Fly In to Serve Others is a special, twice-a-year volunteer experience to deliver much-needed supplies and support for island projects, introducing pilots and aircraft owners to the joys of flying to The Bahamas while allowing them to directly support the vital mission of Bahamas Habitat. In the spring and fall, Bahamas Habitat organizes volunteer pilots to fly in 35 to 40 adults for a four-day intensive project on the islands. A unique blend of performing community service and enjoying the real Bahamas, participant volunteers spend two days on roofing projects, house-painting and foundation repairs and two days getting to know these beautiful islands. To donate to Fly In to Serve Others, click here.
We’re Dedicating the New Vocational Building YOU Helped Create
Join Us: Bahamas Habitat’s Fall 2015 Fly In To Serve Others
Thursday, October 22 – Sunday, October 25
“This is not a charity; we’re not fixing people. We’re serving with people to make lives and communities better: the lives of Bahamians as well as volunteers and, by extension, the lives of vacationers–even the environment. This experience lifts everybody up.”
–Katharine Zimmerman, FL
The Fall 2015 Fly In to Serve Others event, a twice-a-year volunteer experience that unites aviators and people who love to fly with Bahamas Habitat to provide dignified humanitarian outreach to The Bahamas, is different this year. During the October Fly-In, we’ll celebrate the dedication of the new Gary London Vocational Center, a resource facility to teach useful and marketable job skills to Bahamian citizens–and a three-year labor of love by Bahamas Habitat, Camp Symonette and Bahamians. The school will teach courses in construction for building houses and commercial buildings and auto repair, with a focus on diesel vehicles.
It’s been quite a journey for the 2400 square foot building over the last three years. Literally. Funded with a generous $100,000 donation by Marleta London in memory of her late husband Gary, the building was donated by the owners, the Dicke family from Ohio, and floated across the bay from Harbour Island to its new home in Camp Symonette on Eleuthera. Back on terra firma, Camp, Bahamian and Fly-In volunteers have been putting hands and feet to the vision: a group from Alabama disassembled the building, local contractors built the slab and then a team led by Ed Hutter from near Atlanta put up the building. Since last spring, volunteers have been busily creating classrooms. Right now, the center is bustling with final construction: building the inside walls, wiring, plumbing the bath and shower, creating a break room, setting up outdoor picnic tables, adding furniture, constructing shelves and work benches, outfitting classrooms with tools and machinery–even installing a grease pit for the auto mechanics curriculum.
“It’s really exciting to see this building become a reality,” says Bahamas Habitat President Steve Merritt. Bahamas Habitat enabled acquisition of the building and coordinated the move and construction as well as provided invaluable project management and coaching. The non-profit will also help Camp Symonette program the center with courses and instructors. “It’s taken time, but all good things do. The best action we can take to support the organization and community is to help folks earn a living. Assistance is temporary, a skill is permanent. That’s what this vocational building will do: teach people a valuable job skill. We’re delighted to be a part of that and thankful for the many volunteers who have made it happen.”
Open to both pilots and passengers with a passion for service, the four-day Fly In to Serve Others event begins Thursday, October 22 with lunch in Orlando, FL, the Fly-In “launching pad.” After a check-in, the group takes flight, arriving in time for a beautiful Bahamian sunset. Friday, attendees will enjoy the dedication and sightseeing. Saturday’s work day has teams volunteering at a building on the grounds of the Camp. Participants return to Florida on Sunday the 25th. The registration fee covers accommodations at mission base, Bahamas Methodist Habitat’s Camp Symonette, and most meals.
Can’t come this year? Be a part of the experience and ship much-needed supplies and materials to our Venice, Florida distribution center. Check out our 2015 Materials Wish List.
Ship donations to:
Agape Account 18693 GHB
100 Airport Avenue East
Venice, Florida 34285
Be with us in spirit and make a contribution to Bahamas Habitat by clicking here.