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New York Vincies bring relief to Spring Village

New York Vincies bring relief to Spring Village

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Storm survivors and the elderly of Spring Village were last week the recipients of food hampers and other household and items, courtesy Vincentians living in New York and the Freedom Hall Church of God (FHCG) of the USA.{{more}}

The items were collected as part of the relief effort following the Christmas 2013 storm that cost eight lives and damage in the hundreds of millions.

However, there were delays in shipping the relief items because of the protocols related to obtaining concessions.

Despite this, Matthew Charles, aka Nicky, said the shipment “is right on time.” Charles was the central figure in the project to collect and ship the much needed supplies to their stricken villagers.

Charles, who has been living in the United States for over 20 years, told SEARCHLIGHT that when they heard news of the disaster, he knew they had to do something, so he reached out to the members of their community diaspora group – Community Outreach and Development Organization (CODO), which was dormant at the time, and they reached out to their compatriots, and so the relief effort began.

Food and household items, books, school supplies, toys, toiletries, clothing, shoes and towels were collected, sorted, packaged and stored at the church building until they were shipped. Nicky said that the volunteers worked hard collecting and transporting the items, with persons like St Elmore Charles, Catherine and Valcia Codogan doing most of the driving, picking up and dropping off stuff.

“Sometimes when we might get a little tired and doze off, because most work was done on evenings and weekends, Celetha Samuel would keep moral alive with wisecracks and a li’l politics mixed in to keep everyone going,” said Nicky.

“A million thanks to the New York team,” he further stated.

Charles has made three trips to St Vincent and the Grenadines since the tragedy to help to organize the local aspects of the relief effort. Sheryl-ann Millington, Amelia Fraser, Roy Samuel, Zoranie Williams and Lucky Charles as driver made up the local volunteer team. The items were stored at Spring Village and last week Monday, they were loaded onto a truck and distributed throughout the community.

Many residents expressed surprise and gratitude to their benefactors.

The distribution went smoothly, with only three persons not collecting their bags that day. Distribution of school supplies, toys, clothing and shoes were done throughout the week.

Charles said that he would like to express gratitude to Bishop C. G. Riley, who heads his church, for the tremendous support and contribution to the effort. Freedom Hall Church of God (FHCG) has two branches in New York, one in Florida, two in Jamaica and one in Cedars here in SVG; Riley is the founder.(TY)

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