Gala dinner raises funds to aid SVG

In its continuing effort to assist St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Bronx-based St. Matthias Charities, Inc. recently held its Sixth Annual Gala Dinner at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.

The event, which attracted many Vincentian and Caribbean nationals, featured pre-eminent Caribbean gospel artiste, Florida-based Evangelist Bridgette Blucher-Simms, a St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cultural Ambassador, as well as Jamaica’s gospel singer Caswell Daley.

The Rev. Melvern Samuel, of the Love Tabernacle International, in the Brownsville, Brooklyn, brought the message.

The group’s president, Pastor Robert McBarnett, said he was very delighted with the turn-out two Saturdays ago, adding that he’s received “all positive feed-back from the attendees.”

“I am happy and pleased that the Vincentian and Caribbean communities in New York see what we are doing and our success thus far,” McBarnett told Caribbean Life, extending his “sincere thanks” to supporters, friends and co-workers for their continuous contributions.

“We are successful because of them,” he said, stating that, for the past five years, the St. Matthias Charities, Inc. has shipped seven 40-foot containers of medical and other supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

McBarnett said that the group has donated an endoscopy / colonoscopy machine to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in Kingstown, the Vincentian capital, as well as three EKG machines, blood pressure monitors, a duplicator, wheelchairs, hospital sheets, bath chairs, crutches, canes, walkers, cribs, sheets, gloves, X-Ray view boxes, face masks, bed chucks, adult pampers, nebulizers, IV Poles, and waiting area chairs and condoms, among others.

In addition, McBarnett said St. Matthias Charities, Inc., over the years, has donated books and other supplies to public schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

He said a piano was donated to an unidentified school, which was in the process of starting a music program, and eight “brand new” sewing machines were donated by the Brooklyn-based Square Deal Shippers & Movers to the West St. George Secondary School, along with fabric and thread for the school’s program. Square Deal Shippers & Movers ships all supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, McBarnett said.

He said clothing, shoes, pots, pans and other household supplies were also donated to various communities, churches and other organizations throughout the nation. Eight boxes of toys and children’s books were also donated to daycare centers, McBarnett said.

Two years ago, McBarnett said the St. Matthias Charities, Inc. conducted a mission to Grenada during which a large number of medical and other supplies were distributed.

He said the group “continues to work with the folks in Grenada by sending medical supplies as often as possible.”

In three weeks, he said the organization will be on the ground in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during which time two EKG machines will be delivered to rural clinics. He said the group’s goal is to furnish each clinic in the country with an EKG machine.

During the forthcoming trip, McBarnett said the focus will be on the Louis Punnett Home for the aged and the nearby Psychiatric Hospital in Glen in East St. George.

He said more than 200 cases of, among others, adult pampers, chucks, walkers, wheel chairs, canes and cleaning supplies, including bucket, mops, gloves and soap, will be distributed.

“Once again, we thank all of the people and churches who continue to support us,” said McBarnett, adding that he is again looking forward to the public’s support during the group’s annual BBQ, on Aug. 26, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational, 1435 Prospect Pl., between Utica and Rochester Avenues in Brooklyn, from 5 pm to 9 pm.

McBarnett can be reached at (917) 407-0385 for more information.

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