Three juniors work to address Hurricane Dorian’s effects

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The Benefits for the Bahamas club offers Sacred Heart Greenwich Upper School students a new opportunity to apply Goal Three of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria.  Juniors Ella Drummey, Grace Lillis, and Shay Newman created the club this year to spread awareness about ongoing climate issues and the related tropical storms that struck the Bahamas in September.

Hurricane Dorian is the most intense tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas.  The hurricane hit the Abaco Islands, the northernmost islands of the Bahamas, with wind speeds of 125 miles per hour, September 1.  This Category Five hurricane, the worst natural disaster in the country’s history, has left 70,000 people homeless, according to oasishub.co.

Two weeks after Hurricane Dorian struck, a new storm, Tropical Storm Humberto, brought heavy rain to the Bahamas.  Rescuers feared that the strong winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding in the Bahamas will delay the efforts to find missing people after Hurricane Dorian, according to bbc.com

Shay, who has been traveling to the Bahamas for 17 years, has always considered the island her second home.  For 81 years, her family continues the tradition of vacationing on Harbour Island every Christmas and Spring Break.  Due to the destruction, Shay wants to support the Bahamas and the Bahamian people and hopes to help those who are in desperate need. 

Ella Drummey ’21, Grace Lillis ’21, and Shay Newman ’21 are the founders of the Benefits for the Bahamas Club.  Sofia Pye ’21

“My great-grandpa was one of the first non-residents on the Island.  When I think of the Bahamas, I think of happiness,” Shay said.  “Not only are the islands so beautiful, but the people are so compassionate.  Some of the best times of my life have been in the Bahamas.  The mission of Benefits for the Bahamas is to aid the people and the islands of the Bahamas with the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian.

 

Ella, Grace, and Shay also organized an Upper School civvies day to raise money for the damages.  Contributing to the cause, the Middle School held its own civvies day.  Together, through the Middle and Upper Schools’ donations, the Sacred Heart community raised over $2,000.  Sacred Heart donated the money to the Archdiocese of Nassau to assist the Bahamian people impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

Additionally, the club heads worked with Mrs. Maureen Considine, Director of Upper School Campus Ministry, to prepare an Upper School chapel service.  Seniors Eliza Stanley and Claire Chmiel shared reflections about Hurricane Dorian and its impact on the Bahamians.

Mrs. Kerry Bader, Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service, also assisted during the Chapel service.  She discussed the importance of uniting as a Sacred Heart community to help those in need. 

“Sacred Heart has a long history of supporting communities in crisis both domestically in places such as New Orleans and internationally in places like Uganda and Haiti,” Mrs. Bader said.  “When we witness destruction on the level of the Bahamas, our natural instinct is to try to help those in need.  Whenever possible, we try to involve all three divisions in recognition of the Sacred Heart Mission as communicated through Goal Three.”

Hurricane Dorian left many Bahamians without homes.  Courtesy of  latimes.com

Featured Image by nbcnews.com