The Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), the charitable arm of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), continues to support Grand Bahama in times of need. COVID-19 has impacted all residents, including those who are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Dorian, and GBDRF has partnered with Reach Out Youth Organization (ROYO) to help feed thousands of struggling families.
ROYO, led by President Dudley Seide, is a non-profit organization that works with at-risk and inner-city youth to provide wholesome activities and help them realize their true potential. With GBDRF’s weekly donation, ROYO’s Community Centre has fed over 7,000 families over the past five weeks.
“Dudley reached out to me to help with a new food provision campaign,” said GBPA President and GBDRF Director, Ian Rolle. “I’ve known Dudley for years, and both the GBPA and I have supported his organization’s efforts in the past. We have walked his Ministry neighbourhood and I have seen how people respect him and how he takes care of them. There are very few persons who sacrifice their own financial well-being and time for charity work, and Dudley is one of those unique people.”
“When GBDRF solidified their weekly commitment, for which we are so grateful, it was easier for us to gain other assistance,” said Mr. Seide. “This week, we received over $50,000 in donations from Sawyers, PharmaChem, BWA and FOCOL. We had people lined up from 5:00 a.m. to receive our packed grocery bags, which were valued at over $200 and included basic necessities, meat and other supplies.”
With GBDRF’s support, the Organization provides food for anywhere from 15 to 60 families per day. With this additional donation, Seide and his team were able to feed over 1,200 families.
ROYO reaches families in need via WhatsApp, and adds to the database based on information from other families. “There’s no hoarding going on here,” added Mr. Seide. “Those who need help message their name, and the numbers and ages of people in their household, and we help the best we can.”
As the country heads into a slow and methodical reopening, it is hoped that many residents will return to work and that families currently in need will prosper again. “No family should go hungry,” said Acting Chairman, Sarah St. George. “As we’ve seen over and over again, charitable organizations, licensees and fellow citizens work together to help each other recover and survive in difficult times. This is Grand Bahama, and that’s what we do.”