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The Chef That Fed Puerto Rico is Currently Preparing 10k Sandwiches for Bahamians

Two years ago, celebrity Chef José Andrés arrived in Puerto Rico to create a food network that would efficiently distribute food and water to stranded families. Within forty days, that network served more than 2.2 million warm meals and sandwiches across the island, breaking records of even the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and every government entity in history.

Today, he and his teams are bunkered inside hotel kitchens on Grand Bahama Island, preparing 10,000 sandwiches to be delivered on the very first flights to Abaco Island in the morning. Unfortunately, this will be just the beginning for Andrés efforts.

Five people, including a 7-year-old, have already been confirmed dead as Hurricane Dorian continues to ravage the Bahamas.

The videos are harrowing. Storm surges have risen as high as 25 feet above sea level. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently conducting search and rescue missions as we report on this developing story. Bahamas’ Prime Minister Huber Minnis has soberly addressed his nation in an evening news conference to relay, “We are in the midst of a historic tragedy. Our focus is search, rescue and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders.” Images of the Prime Minister weeping into a napkin over the human loss have circulated as well.

As the Category 5 Hurricane made landfall on Abaco Island, it came to a near standstill, slower than 1 mph.

The immensity of the storm coupled with its unrelenting rain has created unprecedented flooding on the island. Video shared from this Bahamian family shows the family finding precarious refuge above insulation in their home, with each wave bringing in more water. As the power and cell phone towers go dark, many Bahamians are taking to social media to share the coordinates of their loved ones, hoping someone will rescue them.

Dorian has remained “nearly stationary” over Freeport, with 130 mph winds, for over 12 hours now.

One radio station on the island received more than 2,000 distress messages, including from those of a grandmother with six grandchildren who had to cut a hole in their roof to escape drowning in their own home. At least 21 people have been evacuated by helicopters, suffering injuries from the storm.

This Chef refused to stand idly by and flew into Nassau ahead of the storm to prepare for the aftermath.

@chefjoseandres / Twitter

Chef José Andrés and his wife founded World Central Kitchen (WCK) in 2010 as an effort to “create smart solutions to hunger and poverty,” never anticipating a need such as Puerto Rico’s after Hurricane Maria. Since then, it’s streamlined its response efforts to both natural disasters, as well as political disasters, and continues to serve children detained in the shelters along the Mexican border.

WCK works by creating a network of kitchens using private sector resources powered by dedicated volunteer chefs on the ground. “How do we organize a response in Bahamas?” tweeted Chef Andrés. “Here’s our current map we are working from…. @WCKitchen has kitchens ready to go and shelters mapped out. If kitchens are destroyed, we build one and cook in big paella pans!”

At the moment, Andrés is bunkered in Atlantis resort’s industrial kitchen, and he’s making 10,000 sandwiches for survivors.

@chefjoseandres / Twitter

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Andrés credits the private companies on the island, including Atlantis resort, Bahamas’ largest employer, for volunteering their infrastructure to WCK. He plans to get the sandwiches out on the very first flights out to Abaco Island, which is almost entirely under water right now. Once the sandwiches are packed, the kitchen volunteers will begin preparing hot meals in the morning. The sandwiches are just the beginning.

“Quite frankly, that’s what I’m going to keep doing, for the rest of my life,” Andrés emphasized.

@appetizer_tours / Twitter

“I don’t do this because it’s fun. I do this because I believe our expertise is needed,” he told Anderson Cooper after being questioned why the most famous chef in the world would fly into a disaster area. “It’s the role of every citizen to do every little bit to better the lives of others,” he responded, after an exasperated chuckle. “I’m blessed to have teams that are very committed to do this. This to me, is not my work. This is a passion. To provide meals to the few is great but I love to provide meals to the many.”

Before you donate any Advil to the Bahamas, espere.

“We saw it in Puerto Rico. Everybody is very generous and everybody starts sending things,” Andrés said, stressing the importance of following “the lead of the Bahamian Prime Minister.” He went on to recall “seeing an entire container of Advil pills. In Puerto Rico, there was so much Advil that they have enough Advil for the next hundred years. We need to make sure we follow the leadership of those who know best.” For now, we wait.

You can donate to the World Central Kitchen to ensure emergency food-relief efforts are available worldwide, no matter government response.

Here’s How Disney Rewarded A Boy Who Gave Up His Disney Trip To Help Hurricane Evacuees

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Here’s How Disney Rewarded A Boy Who Gave Up His Disney Trip To Help Hurricane Evacuees

Disney Parks / YouTube

Jermaine Bell might be the best human to ever reside in Jacksonville, Florida. After 6-year-old Bell had spent the last year saving money for a birthday trip to Disney, he decided to give it all away. As the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian approached the east coast of Florida, millions of Floridians were evacuated. Some went south to Miami while many others drove north. While visiting his grandmother in South Carolina, and having felt the threat of Dorian on his own Florida home, he decided he wanted to do something for evacuees fleeing the South Carolina coast.

You know that saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”? Well, that doesn’t apply to Jermaine Bell.

Jermaine Bell emptied his savings to buy hundreds of hot dogs, chips, and water, so evacuees “can enjoy the ride to the place they’re going to stay at.”

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

Bell quickly made a couple of signs and posted them at either end of his street, to let passerby know that they likely had a very cute rest stop in sight. “The people that are traveling to go to other places, I wanted them to have some food to eat, so they can enjoy the ride to the place they’re going to stay at,” Bell told his local news station. “I wanted to be generous and live to give.” 

