LAKELAND, Fla. - Jodi Whymnes, a student at Southeastern University in Lakeland, learned to expect the unexpected during Hurricane Dorian.
When forecasters said the storm was coming straight towards Florida, she made a beeline back home to the Bahamas.
But nature is unpredictable. Dorian decided to take a different path and hit the Bahamas with deadly force.
Whymnes rode out the storm in Nassau with her family but worried about her relatives on Grand Bahama and Abaco, which were hit much worse.
“It was heart-wrenching because we knew we couldn’t do anything,” she told FOX 13. “The telephone networks were down. They couldn’t contact us. Not knowing if they were alive, not knowing if they had lost their home, it was very scary.”
Her classmates at Southeastern said they had to do something to help. On Friday, they put together 1,000 health care kits, with basic supplies like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and deodorant, to send to the Bahamas.
In 18 short hours, they raised $24,000 to buy the supplies.
“It is incredible,” said Dr. Bethany Thomas, the vice president for student development. “I knew we could do it.”
The kits are going to be flown out of Orlando to the Bahamas sometime next week.
“That’s really awesome,” said Cardrin Fernander, another international student from the Bahamas. “To see my second home just being able to give back to the place I have called home.”