Lia Head and Gina Knowles

“My network is just too strong to sit and watch.” This was the feeling Lia Head had while tracking Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.  In the early morning of Friday Oct 2, Lia quickly called and woke up her good friend Gina Knowles, and together the HeadKnowles duo mobilized an unprecedented disaster relief response via social media.

The efforts of HeadKnowles and their extensive network was the catalyst behind Bahamians using the hashtag #OneBahamas to further relief efforts.  “It’s very cool to have inspired #OneBahamas because that’s what we are.  We are #OneBahamas together with all Bahamians”, says Lia.

Initially, the HeadKnowles team planned to send two or three palates of supplies on a boat to hurricane affected areas.  However, with the initial assistance of radio personality JJ with 100 Jamz, the first weekend of collecting was so overwhelmingly successful, they realized they were in a position to do so much more.

The HeadKnowles Hurricane Joaquin relief operation gathered momentum quickly and was executed with an impressive display of purpose in an effort to help those individuals impacted throughout the southern islands of The Bahamas.  Corporate donors and ordinary Bahamians delivered truckloads and shipping containers of water, food, clothing and other essential items to assist affected communities.  Items were stored in a warehouse facility and assembled for distribution.  Donations of cheques and cash were also given to HeadKnowles.

The generosity of Bahamian businesses, organizations, and individuals, along with international donors, knew no end – and still knows no end, as the donations continue to arrive, six weeks later.  The list of contributors is extensive, but Lia and Gina’s personal ethics have ensured that they used what was given to them to help those who need assistance.

Gina says her involvement in this project has renewed her faith, noting that she has now found her purpose – a purpose to help others. Her husband says “this is why God gave you a loud voice, so that you can use it because people will listen to you and do good.”

The HeadKnowles team feels accomplished through their efforts in building a Stronger Bahamas.  “Bahamians can still do good,” says Lia. “Our success is because people trusted us to inspire #OneBahamas.”

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