BRANFORD — Provided an opportunity to help with displaced Hurricane Dorian victims from the Bahamas, the Branford community delivered.
A group of around 40 women and children from the Bahamas will be staying for several weeks at Camp Anderson in Old Town and were in need of basic supplies: pillows, sheets, wash cloths, towels and personal hygiene items.
And that’s where Sharon Richardson and Stacy Young, employees at Branford Elementary School and Branford High School, went to work.
The two set up a donation drive before and after school and even before the Buccaneers’ home football game Friday night against rival Bell.
“It went wonderful,” Richardson said. “We had the big tailgating party before the game and Bell people even brought people to that. We took up a huge amount at that.”
All told, Branford has sent three trailer loads of supplies to the campground and currently has one more trailer to send after the FFA students at Branford High finish sorting through the items.
Richardson said the outpouring of support for the victims of the Category 5 hurricane has been so great that they are sorting through the items ahead of time.
“They are so bombarded over there with clothes, that we’re going to sort ours…and make it easier for them,” she said.
Richardson said they currently are not taking any more donations for the displaced victims, except plastic tubs to deliver the items in.
Richardson said originally her friend Wendy Cushman was contacted about trying to find homes to house the victims in before Camp Anderson stepped forward and provided the campground to keep them all together.
“It made it easier to get them food and everything,” Richardson said, adding the Anderson are even cooking some of the meals for the victims.
“Our community is just going, I knew they would jump right on this. And they did. They were like, ‘Oh yes, we want to.’ And people we don’t even know we’re calling and saying they wanted to join in.”
In addition to the Branford schools, the Suwannee schools are collecting items to send to those in need in the Bahamas as well. The schools have sent one trailer already and is still collecting donations of water, clothes, toiletries, etc., through Friday. Items may be dropped off at Suwannee Primary, Suwannee Elementary, Suwannee Intermediate, Suwannee Middle and Suwannee High schools.
Suwannee High School’s Student Government is also sponsoring a supply drive for those in the Bahamas, collecting water, canned food, first aid supplies and paper products.