Barbadians ready to lend a helping hand


After being spared the wrath of super storms Harvey, Irma and, most recently, Maria, Barbadians are taking nothing for granted.

So much so, that several groups have launched relief drives to share their blessings with their neighbours who were not spared.

Today, as information trickled in after Hurricane Maria battered Dominica overnight, several organizations sprang into action.

Among them was the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) which announced it was mobilizing assistance for the island where six people reportedly perished.

President of the BSTU, Mary Redman, recalled that two years ago, the union sought support when Dominica was severely impacted by Hurricane Erika, and she appealed to the public to give generously again.

The union boss said: “We would like any and all persons to donate and feel free to bring those donations to our headquarters at 8th Avenue, Belleville, St Michael. Beyond what persons normally ask for, which would be medical supplies, personal supplies, food items, baby items in particular and any canned food, we would ask persons to think of school supplies for children as well.”

Redman recalled that last time the union dispatched the supplies to the Dominica Association of Teachers to ensure the aid got to where it was needed most – children and elderly teachers.

“We are going to do that again, and we are trying to pack as many boxes as soon as we can. We are asking that the public support us fully. The union is hoping that everybody will pitch in so we can again do for Dominica what we need to do,” Redman said.

She said the union would once again liaise with the Barbados Defence Force to ensure the supplies arrive in Dominica.

Meanwhile, a small dry goods store in Garden Land, St Michael, is also lending a helping hand to Anguilla which took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma two weeks ago.

This morning, the IB2P store contributed two barrels of foodstuff, a large box of new and used clothing, toys, bags of sugar, a case of chowmein and bales of toilet paper to hurricane relief efforts for the British Overseas Territory.

Proprietor Kathy Ann Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY: “We came up with the idea to provide hurricane relief last week and launched an appeal on Instagram. We got an immediate response from a gentleman in our neighbourhood, Mr Foster, who brought in some canned goods, while other people sent in money, which we then used to purchase items. Thanks to our social media appeal, we got people from as far away as St Lucy and St Philip to contribute.

“The School Meals Department on Country Road contributed to our effort, and the staff at Savings Plus in Mile and a Quarter in St Peter collected items on our behalf as well. People also called us to come and collect items if they could not get to us “ she added.

The IB2P family, as Brathwaite referred to it, is planning to launch another appeal to assist the people of Dominica affected by Hurricane Maria yesterday.

Representatives from the Regional Police Training Centre collected the items destined for Anguilla this morning, which will be flown into the hurricane-damaged island via a Royal Air Force transport plane.

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