The United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCGB) on Saturday became the latest organization in New York to contribute financially to ongoing efforts to aid nationals in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who were severely impacted last April by the explosive eruptions of La Soufriere Volcano.
Flanked by executive and other members from both UVCGB and the Brooklyn-based SVG Relief USA, Inc., as well as by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States, Howie Prince, UVCGB President and Founder, Dr. Roxie Morris presented a check of US$6,858.00 to SVG Relief USA, Inc. President Verna Arthur at a handing-over ceremony at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn.
Dr. Morris said the amount was the balance from funds raised by her group after purchasing and donating, among other things, 100 nebulizers for medical clinics in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and donating an oxygen tank to a national at home “who needed it.”
“We collected over US$11,000,” she told Caribbean Life immediately after the brief ceremony. “What we gave is a balance of what’s left over.
“All of us are really concerned (about the ravages from the volcanic eruptions), and St. Vincent and the Grenadines needs us,” added the former St. Vincent and the Grenadines national netball star. “We believe that God is going to give the glory.”
Earlier, Dr. Morris, also a pastor at Miracle Temple Ministries, an evangelical church in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, told the ceremony that, from its inception, UVCGB’s focus “has always been, and will always be, the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
“From the moment we heard (about the explosive volcanic eruptions), we called on our staunch supporters (for aid),” she said. “Many of them dropped what they were doing to help.”
Arthur extended “warm thanks” to Morris and members of UVCGB for their “generous donation.”
“Our organization is currently in the Recovery Phase of our relief effort, and your donation will definitely assist in this regard,” she told the ceremony. “In addition to your organization’s financial donations, you have donated substantially towards our linen and towel drive; you have also been involved in our relief efforts from the inception.
“We appreciate all your members who have volunteered their time, and worked diligently to ensure that items were packed and shipped,” she added.
Arthur said SVG Relief USA, Inc. is currently in Phase 3, “the recovery effort of our relief drive.
“We anticipate it will go smoothly as phases one and two, wherein we collected and shipped nine commercial bins and five 40-ft. containers of items, one of which went via airfreight, of well needed items, and successfully conducted a fact-finding mission,” she said.
“SVG Relief USA, Inc., is the trusted messenger in New York for SVG relief efforts, and remains alert and in ready-mode to any clarion call,” Arthur continued. “Our first obligation at this time is to our brothers and sisters in the North Windward area, the hardest hit of the volcano.
“We are, indeed, our ‘brothers’ keepers’ and are, therefore, in it for the long haul,” she assured. “Thanks again for your continued support and generous contribution.”
UVCGB’s financial contribution is the latest, in recent months, to the volcanic relief efforts.
In July, the Brooklyn-based St. Lucia House Foundation donated US$4,000.00; in August, West Indian American Bridgeport gave US$1,500.00; and, in September, the Brooklyn-based Grand Council of the Independent United Order of Mechanics, Friendly Society, Western Hemisphere, Inc. handed over a check for US$3,000.00.
In addition, in September, W.H. Community donated US$3,000.00; and, in December, Brooklyn District Grand Lodge #1 presented a check for US$3,100.00.
“We’re here gathering for a good occasion,” Prince told Saturday’s ceremony. “The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will like to thank all groups for contributing to the relief efforts, particularly to the United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn.
“You have a good executive that continues to help St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” added Prince, turning to Arthur. “The government is grateful.”