FRESNO, Calif. - The Island of Barbuda is still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The holidays are around the corner and a local woman is making sure the children there don't go without.
Bonnie Floyd said she has an emotional connection to Barbuda. Floyd said her parents went to the island 23 years ago and were brutally murdered.
She said after some years she says she was able to forgive the people by the grace of God.
Floyd said she now considers everyone on the island her family and wants to help give them the Miracle of Christmas.
From clothes to toys, Penny Murray and her grand-daughter Tianna, 11, are getting a jump start on their holiday shopping.
But it's for hundreds of children they've never met.
"We've taken on the project of helping Bonnie shop," Murray said.
That project is the 'Miracle of Christmas', helping 312 children ages 1 to 18 who where left with nothing after Hurricane Irma ripped through the island of Barbuda, more than two months ago.
"It's been completely devastated by the hurricane and so we're able to provide some Christmas gifts for them," Murray said.
It's all organized by Bonnie Floyd, a Fresno native, who said the island now holds a special place in her heart.
"I just love them, I've grown to love them so much," Bonnie Floyd of Bonnie Floyd Ministries, said.
Floyd said even though her parents were brutally murdered there while on vacation, through the Grace of God, she forgave the people.
She said since then she has spent a lot of her time on the island with her ministry.
"We happened to be over there when hurricane irma hit and so we were there and help with the evacuation, we helped with taking care of them in the shelters and different things," Floyd said.
Floyd said they were some of the first people allowed by boat to supply folks on the island with basic living needs.
But she says after these last few months the people are still hurting.
"Everything they've ever owned in their entire lives is gone, they have nothing, every toy they've ever own is gone, every house is completely decimated," Floyd said.
Floyd said because of that, she rallied her Central Valley friends to take on sponsoring several children. She gave them a five-item wish list the kids requested.
"It has been put on my heart by The Lord to give the children of Barbuda a Christmas to remember during the most difficult time in their life," Floyd said.
Murray and her granddaughter echoed that very sentiment.
"We can't travel to go and help do all the things they're doing but we can be a part in being a blessing to them," Murray said.
Floyd said her organization plans to distribute the gifts to the island on December 16.
But before then, she says they still need folks to sponsor a child.
For more information on how to sponsor a child visit her website: https://bonniefloydministries.reachapp.co/sponsorships