CENTERVILLE, Georgia — Thomson Middle School is accepting donations for those in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Donations can be dropped off at 301 Thomson Street in Centerville until Sept. 27.

Here is a list of the items the middle school says are needed:

  • Drinking water
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby formula
  • Sanitary Napkins/ Feminine Products
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Soap
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • First Aid Kids, sterile bandages, gauze, tape
  • Flashlights
  • Linens
  • Insect repellents
  • Clothes and shoes of all sizes
  • Portable lamps/lights
  • Portable radio
  • Batteries
  • Portable single/double burner stoves/hot plates
  • Brooms, maps, trash bags
  • Shovels, rakes
  • Tents
  • Cots
  • Portable generators
  • Water containers
  • Water purification kits

A flyer for the event lists stephanie.morris@hcbe.net and leshan.ferguson@hcbe.net as contacts. 

For Leshan Ferguson, the storm's impact was personal.

She is a science teacher at Thomson Middle School. She is also a native Bahamian, "born and bred," Ferguson said. 

Save for one sister, her family lives in the Bahamas and was there for the storm.

Watching the storm roll over the islands while they were there was gut-wrenching. 

"You know, it's a sinking feeling," she said. "We pray our prayers, 'Lord, thank you for the roof that's over my head.' And literally people lost the roofs that are over their heads."

Her family is in Nassau. Ferguson says they are all OK, but some of her friends, including a marine biologist, lived near the epicenter of the storm. They got the brunt of Dorian.

"My friend d'Shan she says, 'I never thought -- never in a million years, did I think I'd be a refugee,'" Ferguson said.

Her home destroyed, d'Shan and her family made it out of the island on a ship to Florida, but many others are still on the ground in the Bahamas.

"It's total devastation," Ferguson said.

And now, Ferguson, along with others at Thomson Middle School, are working to help. They are collecting the essentials, like food, water, and cleaning supplies.

"This is life," Ferguson said.

Near the end of September, it will all be shipped to the Bahamas, where Ferguson says recovery is inevitable.

"Our national anthem says, 'Onward, forward, and upward.' So we're gonna do it. It's gonna take time, but we're gonna do it," she said.

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