Fearful that her brother would lose his life, Ava Barrett had her eyes glued to the television set as she watched Hurricane Dorian destroy her home country of the Bahamas.
“I’m watching MSNBC and CNN to track the hurricane, and what I’m looking at is videos of where my brother is living,” Barrett said.
Before coming to Troy University, Barrett was listed as one of rapper Flo Rida’s artists. She would write and record music and sought to hone her craft at a public institution. She is now a part of Troy’s popular music ensemble POPulus, which she is using as a launch pad to bring in donations for hurricane relief in the Bahamas.
“A few Bahamians who actually attend Troy and myself, we’ve been doing efforts to try and bring in supplies and stuff to send it back to people in need,” Barrett said.
Cellphone video shows her brother’s flooded home as waves battered the glass door on the second floor.
“You just see water coming in, and I’m just there, praying and hoping that he’ll make it out alive, and thankfully he did make it out alive. It was very scary for me, and I can’t imagine what it feels like for the people who weren’t as lucky as my brother.”
Everyone in Barrett’s immediate family survived the storm on Sept. 1, but she feels for those who need a helping hand. As the United States Coast Guard, Royal Navy and Jamaican Defense force move into the area to begin picking up the pieces, Barrett said she hopes to do the same in Troy.
“It’s really an effort of unity that I have been trying to bring out through myself,” she said.
Barrett is encouraging people to bring supplies such as tarps, tents and clothing as well as non-perishable food items and water to the university’s international office in Hawkins Hall.
“Drop off anything that you feel may help another person,” she stated.
On Sept. 28, POPulus will participate in a tailgate performance before the Troy vs. Arkansas State football game. She said she will use the stage as a platform to stir up donations.
“Donate, donate, donate what you can,” she advocated. “We appreciate everything that you can do.
“It really is the little things that do go a long way.”