Pilots respond to call to support from Bahamas Habitat

Due to the overwhelming generosity of its donors, and a hangar bay full of supplies, Bahamas Habitat, a non-profit organization, found itself short of aircraft to fly supplies to The Bahamas for its 14th Fly In to Serve Others event. The bi-annual four-day volunteer experience, Feb. 20-23, launches from Orlando to deliver supplies and support for island projects.

For the last month, donors from across the US have been shipping a record amount of office supplies, medical devices and supplies, building and construction equipment, and automotive repair gear to the fly-in launching pad at Showalter Flying Service.

Orlando pilots responded to the call for additional aircraft support and are joining the fly-in volunteers on Feb. 20 to transport goods to Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera in The Bahamas.

“This is a great problem to have,” says Steve Merritt, Bahamas Habitat president. “Even though there are a record 11 privately-owned aircraft participating in our fly-in, twice as many as usual, there was still a significant amount of supplies that would have been left behind for another trip. We’re so grateful to Bob Showalter, president of Showalter Flying Service, and other Orlando-based pilots who are volunteering their time and aircraft to fly in these additional loads of donated supplies. Once you get past the front row of resorts and take the time to get to know the people of The Bahamas, you understand how great the need is to serve. The generosity of Showalter and Orlando area pilots ensures that these important supplies will get to their destination on time. The fly-in gives pilots the chance to do what they’ve always wanted: Use their aircraft and aviation skills to do some good in the world.”

Since its founding in 2006, Bahamas Habitat has raised more than $1.5 million for its projects and was a partner in the funding and building of the Zion Children’s Home for abused and neglected island kids.

Fly-in activities include bringing in potable water, roofing and painting hurricane-damaged homes, digging a cistern, delivering medical supplies and information, building a children’s home for abused kids and reviving ailing vehicles.

The organization’s next big project is a vocational building, a resource center to teach job skills to Bahamian citizens with an emphasis on construction for building houses and commercial buildings, and auto mechanics.

For more information: BahamasHabitat.org.

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