Floridians showed up in droves Tuesday to give cans of food, bottles of water and boxes of diapers to members of two historically black churches who were sorting them before they were to be flown to the devastated islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

“We have to channel all that anxiety into something positive,” relief coordinator Jonathan Archer said. Archer is the former head of a parish in Long Island, Bahamas, and current rector of the Christ Episcopal Church in Miami’s historic Coconut Grove neighborhood, some of whose first settlers hailed from the Bahamas.

Some of the volunteers were frantically trying to text cousins, uncles, aunts and nieces who braved the powerful storm in their island homes. Few had any luck Tuesday.

“I am grateful that we weren’t hit but the severity of the damage in Abaco and Freeport just breaks my heart,” said Diane Alexander, a 57-year-old retired teacher who has cousins in Nassau. Alexander bought provisions for Dorian then decided to donate them when the storm no longer threatened a direct hit on Florida.


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