Dolphins bring relief to The Bahamas and Haiti
USA - The two things that galvanize people are tragedy and sports. It’s a unique setting when you can use one to unify following the other. The Miami Dolphins have done just that, utilizing their platform in sports and as community stewards to assist those devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The efforts were to bring hope, to bring unity. But what they found in recent visits to The Bahamas and Haiti are resilient people eager to rebuild. “The Haitians have welcomed us with open arms. They were happy to see us,” Dolphins defensive end Terrence Fede said of his travels to Haiti with the Dolphins. “Both my parents are from Haiti, and growing up it was something that was special to me and still is. Coming out to Haiti to help our people and understand what they’ve been going through means a lot.” Fede was joined by cheerleader Amina, also of Haitian descent, along with Dolphins Senior Vice Presidents Jason Jenkins, Nat Moore and staff. The group while in Haiti visited Haiti Communitaire, which created a Konvit bus to address the immediate needs following the storm – including delivering safe water solutions through a partnership with Surge for Water. The Dolphins partnered with Surge for Water to provide a mobile water purification system that will service 10,000 individuals, 150,000 water purification tablets and hundreds of filters to help the most impacted areas in Southwest Haiti.
The contingent also visited a local elementary school to provide backpacks, pencils and Dolphins trinkets as well as visited a local hospital to deliver medical supplies and connect with the children in the pediatric unit. Throughout the visit, the spirit of vigor for a community often the victim of natural disasters was contagious. And the same resiliency was felt the previous day when safety Michael Thomas , his wife Gloria, Dolphins President & CEO Tom Garfinkel, alumnus Dwight Stephenson, Jenkins, Moore and staff visited Freeport in the Grand Bahamas. The group in The Bahamas toured areas stuck by the storm, some still struggling to restore electricity with debris-crowded streets and downed power lines and others in the midst of recovery. Yet the consistent thread were the smiles and warm greetings in every area. “Even though it’s the byeweek, once me and my wife heard about the opportunity to come here to The Bahamas, it was a no-brainer for us”, Thomas said. “Anytime we can give back to the community, that’s something we’re committed to doing. The Dolphins organization is one that prides itself on giving back and we’re happy to be a part of that.” The trips followed a Miami Dolphins Foundation presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 26 of a USD 20,000 check to The Miami Foundation Give2Cuba Fund with proceeds directed towards those impacted by the widespread devastation in Cuba. (miamidolphins)