Continuing to expand its global reach, Will2Way Foundation is collecting items for Bahamians impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Since making landfall Sept. 1 as a Category 5, the hurricane has killed more than 40 people in the Bahamas, leaving about 70,000 homeless.
"Because of our hearts to serve worldwide when there is destruction due to natural disasters and because of our track record that people know and trust that we will deliver the items directly to the sources, we are often the first point of contact from those in the community on how we collectively can help” said Pamela Whitfield, CEO and founder of Will2Way Foundation. “We started to put a plan into action as soon [as] the rumor of the hurricanes started but never did we fathom the amount of devastation that consume these islands in the Bahamas.
"Over 70,000 people have lost absolutely everything. We must help."
Whitfield shared Will2Way will be collecting items at two Cartersville businesses: JDH Electric, 312 S. Tennessee St., Sept. 10 to 20 — Tuesday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. — and Sept. 21 from 7 to 11 a.m.; and Clavon’s Hair Design, 316 N. Bartow St., Sept. 11 to 20 — Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"Bartow County/Cartersville residents can do what we do best — rally together to help others," Whitfield said. "We as a community [have] always gone above and beyond to help others, and I have no doubt that we will do that again in grand number."
Along with monetary contributions via Will2Way's website Cash App, donors are encouraged to deliver bottled water; nonperishable food items; baby wipes; diapers; formula; towels; blankets; pillows; sheet sets; cleaning supplies; wet wipes; trash bags; gloves; flashlights; air mattresses; portable stoves; generators; butane canisters, nonelectronic can openers; first aid kits; mosquito repellent; and hygiene kits.
A complete list of needed items is available on the organization's website, https://will2wayfoundation.org.
"Once we collect the items, pack and ship, we will take items to the port of Miami and get it loaded on [a] cargo ship," Whitfield said. "Once the ship is loaded with our items and other items from other businesses, nonprofits, etc., within five business days items will be delivered to dock. It is our plan to arrive in the Freeport area — depends on airport accessibility. If not, we will fly into Nassau, where a large percentage of citizens have been shipped, to pass out items. We are working with local officials for a game plan to ensure our team's safety while we serve those in need. We need our community's help to provide these items all in which are tax deductible."
Formerly known as Soul Sistas Run Inc., the organization changed its name to Will2Way Foundation in 2017.
According to https://will2wayfoundation.org, "We started as a group of individuals that wanted to encourage each other to walk/run by any means necessary to just finish. We saw the need to help our community through serving, mentoring and making a difference in the world."
Along with mentoring weekly to local female students and providing hurricane relief, some of the group's outreach efforts have included providing weekly assistance to the homeless in Atlanta and delivering food to those in need monthly in Bartow.
"Our mission, plain and simple — we serve those in need worldwide," Whitfield said, adding Will2Way Foundation has "provided outreach to 26 states, eight countries and over 300,000 people worldwide. Six of those efforts include relief efforts for Houston, Jacksonville, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, south Georgia, Panama City, and now we want to do the same thing for the Bahamas."