Here's information about how you can assist Hurricane Dorian victims in The Bahamas.

SARASOTA — Sarasota pilots will deliver much-needed essential supplies to the ravaged Bahamas archipelago that has more than 700 islets and islands.

Sol Relief Aviation, a nonprofit disaster relief group in St. Petersburg, has 71 pilots on standby who will be donating time and fuel to deliver necessities, but they will be grounded until a runway becomes available. Most are flooded, damaged or covered with debris.

"We have some bigger planes we are loading up to land in Nassau, Bahamas," Sol's emergency response coordinator and spokesman Mark Auchtung said, referring to Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. "They are going over (to Marsh Harbour) by helicopter or boat to the smaller islands. Once the runways are open — one runway is all we need — we will take supplies over."

A plane that left Tuesday morning carried water filtration kits, water, 500 hygiene kits and food. Relief workers will bring personal supplies, such as clothes, later.

Sol Relief was founded in 2017 following devastating strikes by Hurricane Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and Florida. Founder Jen Lockwood, a St. Croix islander, first organized a group of plots on supply runs to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"We don't have an initial needs assessment back," said Auchtung, noting that Hurricane Dorian is still hovering north of Grand Bahama Island. "The community is asking, 'What can I donate?' In general, you know what that is — personal hygiene, generators, fuel and food."

They are accepting donations at Sol Relief located at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg.

Annemarie Rizzo, an attorney at Sarasota-based The Law Place, is organizing a donation drive with local attorneys and paralegals. They are partnering with the Siesta Key nightclub, Beach Club and Universal Flight Services, which is donating six to eight airplanes, to collect supplies.

"When I saw and listened to some of the videos as they came out yesterday (Monday), I was tearing up," said Rizzo, who vacations in the Bahamas. "It’s so heartbreaking when you see places you've been to and they are under water. Water is coming up to second-floor levels.

"I am so grateful Florida is not getting it. These people who did suffer need our help."

Gina Montes King, a mortgage originator at Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, banded together with friends to organize a supply drive in partnership with Agape Flights. She will collect supplies at the mortgage office at Sarasota City Center.

"Hearing a mom ask for help — it gives me chills," said King, also a mother and wife. "It makes me cry right now. ... They have nothing, nothing left and no money to repair things with for those who did make it out alive — that creates a panic and desperation in me. My girlfriends who live in Miami said, 'Let’s do something; let's help.'"

They are asking for clothes, food, diapers and wipes, which will be taken to Venice Airport, the home of Agape Flights, a nonprofit Christian aviation ministry that serves the nations of the Caribbean.

Those who are making contributions are reminded to investigate organizations before making monetary donations.

In addition to local efforts, the American Red Cross is accepting donations online at, by calling 800-RED-CROSS, or texting the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The donations are used to provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance, according to the Red Cross.

They also urge eligible individuals unaffected by the storm to give blood. Appointments can be scheduled at, or by calling 800-733-2767.

OneBlood is also accepting donations. Locations can be found by visiting:

Hurricane relief supply list

• Protein or granola bars

• Prepackaged pouches/packets of chicken or tuna (no cans)

• Prepackaged cheese or peanut butter crackers

• Peanut butter (no glass containers)

• Trail mix

• Antibacterial hand and face wipes

• Toilet paper

• Diapers

• Wipes

• Toothpaste and brushes

• Shampoo

• Soap

• Sanitary napkins

• Deodorant

• Generators

• Chain saws

• Hand tree saws

• Flashlights

• Batteries (AAA, AA, C, D only)

• Solar lights

• Tarps

• Work gloves

• Shovels

• Bandages

• Triple antibiotic ointment

• Ibuprofen

This story originally published to, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.