Anonymous customer spent $49K at Costco on 100 generators for Bahamas after Dorian

Anonymous customer spent $49K at Costo on 100 generators for Bahamas after Dorian

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A man walked into a Costco store in Florida and left with 100 generators, all of which were heading to the Bahamas.

His receipt read $49,285.70 and most of that came from paying $450 a pop for 100 generators. Peas, beans, coffee, salt, pepper, and other essentials made up the rest of his mega purchase from a Costco in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

All of it was being sent to those in need on the hard-hit islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, he said.

“About 100 generators and a truckload of food and chainsaws are all going over by boat on Thursday to Marsh Harbour in The Bahamas,” a farmer from Jacksonville told CNN Wednesday. “It’s terrible, and I’m sure you’ve seen the photos.”

The man wished not to be named. He said he doesn’t want the attention, and would rather that people focus on helping those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

“It’s important that we help each other out,” he said. “It’s better than just sitting there. You see a need and you fill it.”

The world knows about this man’s good deed because someone else was at that Costco buying a generator, as his was going out. He overheard someone talking about what the farmer just did.

“I had to go up there to him and say, ‘Thank you for doing this,'” Alec Sprague said. “I am so glad to see someone doing this.”

Sprague snapped a photo of the anonymous donor from behind and also shared an image of the many generators he purchased.

Getting the generators, food, and other supplies to the Bahamas from Jacksonville would be a journey.

Trucks were set to transport the supplies to Stuart, Florida, about 250 miles south. The farmer said a storage facility was set up there so the items could then be transported to the Bahamas by boat.

Errol Thurston, a local Bahamian and longtime friend of the farmer is a boat captain who runs a guide service in Marsh Harbour, a town in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas. The pair have been good friends since the early 2000s, when they met in the Bahamas.

Thurston’s hometown was devastated by Hurricane Dorian, which crossed the island as a Category 5 storm.

He left the island to take a client’s boat to safety in Florida days before the storm with his wife, Mercedes, who lives and works in Florida as a dean at a high school.

Thurston said he had a network of friends and fellow boaters he would use as connections to help and get the supplies back home to the Bahamas.

“We are trying to book a slot on a container ship that regularly services the Abacos and Grand Bahama,” Thurston told CNN. “The guys are doing everything in their power to get us in a slot there. They know the desperation the people really need these items.”

If the wait for a container ship is too long, Thurston said his plan B would involve a lot of boats and a lot of planes.

“We have a lot of guys with planes to take it over. There are hundreds of local captains with boats who are ready on standby to take the generators and chainsaws by boat,” he said.

The planes would start carrying tarps, food, water, medicine, and other necessities by air. The boats would carry the heavier items, like generators, he said.

Thurston collected necessities from across Florida, from food and water to medicine and clothes. The top priority was getting food and water in as soon as possible. Boat shops and other local businesses were serving as the dozen or so drop-off points for people to donate items, he said.

Getting the supplies to the islands would be a challenge, with rough oceans and plenty of debris out there, Thurston said.

Thurston’s wife, a Florida native who calls Abaco home as well, was integral in helping to plan all this.

“Abaco is my husband’s home, and it’s my home, too. So we’re heartbroken,” Mercedes Thurston said. “They are the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life. They have the biggest hearts. I feel like it’s our duty to step up and help them get back on their feet they will rebuild.”

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