The Bronx-based charity group, St. Matthias Charities, Inc., continues to raise funds to assist the healthcare sector and the needy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The group, headed by Georgetown native Pastor Robert McBarnett, on Saturday conducted another successful fund-raising barbecue at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, New York.
“It was a very good event,” said McBarnett in a Caribbean Life interview. “The folks came out to support a good cause, as we continue to give back to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“We’re getting ready for our next mission into St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” added McBarnett, disclosing that two 40-ft. containers of medical supplies have already arrived in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, shipped through the courtesy of the Brooklyn-based Square Deal Shippers and Movers.
Among the items from that shipment to be distributed are: Three anesthesia machines and a Sonogram for Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) hospital in Kingstown, the capital, and an EKG machine for the Chateaubelair Hospital.
McBarnett said he and his team will be on the ground on Sunday in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where these items will be handed over to the respective authorities.
Other items to be distributed, McBarnett said, are: Food trays for the hospitals; 55,000 condoms “to help stop the spread of STDs” (Sexually Transmitted Diseases); over 500 Foley catheters; utensils; clothes; pampers; wheelchairs; commodes; crutches; and 150 hospital sheets donated by Vaughan Toney, the president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn-based Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center and the Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO).
Rosemarie Welsh, Grenada’s new Consul General to New York, and Jomo Thomas, Speaker of the House of Assembly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were among patrons at Saturday’s fifth annual barbecue.
Welsh said she first met McBarnett, a few months ago, when St. Matthias Charities, Inc. was gathering medical and other supplies for distribution in Grenada.
“He’s such a blessed servant of God, and I was really happy to get to know him,” she said. “Coming to this event was very exciting for me, because I met the people from the neighboring island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and among them were one or two Grenadians. I feel welcomed among them, and I hope to be invited again.”
Ruby Wood – proprietor of Square Deal Shippers and Movers, whose company has been shipping the group’s medical and other supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada from the very inception – said she was delighted to patronize such humanitarian gesture.
“It’s a worthy cause, and anything I can do to help the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines would be a pleasure,” she said.
Don Sutherland and Randolph Liverpool, members of the defunct, Georgetown-based band Affetuousos, said, besides the “good food,” the function served as a meeting place for old friends and relatives.
“Any charitable function is a good function,” said Liverpool, who journeyed from his New Jersey residence. “It’s good to see people you have not seen in years.”
“The good food was well-organized,” chimed in Sutherland, who also trekked from New Jersey, disclosing that McBarnett had also assisted members of Affetuousos in lift heavy musical equipment in his youthful days.
Calypsonian-turned-gospel artiste Angus “Brigo” Lynch used the occasion to release his latest CD, “We Welcome You.”
“I feel blessed,” said the Born-Again Christian, who hails from Calliaqua, claiming that he was prevented from playing his CD from the large stage during Vincy Day USA two Saturdays ago.
“I’m happy the DJ took the time to play my song,” said Lynch about Trinidadian-born DJ Time 2 Wine, whose real name is Josh Cumberbatch.
In September last year, McBarnett handed over two EKG machines to the MCMH, as well as distributed school supplies to several of the nation’s schools.
Mc Barnett said the machines were donated to his group by Ramon J. Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, on the Brooklyn-Queens corridor, where he works in the Environmental Department.
He said most of the school supplies were purchased through proceeds from the St. Matthias Charities, Inc.’s Fourth Annual BBQ at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.