Brooklyn-based Vincy umbrella group gives back

From eft, Crispin Friday, Jaqueline Springer, Ynolde ‘Nollie’ Walkin, Brionique Glassgow, Donnette Dowers, Laverne Mc Dowald-Thompson and Ancilla Friday.
Laverne McDowald-Thompson

The Brooklyn-based Vincentian umbrella group in the US, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO), over the Christmas holidays, donated US$2000.00 to a home that provides a safe housing and nurturing environment for abused and socially-displaced teenaged girls in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

According to COSAGO President Laverne McDowald-Thompson, members of the group, including her, who were home for the season, handed over the check to Our Lady of Guadalupe Home. House Mom Donette Dowers, and Brionique Glasgow, received the donation, McDowald-Thompson said.

The president said she, along with Ancilla Friday (general secretary), Crispin Friday (chairman of Church Service Committee), Ynolde Walkin (member of Club St. Vincent and Mas Production Unlimited), and Jacqueline Springer (supporter) participated in the handing-over ceremony.

“Through our communication with the administrator, Ms. Dopwell, we found out that, once these teenage girls come through their doors, their focus is to transform their lives,” McDowald-Thompson told Caribbean Life on Monday. “They must be enrolled and are attending school. Also, they must be attending church.

“Members of COSAGO thought that our donation will be spent very meaningfully,” she added. “We were happy that we were able to visit the home and saw some of the young ladies for ourselves.

“They were very warm and mannerly,” the COSAGO president continued. “I was very touched just by the understanding of how they came into the home. Right away, you start thinking – what else can I do for them, what are some of their needs? However, you can see that they are well cared for.”

McDowald-Thompson said Mrs. Friday, too, was “very touched,” when the House Mom indicated that there were girls who had lost their mothers.

One girl lost her mom at 2 years old, but, “luckily for her, she had a host of family members who cared for her,” McDowald-Thompson said.

She said that, every year, COSAGO and its member organizations make “considerable donations to various communities in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and here in the Diaspora.”

“Many individuals, schools, hospitals, community clinics and various institutions have received help,” said McDowald-Thompson, stating that, over the years, COSAGO has donated bed sheets to the Lewis Punnett Home, an institution for the aged in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

COSAGO also donates bed sheets, kitchen essentials and medical supplies to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in capital, Kingstown, and to various health clinics, she said.

In addition, McDowald-Thompson said COSAGO co-sponsors Team SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) to the Penn Relay Games at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; donates gifts to the Nine Morning Committee at home; and contributes disaster relief supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other Caribbean countries.

“COSAGO continues to foster a close relationship with our Vincentain community,” she said. “We coordinate trips to Vincy Day in Canada and right here in New York.

“Along with the Consulate, we commemorate our nation’s independence,” she added. “And when the need arises, we help to with the coordination of disaster relief drives.”

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