By Abby Cloud | Photo:
In early September, Hurricane Dorian became a Category 5 hurricane, just before making landfall in the islands of the Bahamas. In a once-beloved vacation destination for many, the Bahamas is now a land of destruction and debris. The destruction from Hurricane Dorian hits far too close to home as the anniversary of Hurricane Michael approaches, but now, the Bahamas are in desperation for supplies and donations. Thanks to The Workmans, a creative duo comprised of Alex and Chelsea Workman and Luke Pinder, they have started a new fundraising campaign for the Bahamas’s relief efforts.
Announced Friday, September 6, The Workmans and Pinder introduced The FUOT Project, which stands for, “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together,” a motto found at the bottom of the Bahamian Coat of Arms and is the essence of the Bahamanian spirit. This new campaign is specifically working to help those in the communities of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which is where Pinder’s family and relatives are from. “I am a Bahamian living in the United States and my father‘s family was one of the earliest settlers in Abaco before the American revolution,” Pinder explains. “My family has been there ever since and I have hundreds of relatives in Abaco and Grand Bahama.”
Mr. Workman remembers how Pinder was sending him footage that his family shared with him during the eye of the storm. Pinder’s 101 year-old great-aunt had to move twice because the place she was staying in was being blown away. “I was sitting in a hotel room in Jacksonville getting text messages from Luke as he was sharing with me photos and video his family was sending him while the eye of Dorian was over Marsh Harbour,” Mr. Workman said. “There was a rush of emotions remembering sitting in a hotel in Gainesville while Chelsea’s dad was sending us photos of Mexico Beach being ripped apart during Michael.”
This call to step forward resulted in the FUOT Project, pronounced “foot.” “FUOT symbolizes the road to recovery is one foot in front of the other,” Pinder shares. The FUOT Project has partnered with HeadKnowles and New Province Community Centre, which is where all the proceeds from this campaign will go toward. To obtain the funds needed, the Workmans have designed a new t-shirt, whose design can be found on Alex’s instagram and through their Square Up shop. Its design is reminiscent of the Bahamas’s national flag, and features the colors of aquamarine, gold, and black in an abstract outline similar to that of the flag. The Workmans are hosting The FUOT Project Presale on September 22 for the t-shirt.
Upon founding this project with the Workmans, Pinder is passionate about restoring the Bahamas to its initial state and is really hopeful about what the project can do for his home and his family that lives there. “I really believe that there will be multiple ways to get involved and to help with this project,” comments Pinder. “However, right now the first steps will be to buy a t-shirt, share our story, and bring awareness to what’s going on in the Bahamas.”
For those looking for ways to donate, you are encouraged to do so by purchasing a t-shirt. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this campaign will be given to the organizations partnered with The FUOT Project. For additional information, you can visit The FUOT’s website.