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Burke students collect supplies for hurricane-stricken Bahamas

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The art room of Nativity School in Burke was filled with supplies bound for the Bahamas: toothbrushes, diapers, water bottles, toilet paper, soap, granola bars, canned food, first aid supplies and more. The school community is no stranger to helping victims of natural disasters, but this particular drive was inspired by a personal connection.

School parent Kent Corso and his family befriended a Bahamian family after renting their home while on vacation. When Corso learned about Hurricane Dorian, he reached out to his friends. Their house on Grand Bahama Island survived, but many of their neighbors’ homes were destroyed. Throughout the many islands of the Bahamas, some 1,300 people are still missing.

Siblings Dean, Siena and Stella Corso organize donations that will be sent to aid victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. ZOEY MARAIST  |  CATHOLIC HERALD

LR BAHAMAS BURKE 1 So the Bahamian couple turned their yard into a makeshift relief center. A mutual friend from Fort Myers, Fla., has been using his plane to fly much-needed supplies down to Grand Bahama Island. Once the collection at Nativity comes to a close, the school will send those supplies to Corso’s friend in Florida to be transported by private plane to a church in Freeport, Grand Bahama. 

Fifth grader Teagan Kelly said she cried when she learned about the devastation in the Bahamas, and then she went with her mother to the dollar store to pick out as many supplies as she could for the victims. “I think this is important to do, to help others and make sure that they’re OK, and to do the same that others would do for us if that happened to us,” she said.

Principal Maria Kelly believes it’s important for the students to be able to do something tangible to help people in need. Students of all grades will bring in supplies from a list the school sent out. Middle schoolers who are part of the community service elective will collect the supplies from the classrooms every day and later sort them into boxes. 

“Reaching out to those is need is something that has always been paramount with the priests (who) have been here and, of course, then it’s what we do as well,” said Kelly. “That’s very much what the theme of Nativity is — helping people across the street and around the world.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019