BOCA RATON — If a couple of Boca Raton residents have anything to do with it, Santa Claus will be visiting parts of the Bahamas ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.
Tate Russack and his wife Camilla have been raising money for various Caribbean island storm relief efforts for years through their non-profit U.S. Hurricane Relief Fund Inc., he said.
Now they’re trying to collect cash and toy donations to provide a Christmas for children left with nothing since the 185 mph storm struck Sept. 1 and hovered over the islands for several days causing an estimated $7 billion in damage.
An estimated 76,000 people were left homeless in Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands, according to the United Nations.
“There’s still 300 children who live in the worst hit parts of the Abacos,” Russack said. “I think Christmas is going to be a little thin over there for the kids. Parents are struggling to get by.”
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So the Russacks are organizing a Christmas Relief Drive. Volunteer pilots with Signature Flight Support will be Santa’s helpers.
“They’ll fly the presents over on Christmas Eve,” he said. “We’re coordinating with local ministers over there to get the kids to the airport [and] we’re going to bring them hot dogs and hamburgers and 300 presents.”
To contribute, checks can be written to U.S. Hurricane Relief Fund Inc. and mailed to: RLC-PA, 7999 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 102, Boca Raton, FL, 33487.
Gift-wrapped toys, labelled with the age and gender of the child recipient, can be dropped off at either Signature Flight Support location at Boca Raton Airport, 3300 Airport Road, and Palm Beach International Airport, 1500 Perimeter Road, West Palm Beach.
For more information call: 561-571-9610.
“We’ll see if we can spread a little Christmas cheer in what otherwise is still a pretty desperate area,” Russack said.
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