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Sandy Bay shelter in dire need of donations

Sandy Bay  shelter in dire need of donations


While the people at the emergency shelter at the Sandy Bay Government School are grateful to the people, organizations and businesses who have made donations thus far, shelter manager Gradi King says that more is needed to keep the shelter running smoothly.

On Saturday, SEARCHLIGHT partnered with a number of organizations in donating to the shelter and in an interview with King, {{more}}learnt that the shelter is in need of food supplies more than anything else.

King said that while they have received a lot of water, one of the things that they were not getting in abundance was food.

“What happened is that people lost everything, so even where they would come to the shelter with certain things, their houses were washed away and everything went, so we need perishable items,” stressed King on Saturday.

The shelter manager added also that they are seeking donations of clothing and items like rice, sugar, milk, flour, meat products, baby formula, pampers, disinfectant and repellent. He said that these items will go a long way in keeping the 125 persons from 31 families comfortable.

King said that initially, the shelter had 148 persons from 38 families, but the numbers have dropped, though not significantly. He said that eight families had their homes completely destroyed, while seven were badly damaged.

“It is the worse I have ever seen it; it’s really bad, but they are bearing up; it’s really heartfelt to see people bear up,” said King.

Clare Keizer, the chief executive officer of Interactive Media Limited, the publishers of SEARCHLIGHT, who led a team of employees to Sandy Bay, said that the staff thought that the company should make a donation and be part of the solution, instead of just reporting on what was happening.

“In addition to raising awareness, pointing out the problems and reporting on those who assisted, we want to be part of the solution,” said Keizer on Saturday, while handing over mattresses, food, water, toiletries and clothing to King.

She said when the extent of the devastation dawned on her, she threw the idea out to her co-workers, who jumped at the idea of delivering relief supplies to the disaster area.

SEARCHLIGHT partnered with GECCU, Food Centre Ltd, Premium Products, Tus-T Water and NBC Radio to make the donations, valued at approximately $10,000 possible.

Also making a donation on Saturday was the Stewardship and Development Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kingstown and the Corpus Christi Parish. Catherine Lewis, a representative of the church, said that her organization donated water, food items, toiletries and clothes to the shelter.

“We saw it fit because we heard about the destruction and part of stewardship and development is for us to assist and come to the aid of our fellowmen,” said Lewis, who noted that the Sandy Bay parish priest Father Andrew Roache made a special appeal for the persons in the shelter.

Over the weekend a number of other persons journeyed to Sandy Bay, where they made donations and interacted with persons affected by last week’s trough system.

At press time yesterday, 55 people remained in at the emergency shelter at Sandy Bay, while there were 29 at shelters in North Leeward – 22 at the Rose Bank shelter, five in Spring Village and two at Rose Hall.(LC)