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West Chester University Graduate Helping Raise Thousands For Hurricane Dorian Survivors In Bahamas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The rebuild has begun in the Bahamas as two big stars have joined forces to help Hurricane Dorian survivors. Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake created the One Bahamas Fund to help families and businesses rebuild. Together, they've pledged $6 million toward Dorian relief.

Kaitlin Lederer is a middle school teacher in Eleuthera, which is just south of Abaco and Bahamas and escaped the massive destruction of Hurricane Dorian.

The West Chester University graduate, along with fellow alum and teacher Phoebe Hannah, saw firsthand areas that were wiped out by the storm.

"In the last couple of days, we've had a lot of evacuees come from Abaco or Grand Bahama," Lederer said. "They're either processed here and then they're taken to Nassau or they're processed and then they stay here either with family or in a shelter."

Driving home from Three Island Dock where we processed evacuees from Abaco. I'm not sure how to process the last week. Or today. People were smiling. Coming from what is a complete disaster zone, people were SMILING. It is humbling to be a part of this community and to be among humans taking care of other humans. While we were there, we realized that we had collected over $8,000 in donations. And to be there and see the supplies at work, I can't explain what that meant. Many people have reached out to say thank you. But really, we are just loving the country that has given us so much love. Isn't that what we should be doing in this world anyway? Now let's go get that $9,000, what do you say Phoebe Hannah?! Venmo: Kaitlin-Lederer PayPal: Message for information ????????❤️????????

Posted by Kaitlin Amanda on Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lederer spoke with CBS3 via Facebook video. She says last week calls were coming in from friends back home asking how they could help.

"I said to her that I heard that evacuees would probably come to Eleuthera and if she wanted to donate money to me so I could purchase supplies on island," Lederer said. "So she donated $20 through Venmo and from there it took off. By that night, I raised hundreds of dollars."

Hundreds turned into thousands within a matter of days with social media fueling the outpouring of support.

"Since then we've been collecting money through Venmo and through PayPal," Lederer said, "and we've now reached almost $11,000 in nine days all through social media."

Another round of shopping complete. These supplies are going directly to a family who have evacuated from Abaco. As soon...

Posted by Kaitlin Amanda on Monday, September 9, 2019

They've been able to buy vital necessities like food, water and toiletries -- the most basic needs for those who have basically lost everything.

Lederer has only been teaching on the island for a year, but she wants to give back to those who have given her so much.

"One of my biggest goals is to just keep promoting awareness because people are still going to need our help, people are still going to need our support over these months and years to come," Lederer said. "I'm just trying to give this country some love back that they have given me."

Lederer says they'll continue to raise money and awareness about the need for supplies in the Bahamas, hoping to see the fundraising number continue to grow.

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