NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans-based disaster relief organization is on the ground in the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian battered the islands for 36 hours nearly two weeks ago.
SBP is now putting its 14 years of experience to work in Freeport on Grand Bahama.
"Our team went to the west end yesterday and just saw complete devastation," SBP Chief Development Office Elizabeth Eglé said. "There was a 17-foot storm surge that completely took out two schools that they were able to see and it looks like a flat land. There's just nothing left there."
SBP, which started out as the St. Bernard Project after Hurricane Katrina, is focusing on rebuilding a children's home and hospital.
"They are literally unloading supplies from a plane, putting them on a truck and driving them to the areas that are needed," Eglé said.
SBP is raising money through a text to give campaign.
You may have seen their billboards on I-10.
Raising Canes and Latter and Blum have already each pledged to match donations up to $100,0000.
"If you lived through Hurricane Katrina, which we did and at that point I thought I was going to lose my company," Latter and Blum CEO Bob Merrick said. "You look at the pictures of what happened in the Bahamas, your heart has to go out to these people."
Merrick added that SBP has a great reputation of mobilizing quickly after a disaster.
"They were the obvious people to give money to," Merrick said.
Eglé hopes others will follow their lead.
"Our partners Abaco Outreach have access to planes and boats and teams on the ground who really know the area and are able to kind of work back channels to get the stuff where it needs to go," Eglé said. "The most important way for people can get involved is by donating cash."
You can make a $20 donation to help storm victims in the Bahamas by texting Dorian20 to 501501 or visit the SBP website at sbpusa.org.