MARSH HARBOUR, The Bahamas (CBS12) — The destruction at the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas can be seen for miles. Relief efforts after Hurricane Dorian are underway by land, sea, and air. One major effort, comes from the Mastroianni Family Foundation.
As the world watched, Category 5 Hurricane Dorian roared into the Bahamas and stayed still for days. Nicholas Mastroianni couldn’t stand to see it.
“My family, we’ve been going to the Bahamas for almost 20 years,” he said. He’s the vice president of Harbourside Place and the executive director of the Mastrioianni Family Foundation.Sat 11 p.m. – James – Abaco island’
“I feel guilty to sleep in my bed tonight because they don’t have them,” he added. Normally his family foundation invests in health research, especially for children’s medicine and cancer, but in the wake of the storm, their mission shifted gears.
“Hundreds of friends, long term friends, some a couple years, some five years, some 20, and when this happened we said we have to get them out of here,” said Mastroianni.
The foundation invited CBS12 News to tag along as they delivered relief to people who need it the most. From the air, the devastation was clear.
“Oh my gosh, that house! It’s off its structure,” reacted Mastroianni as he flew over the damaged islands of Marsh Harbour and Treasure Cay.
“I’m speechless, to tell you the truth.”
Homes were flat, cars were destroyed, and survivors walked around the damage, desperate for help.
On the ground at the Marsh Harbour Airport, Mastroianni made sure his supplies were headed to the right places.
“The fact there there is fuel here, which we did not know, the fact that there are medical services set up here, that they have food and water here, is a relief,” he said.
At the airport, we met people like Rubin Telcy, who lost his home during the storm.9 a.m. Report:Bahamas Relief James
“The brick structures, they were like missiles,” Telcy said, describing the force of Hurricane Dorian. “The wind was picking them [houses] up and just slamming them all over the place.”
He’s now one of thousands without a home, while many others are now without family.
“We’ve been doing this for days with the understanding and feedback that this is what things are like over here,” said Mastroianni. “But seeing it, is something you can’t erase in your mind.”
The foundation, on that trip alone, donated thousands of pounds of supplies and cash so people can get off of the islands that now look like a war zone.
“It’s getting better,” said Mastroianni. “It’s a long way from being normal life to them but it’s headed in the right direction.”
So far, the Mastroianni family has rescued about 80 people, putting them up at the Wyndham Garden Hotel at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. The family even hosted a large prayer barbecue for those evacuees over the weekend.
They’ve donated more than 40,000 pounds worth of supplies. If you want to help their efforts, they’re constantly collecting donations at the Wydnham Gardens.