Hundreds of nationals recently demonstrated their support for VincyCares, Inc. at its first fundraising initiative for the year, as the nine-year-old group continues to raise funds to assist needy school children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The support we received was overwhelming,” said Michael Alexander, one of the group’s public relations officers — the other is Ingrid Monique Neverson-Kirby— in a Caribbean Life interview, referring to the May 28 BBQ at Standard Shippers on Clarendon Road in Brooklyn.
Alexander said the event, known as the 7th annual Taswya Cambridge School Supplies Drive, marked the commencement of the group’s school supplies effort that concludes on Labor Day Saturday, Sept. 3. The drive is named after the late member.
“More and more people are seeing what VincyCares is doing,” said the group’s president Franklin “Supadex” Richards about the fundraising BBQ. “It’s a steady growth. It’s [fundraising] for our children.”
Richards, who received a US$250.00 check from Oxley Lowmans, president of the Brooklyn-based group Friends of Sion Hill, at the event, said VincyCares, Inc. hopes to provide 10 scholarships this year to school children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In May 2011, VincyCares, Inc. presented its first full, five-year secondary school scholarship to the 11-year-old child from Sandy Bay, on the north eastern coast of mainland St. Vincent, who inspired its formation.
Richards said The Victoria Sutherland Scholarship Fund is “designed to assist needy children who exhibit potential, be it in academics, sports or the arts, but who lack sufficient financial resources to achieve as much.”
Since the group’s formation in November 2009, Richards said 37 elementary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have received school supplies collected at fundraising drives in Brooklyn.
“It is VincyCares’ goal to deliver school supplies to all 59 primary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a continual basis,” Richards said.
But although the main focus of the group is to “cater to the needs of less fortunate school children in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Richards said special efforts have been made, over the years, to assist others in times of need.
For instance, in response to the massive earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Richards said VincyCares, Inc. shipped 30 barrels of supplies to the French-speaking Caribbean country, raised at a drive in Brooklyn.
That same year, he said VincyCares, Inc. donated supplies to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assist children displaced by Hurricane Tomas.
“Once again, on behalf of the entire VincyCares, Inc., organization, we would like to express our gratitude to all who came to support the Taswya Cambridge Sr. 7th Annual School Supplies Drive,” Alexander said. “Without your contributions, VincyCares, Inc. could not do what we do.”
He particularly expressed gratitude to Gideon “Fessie” York, the owner of Standard Shippers, and his staff for their “continuous generosity by allowing us to use their establishment.”
In addition, Alexander thanked Nolan Bulze of the Brooklyn-based band, Solid, DJ Kemmy for “providing the crowd with sweet music,” and to members of Friends of Sion Hill for their “generous donation.”
“Vincycares Inc. believes [that] together we can achieve more,” said Alexander, adding that Vincentians and organizations in the Diaspora can continue donating school supplies by dropping them off at Standard Shippers, 3116 Clarendon Rd.