a lot of compassion as the union cares about people they do not know directly. It is a blessing to my family and to everyone who needs help.”
Hart has four brothers, a sister and extended family that live in Freeport, located in the northwest section of The Bahamas.
“Many of our members have family and friends affected by this tragic disaster and a big part of what we believe in is being there for every community,” said NYCDCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Geiger. “The carpenters I have the privilege to know have a valuable skillset and are uniquely equipped to make an impact especially for those in need in New York City and abroad.”
The first wave of union members were deployed to The Bahamas October 5 through October 10. A second wave will be in the islands from October 12 to October 17. Still another group will be there between October 19 and October 26.
NYCDCC is working with Heart 9/11, a disaster-relief organization that is on the ground mobilizing both the rebuilding and recovery efforts after Hurricane Dorian hit last month and left many families homeless.
The union will be actively working to improve safety and living conditions for the families as well as individuals living in The Bahamas.
“From rebuilding our communities at home after Hurricane Sandy, to helping recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and now volunteering time and skills to rebuild communities in the Bahamas, our members always show up to lend a helping hand,” Geiger added. “Building is what we do best – we’re proud to use that strength to make positive impacts.”