Grenada National Council of the Disabled (GNCD) received two 40-foot containers in June and in September, both filled with an assortment of medical and assistive living devices.
These items were compiled, shipped, and donated to Grenada through GNCD with the assistance of the Ministry of Social Development.
Former educator, cultural ambassador, and folklorist, from Grenada, John Crow, spearheaded the collection, collaboration, and coordination of this initiative. “I could not do this without the large numbers of men, women and young adults who bought into the idea of helping Grenada,” said Crow. “I am full of gratitude for all the financial and physical help I received to make this happen. We set out to improve the quality of life for our seniors, and those in the disabled community.”
Crow said that he received items from Grenadians and their friends from as far away as Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland — an area known as the DMV. One of the major contributors was Jamaican born Pastor Robert Mc Barnette, who donated several items including, 3 crash carts, EKG machines, chest tube trays, cases of hand sanitisers, cases of surgical gloves, over a thousand pieces of N95 masks, several PPEs, and a multitude of other medical items, valued at approximately, over US$100,000. Pastor McBarnette is passionate about Grenada, particularly Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
When asked what made him do this project, Crow flashed his signature, contagious smile and responded with — “the love of country,” he quipped. “And knowing that there are a lot of people [in Grenada], who need the help of those wheelchairs, and crutches, and walkers and assistive living devices, Crow explained. “The four hospitals can use the beds. The homes for the seniors have use for the rollators, shower-benches, and commodes. There are mothers and caregivers who cannot afford diapers and pull ups that they received, for free, from the shipments. These items are super expensive in Grenada. Some of the donated units were headed to a garbage heap and or a recycled station. Now these crutches are in the hands of those who could put them to good use.”
Since June of 2021, the small GNCD staff busied themselves cataloging, coordinating, and distributing the contents of both containers. “We are grateful to Mr John Crow for not just his donation of the items,” explained Hillary Gabriel, Coordinator for GNCD. “Mr Crow also donated the container that he shipped to GNCD in June. We now use that container as a storage unit for our organisation.”
Gabriel said that her gratefulness extends to local organisations and individuals who “answered our call and came to our rescue.”
“I have to personally thank C4 Promotions, WaggyT Rentals, Marshall Construction, Ltd., the LEO Club of St George’s and a host of angels/volunteers, who lend their support, resources, and contacts, to make distribution of these items to individuals’ homes, Mirabeau Hospital, and nursing homes all over the island, a reality,” said Gabriel.
Gabriel said that she is even more excited because in mid-November, one of her staff, Field Officer Menesha David, travelled to Carriacou to participate in a ceremonial handing over ceremony of donated items to the Top Hill Nursing Home where Melcita John is the Administrator in charge. Marisa Alexis-Lawerence is the Matron at The Princess Royal Hospital. The event was streamed on Zoom with the assistance of Jamel Phillip, who is a visually impaired member of GNCD, who said that he has a passion for technology and radio. He owns and operates an online station known as The Grenada Informative Radio. He said that he does not mind using his love of radio to assist GNCD. Phillip said that his disability is not an inability, and he doesn’t mind lending his technical know-how to help the needs of the organisation.
In Grenada, GNCD is known for being a gateway for people who are differently abled. They spearhead many programmes for individuals and families. GNCD has an entrepreneurship and many other start-up programmes to benefit its registered members. For the most part, this NGO plays a pioneering role in its efforts on behalf of the disabled community in Grenada. Anyone with any form of any disability who encounters this charitable body gets help in many ways.
Anyone who knows someone who can use a pair of crutches, or a walker or a shower bench; ask them to contact the Grenada National Council of the Disabled, located on Scott Street, St George’s, or they can call and ask for Ms Gabriel at (473) 407-0112.