Imagine having to rethink your hen party because of an untimely and deadly hurricane.
That’s what happened to American bride-to-be Rikki Kahley when Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on September 1, killing over 50 people in its destructive wake.
But instead of canceling the dream trip with her bachelorettes, a tropical pre-wedding send-off became a relief mission.
The 10-strong bridal party took it upon themselves to help the communities devastated by the category 5 storm, which has destroyed towns and villages and displaced thousands in the process.
After announcing their plans to bring aid to the Bahamas on social media, Kahley’s family and friends were inundated with donations of food, clothes, baby supplies, water filtration devices and other essential items for those affected.
In all, they managed to fill around 50 suitcases, which they took to the ravaged archipelago on September 15.
In an interview with the BBC, Kahley said, “We were worried about whether it was possible to still go and also we wanted to figure out what we could do to help.
“My sister Chloe had the idea to take stuff over and so we shared posts on Facebook and it spiraled from there.
“Our friends and family wanted to donate and then more and more people got in touch.”
Delta Airlines agreed to waive the extra baggage fees when Kahley approached the carrier the day before they were due to leave.
“We got to Nassau and the Grand Hyatt hotel sent a special bus to come pick us up as we had so many bags with us.
“There were 10 of us, and including our personal bags as well as the donated ones, that was at least 50 bags we carried to the island,” she told the BBC.
Kahley is due to get married on October 26.
Packing winds of 295kmh when it hit Elbow Cay on the Abaco Islands, Hurricane Dorian equaled the highest winds ever recorded for a hurricane at landfall.
Around 1,300 people are still missing. Another 15,000 are still in need of shelter, food or medical attention.
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