Stories of Courage: Linda Barry Cooper

Even when she had lost everything, Linda Barry Cooper put her community above all. Hurricane Matthew left Mrs. Cooper with little more than her family and the clothes on their back. When asked about the devastation Mrs. Cooper was grateful to still have her family and her faith, knowing that God will provide for her. In the midst of her own losses, Mrs. Cooper focuses on helping others.

As chairman of the West-End Eco Fishing Camp Association, Mrs. Cooper is a strong advocate for her community. Mrs. Cooper has gone beyond wishful thinking, by playing an active and instrumental role in rebuilding her West-End community after Hurricane Matthew.

“My first thought after the storm was how fast and how soon I was going to be able to go help these people.” She called on neighbours to rise, and establish a soup and sandwich ministry to put warm food in the bellies of people who had nothing. She prayed for the Lord to provide resources and when those resources arrived, she helped rebuild.

In the aftermath of Matthew, Mrs. Cooper shows us all how being a good neighbor can change a community. She says that Bahamians are strong, resilient people, and that we are stronger together. “If everyone lived the way the Bible told us, loving thy neighbor, then we would astound the whole world.”

Working together in unity, sharing resources and helping people who can’t help themselves helps strengthen all communities and all Bahamians. This is Mrs. Cooper’s vision for the Bahamas, and she strives every day to live full of compassion and empathy.

“Bahamian people are very resilient. Their ability to bounce back after something like this is amazing. Now is the time to rise; the best thing we can do is help one another.”

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