HU Sponsors Hurricane Relief Drive For the Bahamas

September 19, 2019

Las Vegas, New Mexico – New Mexico Highlands University is sponsoring a hurricane relief drive for the people of the Bahamas who survived Hurricane Dorian.

Erika Derkas, Highlands sociology professor, and Ruthy Watson, HU-CARES director, are leading the relief effort.

“We are doing this because the Bahamian community is struggling after the hurricane, and it’s been difficult to get aid directly to the people,” Derkas said. “The idea came from Shanea Strachan, one of our Highlands University graduates, who is from the Bahamas.”

The first collection for much-needed goods will take place at the Highlands University homecoming tailgate party Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the parking lot of the Champ Tyrone Music Building at 1052 11th St. The parking lot is on the north side of the building, bordering Baca Avenue.

Some suggested items include bottled water, snacks, non-perishable food such as canned soup, tuna and chicken, fruit cups, pouched juices like Capri Sun, sanitary items like pads, wipes, pampers, and clothing in good shape.

“These are the types of supplies we were advised are needed most,” Derkas said.

“We need to help take care of our island neighbors,” Watson said. “I lived in Florida for 15 years and have many friends from the Bahamas. I feel motivated to bring attention to their stories and help in this way.”

The collected items are being sent through Western Air, a main Bahamas airline, in Florida. An agency dedicated to delivering the items directly to the people of the island will be used.

The Highlands hurricane relief drive will continue. People may drop off items at the Highlands Womxn’s Center in Hewett Hall, Room 212, 1103 National Ave. or at the HU-CARES Office, Highlands Student Center, Room 328, 800 National Ave.

“This hurricane relief drive is part of a long-term solution to help with the effort to rebuild the island,” Derkas said.

 For more information, contact Derkas at or 505-454-4342 or Watson at or 505-454-3445.