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  • Writer's pictureLeliaRN

My Journey Begins

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

Hurricane Dorian struck the Abaco Islands on September 1, 2019. For days, Dorian battered the Bahama Islands with strong winds, rain and flooding.

The Aftermath

"I immediately knew this is how I could help and be a part of something greater."

Hurricane Dorian left a catastrophic aftermath. Homes, businesses and lives were lost. Left in the wake of this devastation is an island of people who have nothing. Having traveled to the Bahamas in the past (as recently as June 2019), I wanted to help, but how?

A few years ago, I signed up with International Medical Relief, a 501(c)(3) medical organization who provides healthcare access to people in need. The company has a presence in many countries with clinics and also aides with natural disasters. After Hurricane Dorian hit, I received an email asking for help. "URGENT: Help Needed for Bahamas Hurricane Disaster Relief Response." I immediately knew this is how I could help and be a part of something greater.

I discussed going on the medical missions trip with my husband, Mike. We discussed the pros and cons and decided together, this is what I should do. I have always wanted to help in time of disaster and I feel fully prepared to contribute my skills and experience. I replied to the email, received details of what I will be doing and immediately started fundraising.

Fundraising Efforts

I am not one to ask for handouts, so this was the hardest part of preparing for the trip. For the week I had chosen, I needed to raise $1350 for the volunteering fee (it isn't free!) and I guesstimated another $650 for plane tickets (not provided), medical gear and food. Given that time was of the essence and my trip was only a few weeks away, I had to get somewhat aggressive with fundraising efforts. My chosen path was social media. I utilized International Medical Relief's (IMR) fundraising page as well as PayPal.

As of the date of this posting, I have raised over $1,000 on IMR's fundraising site, $90 in PayPal and $50 in cash. There are more donations I haven't collected yet, so the final total is undetermined.

Today, I was able to pay off IMR's fee, so that part of my trip is 100% funded. Thank you everyone for your help. I honestly couldn't do it without YOU. By giving to me, you have given me the opportunity to provide medical care to people in need during one of the most catastrophic times of their lives.

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I'm going to try to keep this blog updated from time to time. Currently, I am dealing with the possibility of losing my job (the hospital I work for has filed for bankruptcy and is laying off workers)

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