It's no secret that I shout "local, local, local" from the rooftops whenever I can, but there are times when the definition of "neighbor" has to extend beyond your immediate geographic area - and this is one of those times.
By now, we've all seen the photos and videos coming out of what is left of the Bahamas: no houses, no boats, no docks, anywhere on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. Grocery stores are all destroyed and/or looted; sanitation is non-existent; roads are impassable. Over 70,000 people are homeless and in need of food and shelter - that's approximately 1 in 5 Bahamanians.
Maybe I'm feeling like the Bahamas are neighbors because, in the before pictures, they remind me of us here in Vero - ample sunshine, blue skies, sandy beaches, and a vacation feel all year round. We both get to live in a slice of paradise that many only get to visit.
"There but for the grace of God go I" feels pretty apt in this scenario. Dorian left us largely untouched and that has everything to do with luck.
And when you are the lucky on on the block, it only feels right to share what you have with the unlucky.
So here I was, at a supplies drive organized by Vero Fitness, doing my tiny part to help our neighbors in the Bahamas. But check with them before bringing anymore donations! The first batch has been collected and Vero Fitness is waiting for more information from their friends who are making the delivery. Hold onto your donations and your giving spirit until they are in a position to accept them!
Neighbors are usually the people we see around town, at farmers markets, stores, and restaurants. But for now, my "neighbors" include the Bahamas - I hope yours do, too.