A group of Belleair residents began collecting items to deliver to the ravage-torn islands of the Bahamas.

It started when Kevin and Angela Hawkins reached out to friends in the community asking for their support. In conjunction with the organization SOL Relief, the Hawkinses urged family and friends to get involved and make a difference. They were overwhelmed by the amount of donations they were receiving. The Hawkinses responded, “Thank you all for your support. We have a wonderful community of friends that stepped up immediately after we asked. It’s times like this that remind us what is important and brings out the best in all of us.”

The Hawkinses give a special thanks to Capt. Patrick Young, who is navigating around the island helping people put up tarps, fixing generators, unloading planes and delivering supplies to destroyed areas. Flights are continuously delivering supplies as they continue to set up a distribution network.

One of the points of collection was Bella Vino Wine & Cheese Market, where owners Brian and Cheryl Franzese used social media urging their customer and friends to pick from the list supplied and bring it to Bella Vino.

“So much stuff arrived we couldn’t fit it in our store, said. Brian Franzese. “We have great customers and friends and they really showed their true generosity and opened their hearts.”

Want to help in the relief efforts in the Bahamas? Go to www.solrelief.org. for more information.

Karla Rettstatt, Belleair