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NEWS | Sept. 10, 2019

Navy volunteers collect relief supplies for Bahamas

By Katherine Mapp NSWC PCD Public Affairs

After Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, employees from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) rallied together to collect supplies to aid in relief efforts by those affected by the Category 5 hurricane.

Eric Pierce, Human Systems Integration lead at NSWC PCD, said he started this effort when he could not find another means of donating to the Bahamas.

"Hurricane Michael caused horrendous damage to our area, but at least it kept moving.  I can't begin to understand how hopeless and alone the people of the Bahamas felt as Hurricane Dorian battered them for nearly thirty hours. It's a miracle anyone survived. I had to help in any way I could,” said Pierce. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

Paula Oliver, NSWC PCD Test, Evaluation, and Prototype Fabrication Division administrative assistant said she and Pierce wanted to pay it forward after many people came to the aid of the Panhandle of Florida with supplies after Hurricane Michael in 2018.

“Eric came to me and thought it would be a good idea to give back to those that just went through what we went through less than a year ago,” said Oliver. “We are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Michael and we feel the need to let those hit by Hurricane Dorian know that the Panhandle of Florida cares.”

Once the word got out, other NSWC PCD employees joined in to donate supplies.

 The employees donated goods such as work gloves, water, baby supplies, pet food, toiletries, clothing, and nonperishable food items, among other disaster relief items.

Pierce delivered the supplies to a central supply drop off zone in South Florida where the supplies were then transported to the Bahamas via private planes.