This bride turned her bachelorette party into a Bahamas hurricane-relief mission

Sep 27, 2019

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Georgia bride Rikki Kahley was looking forward to her September bachelorette party in the Bahamas with her family and friends. Then Hurricane Dorian struck, two weeks before their departure date.

Rikki and her crew were booked to arrive at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau on Sept. 12. So Rikki’s mother, Sandy Gibbs Kahley, reached out to the resort, thinking that it would be better if the nine women canceled their trip. But the reservations staff told them that the resort was fully operational and begged them to come anyway, Sandy told CNN. “The lady I spoke with was crying: ‘Please don’t cancel! We need your tourism.'”

Photo courtesy of the Kahley family.
Chloe Kahley, left, and Rikki Kahley, right. Photo courtesy of the Kahley family.


Sandy’s next thought was to donate their hotel rooms to local struggling families. “I told them it was very hard for us to come celebrate when [the locals] were hurting. But the hospitality team told Sandy “they would feel bad about kicking them out after a few nights.”

So Rikki’s sister Chloe suggested a pivot: turning the trip into a hurricane relief mission instead. “She has a servant’s heart. She’s always looking to help people,” Rikki said of Chloe. “She came up with the idea, and we saw it as a good opportunity.” So lieu of balloons, party paraphernalia and hot pink sashes, the Kahleys and friends focused their efforts on soliciting donations of clothing, food, diapers and other items for the struggling Bahamians.

As word spread, the local community stepped up big time: By the time Rikki and her posse boarded their Delta flights to Nassau, a whopping 37 suitcases accompanied them on board, along with an additional $1,800 in cash donations.

Today as we are remembering and praying for our country- I wanted to share a lot of the items donated for us to take to…

Posted by Sandy Gibbs Kahley on Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Delta Air Lines and the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar pitched in to augment the group’s generosity: the airline waived all baggage fees for the excess luggage, while the resort gratefully accepted the donations and made sure the supplies made it into the right hands.

“The main reason I wanted to take supplies down was because I have everything I need plus more,” Chloe said. “The Bahamians had nothing after the hurricane hit. I felt like God was using me and my resources to help them.”

“Our trip was really fun, and I know our supplies went to the right people, so it was great,” Rikki said. “We were excited to be able to lend a hand.”

Featured photo courtesy of Sandy Gibbs Kahley.

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