Hundreds support fund-raising prayer breakfast to aid St. Vincent

SVG UN Ambassador I. Rhonda King (far left), Grenada New York Consul General Rose Marie Welsh (second from left in white sweater) and SVG NY Consul General Howie Prince (far right) meet patrons at the fund-raising prayer breakfast for St. Vincent.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Hundreds of Vincentian and other Caribbean nationals on Dec. 3 supported a fund-raising Prayer Breakfast at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn to assist the healthcare sector and the needy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Nationals from Guyana, Jamaica, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago, among other countries, attended the annual event, hosted by the Bronx-based charity group, St. Matthias Charities, Inc.

The group’s president, Pastor Robert McBarnett, said he was very grateful to patrons, who continue to support his goal of helping the entire nation.

“The Prayer Breakfast highlighted what the mission is about,” said McBarnett, adding that patrons were fed a sumptuous meal, comprising mouth-watering local delicacies, such as bakes and saltfish, and smoke herring and doughboy.

Prayers were offered by Pastors Vincentian Ulric Craig and Grenadian Cyprian Joseph, of the Crown Heights (Brooklyn) Gospel Church; scripture reading by Grenadian Hannah Reid, a member of the St. Matthias Charities, Inc.; and Praise and Worship was led by Vernice Alleyne, backed up on guitar by Vincentian cultural figure Gordon “Don” Sutherland.

Vincentian Pastor Aaron Moore, of the St. Jude Baptist Church in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, brought The Word; while Jamaican gospel artiste Crosswell Daily brought the house down with hits from his wide repertoire.

United Nations Amb. I. Rhonda King, New York Consul General Howie Prince and his Grenadian counterpart Rose Marie Welsh also addressed patrons. King and Prince donated $250.00 towards the cause, while Welsh chipped in with $150.00.

“It was a very successful event, and I want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank our supporters,” McBarnett told Caribbean Life.

He said the St. Matthias Charities, Inc. is working towards raising funds to donate an EKG machine to every hospital and district clinic in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“With your continued support, we hope to so in the near future,” said the untiring McBarnett.

The Prayer Breakfast followed a successful, annual fund-raising barbecue in August at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.

Hardly a month later, McBarnett headed the St. Matthias Charites, Inc.’s mission trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prior to leaving New York, the group shipped to St. Vincent and the Grenadines two 40ft.-containers, compliments the Brooklyn-based Square Deal Shippers and Movers, of medical and other supplies.

Items shipped and donated to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in capital Kingstown were, among others, a sonogram machine, four anesthesia machines, hep-locks, syringes, blood pressure monitor cuffs, adult undergarments, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes, and bath chairs.

The charity also donated 41,000 condoms to the Family Planning Department and an EKG machine to the Chateaubelair Hospital.

McBarnett said food; clothing; school supplies; bath chairs; crutches; walkers; wheelchairs; dishes; pots, pans and other kitchen utensils; and a variety of household items were also distributed to nursing homes and the local communities.

He said the St. Matthias Charities, Inc. is now preparing for its next mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in May next year, disclosing that that mission will focus on providing medical and other supplies to the Louis Punnett Home for the indigent in Glen and the nearby Mental Health Hospital.

“As we continue to communicate with our contact on the ground, we are able to focus on the much-needed areas of various institutions and communities,” McBarnett said.

Award-winning Caribbean gospel diva Vincentian Bridge Blucher will headline the group’s annual, fund-raising gala dinner, on April 22, 2017, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, just before members leave for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ mission.

Patrons of the prayer breakfast.
Photo by Nelson A. King

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