Coconut Grove volunteers diligently work to aid Bahamas Dorian victims
While the destruction from Hurricane Dorian is miles away, thousands of people in Florida call the Bahamas their second home.
For days, Elvern Ross feared the absolute worst. She could not get through to anyone in the Bahamas. Now, she hears one horror story after another about Dorian’s strike on the Bahamas.
Ross now spends every free minute volunteering at Greater St. Paul AME Church in Coconut Grove, which is working with the Bohemian government in relief efforts. Ross packs and wraps supplies, hoping they make it to her family.
“Coconut Grove is pretty much the little Bahamas of the United States,” said Rev. Nathaniel Robinson III of Greater St. Paul AME Church. “Many of our founding members were Bahamians. We have many members who are of Bahamian descent.”
Paul George, the resident historian of the Miami History Museum, agrees with the church pastor. The west Grove was built by Bahamians who knew how to cultivate land on lime rock when other settlers were not familiar with it.
A century later, the Bahamian culture is still predominant in the west Grove.
“I think the beauty of the west Grove is that they maintained that culture in an area that has just changed so dramatically,” George said. “It’s become this international city, Hispanic driven.”
Through their pain, they work. Ross knows her church and community will go above and beyond.
“I’m sure my family on the island I can speak to them,” Ross said. “They appreciate it, you know. And I just want to say thanks to everybody that’s volunteering their time and donating stuff to the islands.”