Bell served nearly 100 evacuees whose days were certainly brightened by his selfless, generous act.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

When families would tell him that they were worried for their homes, Jermaine would begin praying that their homes would be protected. There’s no question that Bell touched those hundred evacuees lives, but he went on to touch many millions more. Once his good deed went viral, Good Morning America conducted an interview inside his own home on his birthday. He told them that he still wanted to go to Animal Kingdom some day and “see lots of lions and have a Lion King party.”

It was his birthday, and Bell forfeited his party for a good cause, with no clue that an entire Disney crew was waiting outside to make all his birthday wishes come true.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

When Disney Parks heard the news, they must have coordinated with Good Morning America to make sure America could experience the satisfaction of seeing Bell’s good deed be rewarded. A representative from Disney knocked on Bell’s door once the interview was “over,” and told him they had a surprise for him in the driveway.

Bell was definitely surprised to see Mickey Mouse in his driveway.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

His jaw remained dropped for at least twenty seconds. The whole time he was interviewing with Good Morning America, Disney staff were setting up a “magical moment” in his very own driveway. A dozen staff stood outside holding Lion King plushies and balloons to yell “Surprise!” In an adorable Disney Parks video, Bell tells us, “When the lady came out and she said come around the corner, when I saw everything, I was just super happy.”

“When Mickey came out, I was just really happy,” Bell gushed.

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

Then, the big announcement: Disney Parks was giving Bell an all-expense paid trip to Disney Resort later this month as a dual birthday and thank you gift for his generosity to Hurricane Dorian evacuees. “I’m really excited, because I wanted to go to Disney for a long time,” Bell said. “Never in a million years would we have imagined anything like this from him,” his mom, Lauren Creech told Disney Parks. “Coming up with an idea to help someone else. So this really does instill in him that when you do good, good comes back to you.” 

Now, Bell wants us all to remember to “be strong and if you do good things, you will be rewarded.”

Credit: Disney Parks / YouTube

To top off an exciting magical moment, the whole Disney crew, including Mickey Mouse, sang him a very special “Happy Birthday” song. Of course, the rest of America is still happy-weeping to know that there are still good people coming up in this world. Hope tweeted “While a grown a** man, “leader of the free world” was playing golf. Jermaine bell. SAY HIS NAME.” Twitter is emphatically naming Bell a hero. @_SJPeace_ tweeted, “HE IS A HERO. HIS NAME IS JERMAINE BELL. KNOW HIS NAME.”

There you have it. Having compassion for victims of natural disaster is well received by Americans and American corporations.

Watch the full surprise video below!

READ: The US Promised Entry To Bahamians Without Visas Following Hurricane Dorian Then Changed Their Mind

A Family Evacuating Storm Ravaged Abaco Island In The Bahamas Are Fighting To Be Reunited With Their Daughter

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A Family Evacuating Storm Ravaged Abaco Island In The Bahamas Are Fighting To Be Reunited With Their Daughter

NBC News / YouTube

Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas last week and the Bahamian people are desperate for help. Some of that help is supposed to be coming from the U.S. While the government is allowing some people to enter the country, there have been some stories of the U.S. government causing more harm than good to those seeking help. The latest is the story of a family separated at the border.

A 12-year-old girl was separated from her godmother as her family fled the Bahamas for the U.S.

Credit: @ewarren / Twitter

According to Miami Herald, Kaytora Paul flew with her godmother from Nassau to West Palm Beach, Florida. When the pair arrived at the airport, Customs and Border Patrol immediately diverted them the Miami International Airport. When they arrived at Miami International Airport, the young girl was taken from her godmother.

The news of the separation has sparked outrage across the country with many demanding to know what is going on.

Credit: @Alyssa_Milano / Twitter

The young girl was then sent to His House Children’s Home, which is used for unaccompanied migrant children. CBP claims they separated the girl from the godmother because she is not her biological relative. However, it is also being reported that the girl’s biological aunt arrived at the airport to pick the young girl up and CBP refused to release the girl to her aunt.

Kaytora’s parents are desperately trying to reunite with their daughter currently in immigration detention.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

“CBP made multiple attempts to contact family members however was unsuccessful—resulting in the need to transfer the child to HHS custody. CBP exercises due diligence to guard against child exploitation and human smuggling during uncertainties created by natural disasters and emergencies,” a CBP spokesperson said in an email to Miami Herald. “When encountering minors, there are legal requirements that CBP must follow that are in place to ensure the safety of the child.”

The incident is taking a toll on the young girl’s family.

Credit: @chrisgeidner / Twitter

“I thought losing my house was devastating. Or having to relocate to a different island or country was devastating,” Katty Paul, Kaytora’s mother, told Miami Herald. “But when I found out that they got her, my baby, I mean, there are no words. It was at that moment that I really lost everything.”

People in the U.S. and the international community are calling on CBP to do the right thing and allow the young girl to be reunited with her family.

Credit: @brownblaze / Twitter

The Paul family lived on the Abaco island. The island is one of the most devastated places in the Bahamas. The category 5 hurricane sat on the Bahamas for 36 hours with winds up to 200+ miles per hour. The devastation of the island nation is forcing Bahamians to evacuate in droves as they hope for a recovery. The official death toll for Hurricane Dorian is currently 50 but it is expected to rise. Some Bahamians have disputed the official number stating that it is clearly higher.

Bahamians were told by the U.S. government that they were allowed to come to the U.S. to escape the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, but there seem to be a few catches.

Credit: @Haikatrine / Twitter

One ferry was told to remove all people without visas to travel to the U.S. after it had set sail despite the U.S. telling people they did not need a visa. CBP claims it was the ferry who told people to disembark the boat but the ferry company places the blame entirely on CBP.

h/t: Miami Herald

READ: The US Promised Entry To Bahamians Without Visas Following Hurricane Dorian Then Changed Their Mind