The Central Abaco Members Group of the Bahamas Red Cross Society held their monthly general meeting at the Dundas Town Church of God on Feb.23. Sarone Kennedy, group leader, outlined the fundamental principles that guide the Red Cross movement adding that one of the greatest unwritten principles is confidentiality. He also mentioned the need to maintain membership in the group.
During the last meeting, two committees were appointed one of which was put in place to assist Lovely Reckley. Mr. Kennedy asked Ms. Reckley to give a brief presentation on her “Feed the Children” Lunch Program, which began approximately 24 years ago. According to Ms. Reckley, a woman from Green Turtle Cay assists her as she feeds more than 100 children every day. Last year, she was feeding 130 children every day.
It only takes $3 to feed a child each day.
For those willing to make donations, Ms. Reckley can usually be found seated at Maxwell’s Supermarket to collect funds for her lunch program as you exit the store. Red Cross members are expected to assist her going forward.
Mr. Kennedy said that it is sad to know that children are going throughout the day without food to eat as he calculated that Ms. Reckley supplies more than 500 lunches a week. He has spoken with the Abaco Christian Council about supporting the initiative. Presently, Pastor Earlyn Baillou of New Rehoboth Ministries provides lunches twice a week to one of the schools.
Another member – Regina Kennedy – pointed out that if we don’t take care of these hungry children now we will suffer the consequences later on. Subsequently, Maria Rose suggested the donation of products to schools for children to grow their own food and to also partner with farmers and farming associations. Mr. Kennedy agreed that the Red Cross can be a channel through which organizations can make donations. Another suggestion was to see what restaurants, hotels and bakeries would be willing to donate food items. Sharing with peers at school can also be encouraged among students.
Moving on to the month of May, which is designated as Red Cross Month, the group members have begun to plan for their annual Community Emergency Preparedness Day. To summarize, the event is about educating the public on the types of emergencies and what they can do to ensure their safety. Local businesses are represented as well organizations that deal with emergencies to demonstrate the services they provide. Mr. Kennedy reminded members to spread the word that we must all “Be Red Cross Ready.”
Finally, Mr. Kennedy said that there is also a need to reactivate the youth arm of the Red Cross called Junior Links. Crystal Linden, youth officer, will spearhead that project.