'We really are a united front': Montrealer organizes relief effort for the Bahamas

Montrealer Jason Forbes has been busy coordinating a local relief effort, doing whatever he can from afar to help victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Jason Forbes has three family members in the Bahamas still unaccounted for

Jason Forbes, also known as DJ Judgement, is working to help his family and others affected by Hurricane Dorian after it surged through the Bahamas. (Jaela Bernstien/CBC)

Jason Forbes is still waiting anxiously to hear from three of his family members after a powerful hurricane ripped through the Bahamas.

But the Montrealer isn't waiting with idle hands. He has been busy co-ordinating a relief effort, doing whatever he can from afar to help victims of Hurricane Dorian.

"As Montrealers, we really are a united front, no matter where we are from," Forbes told CBC Montreal's Daybreak on Wednesday.

He said he is touched by the outpouring of support he's received from friends of all nationalities.

"I really, really thank everyone who actually reached out," said Forbes, who is originally from the Bahamas and goes by the stage name DJ Judgment. 

He encourages people to follow his DJ Judgment Facebook page to stay updated on his effort to mobilize Montrealers to help those affected by the hurricane.

Jason Forbes is still hoping to hear from his aunt, Lucille Grant, his uncle, Lincoln Grant, and his cousin, Joshua Grant. (Submitted by Jason Forbes)

As many as 13,000 homes in the Bahamas may have been destroyed or severely damaged in the strongest storm ever to hit the region. The death toll is not yet clear as rescue crews are still unable to access some areas.

Fundraising, collecting supplies

Forbes still hasn't heard from an aunt, uncle and cousin. He said those family members are in an area that has lost phone and internet service.

He has launched a fundraising campaign collecting financial donations and supplies to be sent down to the Caribbean nation where floodwaters have yet to recede. 

Videos captured in some locations show waves crashing against second-storey windows, trapping residents on the upper floors of their homes and throwing debris in every direction.

This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on the island of Man-o-War Cay in the Bahamas on Tuesday. (Medic Corps via AP)

Forbes is working on setting up drop boxes around the city where people can donate goods. Next Friday, he is organizing a gathering in LaSalle where there will be a host of activities and donations to the cause will be collected.

Organizing events is nothing new Forbes, as he is involved with Carifiesta, the annual Caribbean carnival held in Montreal since 1974.

Forbes says he is collaborating with HeadKnowles, a Bahamian non-profit organization that has set up relief efforts in Nassau, Bahamas and Orlando, Fla.

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak and Jaela Bernstien


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