Key Biscayne rallies to provide aid to the Bahamas through a Labor of Love

The Astorqui family drops off their contributions

The Astorqui family drops off their contributions

Responding to gut-wrenching images of devastation in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian, a group of concerned Key Biscayne citizens launched a Labor of Love on Monday to collect goods to send to victims.

Working with the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, the organizing committee consists of Maria Claudia Davey, Michele Estevez, Carolyn Koslen, Jorge Mendia and Anne Rothe.

Helena Iturralde watches as Nancy Gamwell organizes the schedule for volunteers

Helena Iturralde watches as Nancy Gamwell organizes the schedule for volunteers

“What can we do to help the Bahamian community?” was the text from Davey to Estevez that initiated the relief effort.

Having collected and sent seven containers of supplies to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, Estevez was experienced in organizing a relief effort.

“When I was a 12-year old in Chile I suffered through a devastating earthquake,” Estevez said. “This stayed with me and is what motivates me to help.”

The first thing the organizing committee needed was a location to collect, prepare and package the merchandise collected. The new owner of Unit 38, at the Square Shopping Center, volunteered his space.

Mia Davey

Mia Davey records a video imploring Key Biscayners to help victims of Dorian in the Bahamas.

Then the group spent Monday at Crossbridge Church developing their plan, including reaching out to Alyson Thomas of Third Wave Volunteers, and Key Biscayne Community Foundation Director Melissa McCaughan White, who activated the Emergency Disaster Relief Fund.

I am proud, and not at all surprised, that the Key Biscayne community is rallying to support our neighbors in the Bahamas,” said Mayor Michael Davey, whose daughter, Mia, created a marketing video encouraging citizens to donate.

Marta Valdes y Maria Rabanal y Alejandro cart their donations in

Marta Valdes y Maria Rabanal y Alejandro cart their donations in

There is a strong connection between our community and theirs,” Davey continued. “Many of us have enjoyed their warmth and hospitality, and we are fortunate enough to be able to give back in their time of need.

Funds raised by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation will support disaster relief organizations working in the Bahamas.

Our thoughts, hearts and prayers go out to the Bahamian people,” said White. “The islands are a home away from home for many Key Biscayners. It is without question that we would support our friends and our neighbors during this time of tragedy."

Samantha and Bianca Keif join in the giving

To contribute to the disaster relief fund or learn more about the foundation, visit

Boats to move contributed goods to the Bahamas are available from the City of Miami District 2, in partnership with Third Wave Volunteers.

To donate goods, drop off items at The Square Shopping Center – 260 Crandon, unit 38, – from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. “Labor of Love” is looking for volunteers to help with the collection, and packaging for shipment. Students can earn community service hours as volunteers.

Miguel Goncalves, Enrique Alonso and Alejandro Alonso

Miguel Goncalves, Enrique Alonso and Alejandro Alonso used their day off From School to volunteer organizing donations on the first day of KB for Bahamas effort

Items needed for the Labor of Love Bahamas relief effort:

  • Canned food – NOT expired
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Non-perishable food
  • Body wipes
  • Manual can openers
  • Clorox wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby food
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Baby diapers
  • Baby formula
  • Flashlights
  • Baby wipes
  • Batteries
  • Aquaporin ointment
  • Heavy duty work gloves
  • Feminine hygiene products
KB for Bahamas

The committee can make arrangements to pick up donations within the island. Call anyone of these volunteers if you need assistance with donation pickup:

● Maria Thorne 305-989-3178

● Carolyn Koslen 395-546-3811

● Michele Estevez 305-733-7906

● Nancy Gamwell 305-775-6475

● Elena Iturrialde 305-7732299

● Or call The Islander News at 305-361-3333