Nonprofit founded by Columbia doctor to send volunteers to the Bahamas

8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, September 10 2019 Sep 10, 2019 Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:09:00 PM CDT September 10, 2019 in News
By: Jacob Horton, Columbia Missourian
loading

COLUMBIA - Stephen Griffith and his wife, Laura Griffith, will likely not recognize the Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas when they and a group of volunteers fly there on Sept. 29 to help with hurricane recovery efforts.

“The trees that were so lush and green now look like twigs,” Stephen Griffith said while looking at photos of the island, which was devastated by Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 1.

The Category 5 hurricane had wind gusts of up to 200 mph, according to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The official death toll stands at 45.

The Griffiths lived in Columbia until recently when they moved to Marathon, Florida. Stephen Griffith still works part time at the VA in Columbia. They have been visiting friends in the Abaco Islands for the past eight years. Stephen Griffith said he thinks that’s part of the reason he and his wife were chosen to lead the volunteer team that will be sent to the islands by Global First Responder, a nonprofit that provides healthcare, community development and disaster relief. The organization was founded by Adam Beckett, a physician from Columbia who works at University Hospital.

The team of seven volunteers will assist with debris removal and construction, along with providing supplies and medical aid. Stephen Griffith is an emergency room physician; Laura Griffith is an emergency room nurse practitioner. He will pilot the prop plane that will carry supplies and volunteers to the island. Most of the other volunteers have construction backgrounds and will help with rebuilding efforts.

Global First Responder is raising funds and soliciting donations of generators, power tools, saws and more to assist the volunteers in debris removal and reconstruction.

Supplies can be dropped off at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, located at 22 N. Eighth St., or they can be ordered from the organization’s Amazon wish list. Global First Responder will collect supplies until Sept. 24. The organization is also accepting monetary donations on its website.

The Griffiths have worked with the organization before in Haiti. Stephen Griffith said the organization has connections within the countries they aid and does a good job at coordinating relief efforts within those countries.

Still, there will be logistical challenges working in the Bahamas.

“Getting to the island can be a bit of a challenge,” Beckett said.

Beckett said the damage to the country’s infrastructure, particularly the airfields and marinas, will make getting supplies to the island difficult. The strength of the storm blew debris onto airfields and damaged docks. He said the island was directly hit, which is why the team chose to help out in that area.

The group will be heading to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island, which is in the northern part of The Bahamas. The team plans to work on the island until Oct. 3, and Global First Responder will likely send other volunteer teams after the initial team, said Beckett.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS — Four St. Louis police officers were shot and injured during violent protests in the city Monday... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:13:00 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - One person from Camdenton was killed Tuesday morning in a crash on US Highway 54 in Camden... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:47:00 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
(CNN) - The police chief of Louisville, Kentucky, has been fired after officials discovered two police officers involved in fatal... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:08:22 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 5:08:00 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Protestors continued to gather downtown Columbia after the sun went down Monday night. The group of about... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 10:31:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Several hundred protestors gathered at the Missouri State Capitol Monday to honor the death of George Floyd.... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 10:15:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department made arrests in two separate weapons offenses on Monday, according to press... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 7:56:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's governor is cutting another $209 million from this year's budget in response to declining... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 7:34:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
KOMU 8's Emily Spain talked with Columbia Public Schools superintendent Peter Stiepleman on Monday about the bond measure voters will... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 5:22:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Many camps are choosing to go virtual this year so that parents can still give their children an... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 5:13:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi on Monday " condemned recent acts of racism around... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 5:05:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - At 1:50 a.m. on May 31, Columbia Police officers responded to a shots fired call on the 400... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 4:14:01 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 4:00:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - When voters head to the polls for municipal elections Tuesday, things will look a little different. With... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 3:16:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— COVID-19 drive-thru testing is taking place at Hickman High School today and tomorrow between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 2:36:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Hours before the start of scheduled protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the Missouri... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 2:30:00 PM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
HELENA, Mont. ( Independent Record ) -- Helena teen Bella Nyman joined a rather exclusive group when a box of... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 7:46:34 AM CDT June 01, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, June 01 2020 Jun 1, 2020 Monday, June 01, 2020 5:03:00 AM CDT June 01, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
11am 79°
12pm 83°
1pm 85°
2pm 87°