Following the devastation to the Florida Keys due to Hurricane Irma, BV305 looked beyond themselves, and instead looked towards those in need. Having gone to the Keys to help in cleaning and rebuilding portions of the home of a family in need, they decided they couldn’t stop there. On their long drive to this home, they were struck with grief at the sight of the many who were affected by the storm. From toppled trees, to flooded homes, and leaky roofs, and in extreme cases, collapsed homes whose stilts and foundation gave in to the flurry of wave after wave, the amount of need was unlike anything they’ve witnessed before. The number of families left without resources was shocking, and something needed to be done. As they usually do, they took matters into their own hands.
Their campaign for the Keys began right after the storm struck, predicting the necessity of their neighbors. However, they redoubled their efforts after seeing the destruction and devastation first hand. The Bearded Villains of Miami worked hard to spread word and find help where it was offered. The donations and willingness was there in troves. People from all over the country, and even some overseas reached out to provide help monetarily, as well as sending certain good that would be most helpful. They arrived in Big Pine Key early Saturday, September 30th, and with the help of the Boys and Girls Club, as well as a team from Progressive, drove in with two trucks loaded to the ceiling with everything one could need in such a crisis.
They set up a tent off of Overseas Highway, the one road that goes directly down to Key West from Florida City, and began separating and organizing all they brought, to make available to the public. They had everything one could need, from clothing, to diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products, canned foods, to batteries, toiletries and an abundant of other products who many found difficult to acquire. One had simply to ask, and they were given what was needed. The elation on the faces of those poor souls being all the payment necessary. Best of all, the effort didn’t stop with that.
Others came to the aid of these humble Floridians in addition to those already present. An organization of Military Veterans called Vets to the Keys, joined forces with BV305. Bringing donations of their own, as well as abled bodies, and a plan to help those who needed more than just supplies. As mentioned before, the physical damage to the towns was devastating, and although many locals banded together to help one another, their time became scarce as life began to normalize and businesses resumed their operations, limiting their ability to continue helping their neighbor’s effectively. Those who were assisted were beyond words at the help. To think that so many selfless individuals would drive 2 to 3 hours to help strangers was overwhelming to them. But nonetheless, the help was accepted gleefully, and a great effort was made. More than 15 families were assisted that day, from something as simple as moving debris, to as laboring as chopping and removing trees, the brothers worked together to provide hope to these people.
In the coming months, there is hope to see the Florida Keys returned to its glory. The bearded brothers continue to push their efforts in that hope. Charity may start at home, but one cannot lose sight of their neighbors.
Written by: Javi Vasallo