St. Augustine's University students from Bahamas organize supply drive

Thursday, September 12, 2019
St. Aug students organize relief for Bahamas
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St. Aug students organize relief for Bahamas

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Celine Jones, a senior at St. Augustine's University fought back tears. The trauma her family and fellow Bahamians are enduring after Hurricane Dorian's destruction brings back awful memories.

When Jones was a little girl, she said, storm surge from a tropical storm flooded her home in Freeport causing her to nearly drown.

"I know how it feels not to have nothing from a hurricane. So anything I can do to help people. I try my best," Jones said.

Jones and her classmates Bercario Bodie and Lavar Stubbs are leading a supply drive effort on campus next Friday. Eight percent of the student body at St Augustine's is from the Bahama islands.

"I have uncles that completely lost everything, including his wife. I have other family members that just have nothing," Jones said.

Stubbs is from Nassau, part of the island not affected by Dorian.

"It's kind of mixed emotions. You always want to help and pick some stuff up, clean up and pass out some meals. But you've got to be realistic about the situation," Stubbs said.

These Bahamian students are doing what they can from campus -- asking people in the Triangle to drop off non-perishable food, water, and everyday essentials next Friday at Emery gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Supplies are desperately needed as their homeland braces for another potential tropical system.

"It's unbelievable because it's another one already. You can't control Mother Nature. But what do you do?" said Bodie, a senior at St. Augustine's.

If you can't make it to the supply drive next Friday. There are some other ways you can help these students help their country.

Bodie said his fraternity, the Gamma Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, is accepting CashApp donations ($GammaPsi).

Jones is collecting feminine hygiene products for survivors. She can be contacted at

Stubbs is president of St. Augustine's International Student Organization. He said if people would like to volunteer or support the group's ongoing efforts to email him at