Labor Day weekend seemed to bring nothing but bad news, especially in the Caribbean, where Hurricane Dorian left death and destruction along the northern Bahamas, and is still cutting a swath off the U.S. East Coast, heading toward Georgia and the Carolinas.
But while government workers cleared wharfs, runways, and helipads to get personnel and equipment on the ground, volunteers were already making a difference — proving that individuals and small teams can sometimes do what a clunky, big government cannot.
A woman in the Bahamas knew that during any natural disaster, stray animals and even pets are often left behind or forgotten. In preparation for what turned out to be a 2-day Category 5 storm, Chella Phillips took in nearly 100 dogs, keeping them nourished and hydrated, while bestowing love and calming them inside her Nassau home.
“97 dogs are inside my house and 79 of them are inside my master bedroom,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
After describing the mayhem of having so many canines cooped up inside her home, Phillips asked readers to, “Please pray for the Bahamas!”
She was aware that as bad as Nassau was hit, it was nothing as compared to Abaco and Freeport.
"I pray for the other islands who have unimaginable damages and I don't see how any dogs or any living being could have survived outside. My heart goes out to them," Phillips added.
During an NBC News telephone interview, she said that although the dogs were generally well-behaved, she’d been cleaning after them non-stop.
"It's been insane. So many dogs, I can't even get one step without a dog being on my foot," Phillips said. "But I'm not complaining because ... everybody’s safe and that was the main goal for this."
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C.-based celebrity chef José Andrés and his crew were also on the ground and running, knowing that those affected by the storm needed nourishment — not just for sustenance but to give them hope.
He refers to himself as a "Food First Responder," directing what he calls the World Central Kitchen Chef Relief team, which he shortens to WCK, a nonprofit he founded about a decade ago.
He and his team of fellow chefs arrived in Miami Thursday and met with Bahamian officials to map out a game plan and "help coordinate a feeding response."
A WCK Dorian Response map depicted some 13 areas where his chefs would be deployed, including in kitchens inside Abaco Beach Resort, Atlantis Bahamas, Grand Lucayan Resorts in Grand Bahama Island, and Castaways Resorts and Suites in Freeport.
While small teams and individual volunteers were making a real difference, Democratic lawmakers and liberal journalists got on their soapboxes and pointed fingers.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., blamed Dorian on global climate change, implied that it sought out the poor and marginalized, and claimed that the only answer was to implement her multi-trillion dollar Green New Deal.
"This is what climate change looks like: it hits vulnerable communities first," she tweeted. “This is about science & leadership. We either decarbonize & cut emissions, or we don’t & let people die.”
Vox journalist Aaron Rupar was, if anything, even more off the rails. During Dorian’s early stages, he compared statements made by President Donald Trump when the storm threatened Puerto Rico, to when Florida appeared in Dorian’s crosshairs.
He detected a case of presidential racism and said, “when the hurricane is headed toward brown people vs. when it’s headed toward white people.”
Not only did Rupar see something that didn’t exist, but he never bothered to consult an almanac.
Puerto Rico has a population of 3.2 million people — primarily Hispanic. Florida has 4.7 million Hispanics, and 3.2 million blacks.
Although unrelated to Dorian, the weekend also revealed the story of journalist-turned-activist Julie Akins, who saw on the one hand homeless families genuinely trying to get back on their feet, and on the other school buses that were retired due to safety issues.
She put the two together and began converting the buses into tiny homes. She’s singlehandedly doing more for the homeless population than San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon combined. Those Democratic-run cities’ only solution is to turn their streets into dumping grounds of garbage, human waste, and makeshift shelters.
In return, the families are giving something back. Akins is chronicling her experience into a book that’s tentatively titled, “One Paycheck Away.”
Volunteers and private charities, including faith-based organizations, can do so much more than government — especially large, centralized governments. The reason may be because their efforts are rooted in passion and not a paycheck.
And that’s something the Ocasios-Cortezes of the world will never understand.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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