A man went shopping in Costco yesterday. He bought peas, beans, coffee, salt, pepper… and 100 generators to help the Hurricane Dorian-ravaged Bahamas.
The gentleman – who wishes to remain anonymous and wants the focus to be kept on helping those in need – made his mega-purchase at a Costco in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 4.
At $450-per-generator, the shopper amassed a bill of $49,285.70 at the checkout, and it’s all heading straight to the Bahamian islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco by boat.
The unnamed farmer from Jacksonville told CNN:
About 100 generators and a truck load of food and chainsaws are all going over by boat on Thursday [September 5] to Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas. It’s terrible and I’m sure you’ve seen the photos,
It’s important that we help each other out. It’s better than just sitting there. You see a need and you fill it.
The Category 5 beast is the strongest storm to make landfall in the country, causing ‘generational devastation’ to entire neighbourhoods.
It’s already carrying a heavy toll, taking the lives of 20 people so far. However, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said: ‘We expect that this number will increase.’
Despite the man wanting his good deed to remain discreet, a fellow customer, Alex Sprague, noticed his actions. He wrote online: ‘All I could do was shake his hand and thank him! There still are good people in the world!’
In order to transport the generators and other amenities to the Bahamas, trucks will drive the supplies to Stuart, Florida, about 250 miles south. The farmer said he has a storage facility set up there so the items could then be transported to the Bahamas by boat.
Errol Thurston runs a guide service in Marsh Harbour, a town in the Abaco Islands. A local Bahamian and longtime friend of the farmer since the 2000s, he’s a key cog in the machine behind the plan.
Thurston, whose hometown was destroyed by the hurricane, left the island to take a client’s boat to safety in Florida days before the storm. He’s with his wife, Mercedes, who lives and works in Florida as a dean at a high school.
He’s using his network of friends and boaters to assist in transporting the mass of supplies. Thurston said: We are trying to book a slot on a container ship that regularly services the Abacos and Grand Bahama. The guys are doing everything in their power to get us in a slot there. They know the desperation the people really need these items.’
If that plan doesn’t work out, Thurston is going to rely on more boats and more planes:
We have a lot of guys with planes to take it over. There are hundreds of local captains with boats who are ready on standby to take the generators and chainsaws by boat.
Food and water is a top priority for the islands. While planes will handle the heavier items, like generators, boats will tale tarps, food, water, medicine and other necessities.
Thurston’s wife Mercedes is also a Florida native who calls Abaco home. She told CNN:
Abaco is my husband’s home and it’s my home, too. So we’re heartbroken.
They are the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life. They have the biggest hearts. I feel like it’s our duty to step up and help them get back on their feet they will rebuild.
This good samaritan farmer isn’t the only one doing his bit for those in need. An incredibly thoughtful young boy has been praised for donating money which he carefully saved for a trip to Disneyland to buy food for Hurricane Dorian evacuees.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.