When news broke that Hurricane Dorian was about the ravage the Bahamas and slam Florida’s coast, Chassity Vega, executive officer of Greater Orlando Builders Association
(GOBA), sprang into action. Since then, hundreds of hurricane relief items have been collected and shipped to the Bahamas
“Florida knows the pains of major hurricanes…your immediate response is to help,” said Vega, who spearheaded the relief efforts. The entire community, including HBA staff, were hunkering down for the storm when Vega organized an initial conference call with a few GOBA members.
“You’re running on adrenaline,” shared Vega. During the call, members and HBA staff came up with a plan to coordinate a hurricane relief drive. Immediately after the call, HBA staff developed a flyer and shared it on GOBA's social media channels. Vega then distributed the flyer to other executive officers (EOs).
The response was overwhelming.
[caption id="attachment_16225" align="alignleft" width="300"] Local building officials and project superintendent attendees load donations to support Hurricane Dorian relief efforts[/caption]
Teachers, hospitals, churches, salons, other businesses and individuals looking for a way to help started coming to GOBA in droves to drop off hurricane relief items. The Tampa Bay BA, Marion County BIA, Volusia BIA and HBA of Lake-Sumter also collected items to contribute to GOBA. Before long, the office was filled with medical supplies, food, diapers, water, hygiene products and generators. Through community connections, GOBA successfully filled two trailers full of hurricane relief items and coordinated a drop-off location for shipment.
Vega credits the success of the drive to the rapid response of HBA members and the dedicated GOBA staff, “It shows the community that we are in this together.”