Nonprofit founded by Columbia doctor to send volunteers to the Bahamas

5 months 1 week 4 days 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
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced a large gift from alumni Friday to support the university's NextGen Precision Health... More >>
51 minutes ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 3:02:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - A suspect has been taken into custody nearly 30 years after a Russellville teenager was found dead,... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:24:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged a woman with murder Friday in connection with a deadly home invasion and shooting in early... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 2:17:52 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Three months after a Columbia woman, Mengqi Ji, went missing, many local businesses still have the flyers on... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 1:09:00 PM CST February 21, 2020 in News
CONWAY, AR – A barbershop in Arkansas is helping its community open up about mental health. Picture Perfect has become... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 12:30:37 PM CST February 21, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Boone County Counts will hold the latest in a series of outreach meetings about the 2020 Census on... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, February 21 2020 Feb 21, 2020 Friday, February 21, 2020 5:00:00 AM CST February 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Empower Missouri spearheaded a letter to Gov. Mike Parson to try to reinstate a tax incentive program for... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:02:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A head-on collision between a school bus and a SUV blocked both sides of North Route Z. ... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Leonard Jerome Wilson, 41, a former Camden County Sheriff's deputy, was sentenced to 8 years of federal... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 4:47:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A man is in police custody after officials say he stole an ambulance, Thursday. Officials took 40-year-old... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 4:27:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City man was arrested on Thursday afternoon at approximately 2:28 p.m. at the grocery store,... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 4:22:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - People in Moberly are excited about the announcement Plumrose USA made Tuesday. The company is set to bring... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Firefighters are more likely to die by suicide, than in the line of duty, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:48:57 PM CST February 20, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man was sentenced in federal court today for illegally possessing a firearm. Samuel Ernest... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:29:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
A new report shows "active shooter drills" might be doing more harm than good. Today, 95% of schools participate in... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:11:55 PM CST February 20, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Local police responded to a "shots fired" call Wednesday at approximately 10:33 p.m. at the 100 block of... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 3:03:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - In a probable cause document, investigators laid out a case that Joseph Elledge strangled his missing wife, Mengqi... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Investigators believe Joseph Elledge strangled or suffocated his wife and disposed of her body in... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 20 2020 Feb 20, 2020 Thursday, February 20, 2020 2:51:00 PM CST February 20, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
4pm 45°
5pm 43°
6pm 39°
7pm 34°