The Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) is now focused on raising $400,000 through regular fixed donations following the devastating impact of COVID-19 and Hurricane Dorian especially. With almost 30 children under its 24-hour care, providing necessities and meeting salary obligations for caregivers are a must.
CIBC FirstCaribbean recently toured the refurbished children’s home and presented its administrator with a $7,000 donation to help meet its goal. Grand Bahama Children’s Home Board of Directors Chairman, Kevin D. Seymour, said the home is “grateful for all the hard work of staff, volunteers and donors who came together in extremely difficult times to rebuild the home and navigate a global pandemic with impacts none of us could have imagined or prepared for.
“We see an entirely different landscape today, with a Grand Bahama economy that has borne a tremendous burden since Dorian and COVID, affecting so many of our supporters who have cared so well for the home for many years. The home’s management is focused on keeping expenses well- managed and achieving efficiencies where possible; however, a large shortfall remains. This generous donation from CIBC First Caribbean Bank helps us where it is really needed and allows us to provide for our children who need it most,” Mr. Seymour said.
The bank’s donation will go directly toward the purchase of grocery to provide daily nutritious meals, snacks, vitamins, and toiletries for 27 growing boys and girls between the ages of one and 17. It will also help the home meet salary obligations for caregivers who it needs to give children the quality care they deserve.
Grand Bahama Children’s Home Executive Director, June Hutcheson, stressed that these items are the home’s basic but most important expenses that it has to cover each month. The donation will also provide each child with casual shoes.
“We simply could not do it without such a generous donor like CIBC First Caribbean. This donation literally makes all the difference in our world,” she said.
Hurricane Dorian left Grand Bahama Children’s Home residents and staff psychologically traumatized. It also resulted in the loss of a physical safe and secure home for the children. Its residents had to leave Grand Bahama to temporarily live in Nassau, dispersed across three other children’s homes. The children experienced the uncertainty of this second level of displacement for approximately a year until they could return to Grand Bahama to a rebuilt home in October 2020.
CIBC FirstCaribbean Branch Manager, Sally Laing, expressed CIBC FirstCaribbean’s delight in knowing repairs to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home have progressed so well and it now adequately accommodates its residents.
“The 11 girls and 16 boys here have endured life-changing events. As they continue to settle back into the home, receiving basic necessities and continued quality care should not be a worry. CIBC First Caribbean considers it an honour to support the Grand Bahama Children’s Home,” she said.