MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas – Northeast Florida residents continue to be among the most active and generous in the relief efforts for the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
Their efforts were highlighted in the WJXT Films documentary "96 Hours of Anguish." Since the documentary aired on News4Jax, others have gotten involved to help those hardest hit by the Category 5 hurricane. Among those who have brought hope and love to the Bahamas all the way from the Jacksonville area are Super Bowl champion and Jaguars linebacker Najee Goode and his wife, Jasmine Goode.
Last week, they traveled to the Abaco Islands with News4Jax anchor and reporter Vic Micolucci to inspire others in the NFL and the River City to give back. They met 11-year-old Carlin, who lives outside Marsh Harbour with his family. Their house was destroyed in the hurricane.
View this post on Instagram
To many “being human” is sometimes overlooked. And As Individuals we push ourselves to accomplish extraordinary tasks and get so fixated on words such as “growth” or “transcendence” that we often forget that to each other all we need is, love and support, reinforced with friendship and humility. After seeing @vicmicolucci documentary #96hoursofanguish thankfully, bc of the love of my life @chanae.jasmine , and visiting abaco island in the Bahamas together, I got stare into the eyes of children, women and men who only needed me to be human. Only needed to see a smile, laughter and happiness from someone else face to make them feel like they were more than just victims and not so... less human. I am not naive to the fact that playing in the @Nfl helps. And I am guilty of living in this altered state of mind at times but as I grow, and work with the beautiful residence of these Bohemian islands, the @abacorescuefund & @thegoodnesstour , I will always remember what the “human” side of every single soul in this life needs. It’s “love”. That comprehensive support that comes with out question and a Connection’s that binds is all to each other’s lives. I want to thank everyone involved and continue to raise awareness to let everyone know that we’re just getting started and the island of the Bahamas will be back. Stay tuned! @jaguars @news4jax #Duuuval #marshharbor
WATCH: WJXT Films documentary '96 Hours of Anguish' READ: WJXT Films documentary highlights destruction, dedication in Bahamas | Getting Bahamians back on their feet will be an unprecedented challenge | Jaguars' Najee Goode to join News4Jax on trip to Bahamas | Jaguars' Najee Goode shares how teammates helped with Dorian relief | St. Johns County artists bring needed relief to Bahamas HELP: Trusted Hurricane Dorian relief groups on the ground in the Bahamas
Times are tough for people there who are already living in poverty before the storm. Now it's much worse. It's something Najee Goode and his wife wanted to see firsthand after watching the documentary on the crisis, so they raised money from teammates and went on the trip with the Abaco Rescue Fund, founded by the Davis family from Ponte Vedra.
"Everything that we've learned down here has been very inspirational from that standpoint," Najee Goode said. "Just happy that we were able to do that and actually see the smiles on the kids' faces after the hardships that they have to go through every day."
With two children at home, the Goodes felt compelled to help the hardest-hit children in the Bahamas.
"The kids are magical. They are resilient. They are, I would say, fearless, but we know that nobody is fearless in any degree. But they're just hopeful and, like, truly, truly hopeful that people are going to do what they say," Jasmine Goode said.
So far, Najee and Jasmine Goode, as well as Jaguars players and coaches, have contributed $15,000, and together they'll decide how that money will be best spent.
But in the meantime, the Goodes did what they do best. They hosted an impromptu sports camp for 50 children at a Fox Town school. It was amazing to see how simple games and gifts can take children's minds off their complex problems. Together with the Abaco Relief Fund and donations from people in the Jacksonville area, they passed out costumes, snacks and supplies -- small reminders that children in the Bahamas are loved.
"Any food or water or just small acts of kindness that you can share to the Bahamians helps -- building materials, still, roofing supplies, everything you'd need to build a house," said Davis Warren, co-founder of the Abaco Rescue Fund. "It's getting into the right hands -- definitely."
For Carlin, the compassion means the world.
"It's good, gives some people joy. Actually, gives a lot of people joy. It gives me joy," he said.
The Abaco Rescue Fund continues to fly in supplies -- food, toiletries and building materials. Anyone wishing to help its mission can do so by visiting abacorescuefund.org.
View this post on Instagram
These kids are everything. They’re why we do what we do in the Bahamas. Seeing unimaginable devastation on my 4th trip since the hurricane. Also witnessing unbelievable love! Incredible time shooting with @thegoodnesstour as they bring art, music and costumes to the kids. They are living in tents and shacks and really need a reason to smile. Had the incredible opportunity to bring Jaguars linebacker @all_goode52 and his amazing wife @chanae.jasmine to the front lines. They wanted to get involved after seeing our documentary and helped out big time. They brought games and supplies to the kids and are pledging ongoing financial support. A team of retired Navy Seals coordinated our mission. Huge thanks to the Warren family, Capt. John Miller and @abacorescuefund for flying us and needed goods in. It takes a village. There were so many obstacles for the team, but it didn’t stop them from doing good. So many inspiring stories to tell on @news4jax. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Special reports air starting tomorrow! Don’t forget. Keep the faith.