GCCF Board Member Assists with Hurricane Dorian Relief in Bahamas
October 4, 2019
Guest blog by the Greater Chapin Community Foundation
Greater Chapin Community Foundation’s goal is to grow philanthropy in the Greater Chapin area, building a permanent, endowed fund to address community needs now and into the future. This dream wouldn’t be realized without the hard work and dedication of our volunteer board members. Right now, one board member is showing our community how one Chapin resident can make a huge difference — 649 miles (1,044 km) away from home!
Brandon Liles is a Chapin business owner but has long enjoyed flying as a pilot. When Brandon heard about Hurricane Dorian and the devastation it was causing in the Bahamas, he knew he had to act. Brandon and a good friend, Craig Summerall, sprang into action. While Craig collected supplies, two days later Brandon flew their first set of supplies from Columbia, SC, to Marsh Harbour. Over the next several days, Brandon made numerous evacuation trips and saved countless lives. With the support of our local community Craig and Brandon helped remove 42 storm survivors off Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands and delivered more than 3,600 loads of supplies including seven generators, chain saws, medical supplies, cleaning supplies and canned goods. It took over 3,700 nautical miles (4,257 miles) of flying in 34 individual legs, eight international border crossings and total of 35.2 hours of flying in seven days.
Both Brandon and Craig have done an incredible job, but there is still more to be done. Thousands of people in the Bahamas are homeless, jobless and living in shelters. Their goal is to raise over $50,000 to buy generators to supply the affected area. For more on their amazing efforts SC Abaco Relief on Facebook. As they have said, “This began as two friends wanting to help some people in need and we certainly could not have done it without all of your help.”
We’re thankful for Brandon’s service on our GCCF board since 2018 and for all he does to live our slogan of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”