Miss Marilyn Kippins, founder and president, of the Albany-based, Flora E. Kippins Foundation, Inc., like millions of other citizens across the world who watched in horror as Hurricane Dorian ravished the archipelago — Grand Bahama, and Abaco islands, said she had to find a way to help citizens recover from the devastation they experienced on Sept. 1.
As such, Miss. Kippins packed her truck with over 100 pounds of food and drove from Albany, New York, to be donated to the Bahamas relief efforts that began in Brooklyn three weeks ago.
The Guyanese-American, said she was saddened at the tragedy, but not sure, how she could give to the Bahamas, until she read an article in this publication, that had featured the relief efforts organized by the CARICOM Consular Corps.
This is when she contacted this reporter and made arrangements to have the items of baby cereal, canned fruits, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, rice and other dietary products donated.
Dorian, the most powerful tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas, where it is now conformed, 56 citizens are dead, 600 missing, and tens of thousands homeless, caused charitable citizens like Kippins, who saw the devastation on television, to offer help.
“I knew the foundation could do something to help the citizens of the Bahamas, but I didn’t know how, and where I could donate, until I saw your article in Caribbean Life, during the first outreach at Friends of Crown Heights in Brooklyn,” she told this reporter.
“I would like to say to the Bahamians, we are I praying for you. Our hearts and our soul go out to you. And to all the people who have gathered and organized to put donations together to get food to the Bahamas, thank you.”
“I am happy, my heart, is filled with satisfaction, to see volunteers, trying to get what they can to the islands,” said Kippins, who founded the Flora E. Kippins Foundation, Inc. in 2011, after returning from West Africa, where she noticed the poverty level was horrendous.
“I came home from my vacation in 2005, saddened, by the poverty-stricken situation I had seen, and decided there and then that I had to do something to help those citizens,” said the philanthropist, who off-loaded more than 40 cantons from her truck, filled with food items
The mission of the foundation is to provide resources and services, to support and strengthen the development of children and families globally, and citizens who are at risk of the devastating effects of poverty, HIV/AIDS and other opportunistic viruses, in United States, Africa and Guyana.
In addition to annual trips to Guyana to feed the poor, donations are made to St. Ann’s Orphanage in Georgetown, where volunteers keep the foundation abreast of needs, in order for the charity to do outreach events.
Clothes, school supplies, canned goods and other needed supplies, help hundreds of underprivileged children and adults in her homeland of Guyana.
“It is good to give back. As a born and bred Guyanese, this is how we were raised. This is what we saw. You have to live it. It’s not just about you, it is about giving to those in need,” said the humanitarian, who is carrying on the legacy of her deceased mother, Flora E. Kippins, a once dedicated philanthropist.
The non-profit hosts several fundraising events to carry out its mission. The events include an awards gala, a tea party and hat show, an annual luncheon and fashion event, and bus and boat trips.
Kippins also engages the community with an interfaith partnership for the homeless, soccer uniform presentation, and many other events.
To learn more and to make a donation, go to the Flora E. Kippins Foundation, Inc. website at www.flora