A Canadian woman who worked with special needs children in the Bahamas is among the victims of Hurricane Dorian.
The Category 5 hurricane has claimed the lives of at least 20 people.
“Friends, we have gotten word that our dear Alishia Sabrina Liolli was taken by the storm,” a Facebook post from Every Child Counts (ECC) Dorian Disaster Relief Fund reads. “She was truly a gentle sweet compassionate soul who dedicated her life in service of others.”
A LaSalle, Ont. native, Liolli worked with ECC, a school for students with special needs in the island nation, according to Autism Services Inc. of Windsor & Essex County (ASI).
According to ASI, Liolli lived in the Bahamas during the school year where she ran the Starfish Enterprises Vocational Training Centre, a program at ECC – a charitable organization that helps children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
ASI said Liolli has been returning to Windsor each summer since 2013 to work at the Bruce Awad Summer Program.
“She was incredibly dedicated to the children and families that she had worked with,” wrote ASI in an online post. “Her personality, compassion, knowledge, sense of humour and smile surely touched everyone she encountered. We will miss her tremendously and send our thoughts and support to her family in Windsor and the Bahamas.”
A GoFundMe campaign to bring Liolli’s body home has now been launched.
“On behalf of the entire family, please help us raise the funds necessary to bring Alishia home to her family,” the campaign’s description reads.
The campaign notes that any excess funds raised “will be donated to the Every Child Counts School in March Harbor Abaco, Bahamas.”
Those funds “will be donated in Alishia’s name to help rebuild the school that she worked at.”