The making a difference initiative

Two large barrels of adult and children diapers, chucks (underpads), irrigation syringes, and school supplies, were donated last week Wednesday to the Hillview Home for the Aged, the St. George’s General Hospital and to the St. Peter’s R.C. Primary School in Gouyave.

Administrator, Sonia Duncan, and staff members at Hillview Home for the Aged, as they receive items delivered by Fr. Leroy Hopkin, facilitator

The items, intended to positively impact the education of children and the health of seniors and children, were delivered by local Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Leroy Hopkin and community leader, Judy Lewis-Joseph, on behalf of New York-based donors, Christine Grant, Cheryl Vincent, Gerry Hopkin, Burgess McPhie and Whisky Shippers & Movers, Inc.

The items include 794 diapers for the Hillsview Home, 458 chucks/under pads for Hillsview, as well as school supplies such as bags, pencils, pens, crayons, story books, writing paper/loose leaves for St. Peter’s R.C. School in Gouyave and 3 boxes of irrigation syringes for the General Hospital.

Fr. Hopkin, the parish priest at the St. David’s R.C. Church, who cleared the barrels from Customs in Grenada, is the local facilitator of the Making a Difference Initiative (MDI).

At the Hillview Home, the donated items were received in a brief handing-over ceremony, by the Administrator, Sonia Duncan and her team while at the R.C. School, Acting Principal Ian George did likewise with students and teachers in attendance.

Among the teachers present was Jean Noel, the aunt of one of the donors, Cheryl Vincent.

During the ceremonies, Fr. Hopkin commended the donors for their generosity and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items.

Both administrators expressed gratitude for the supplies which they noted are crucial to the execution of the services they offer.

The principal donors and organisers responsible for the sourcing of the donated items are New York-based Christine Grant, occupational therapist and business owner, Vincent, a community organiser, registered nurse, recording artiste and entrepreneur, Jerry Hopkin, a community organiser and consultant in communications, public relations, law and small business development; and McPhie, a technician, pannist, recording artiste and entrepreneur.

Acting Principal, Ian George (left), as he accepts school supply items delivered by Fr. Leroy Hopkin, facilitator

The Brooklyn-based Whisky Shippers & Movers, partnered in this initiative by providing free shipment of the barrels, while Gerry Hopkin of the Hopkins Consulting Group, LLC, provided logistical coordination.

“Making a positive difference, is what we are about, with the intended beneficiaries of the items being the children and seniors of Grenada,” said Vincent, Grant, Hopkin and McPhie, in a joint statement.

Grant, Vincent and McPhie are from Gouyave, St. John and also founding members of the historical Spice Island Youthquake (SIY) folk-liturgical group and active leading members of the longest continuously running similar Caribbean group in the Diaspora, Quake USA (an offspring of SIY).

Co-facilitator Lewis-Joseph in Grenada, is also a a founding member of SIY who hails from Gouyave.

“It is ironically interesting to note that Vincent, Grant and Lewis toured Europe in1981 with Spice Island Youthquake to raise funds for the launch of Hillsview Home for Aged,” said Fr. Hopkin.

“That initial tour, as well as others which followed, were completed under the management and direction of Fr. Oliver Leavy, Elsia Ferguson and Lauren Ramdhanny,” added Hopkin.

The Hillsview Home for the Aged, which cares for 34 seniors from various parts of Grenada, was opened in 1982.

This ‘Making a Difference Initiative’ delivery of needed items, is the second charitable donation aimed at positively impacting the lives and living conditions of children, youths and seniors in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and the wider Caribbean.

The inaugural donation of children’s diapers and feeding bags with tubes attached, was delivered to the General Hospital in April 2017.

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