Zonta Club appeals for donations for programs supporting the youth

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Members of the Zonta Club of Nassau volunteer at a recent fundraiser for back to school supplies. From left to right are Secretary Karoldann-Darville, Charter Vice President Vylma Thompson-Curling and Zontian Anne-Marie Bain.

The Zonta Club of Nassau recently held a fundraiser on Saturday, August 20th at the Solomon’s Super Center to assist the PACE Foundation and The Bahamas Aids Foundation. Both NGO recipients require back-to-school and food supplies for students under their care. During the 6 hours at the popular retailer, Zonta felt the love of the customers and staff who learned of their fundraiser efforts. “Every little bit counts’ were words from a senior couple who donated cans of tuna to our cause,” said Sonia Brown, President of Zonta. A cashier also bought some groceries items, while other people made monetary contributions. Items donated include school bags, dry goods and sanitary pads.

This year particularly, the organizations have felt the economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions. The PACE Foundation operates a school program for pregnant teens who are in their care to continue their education during their pregnancy. They collect food supplies and diapers, and ensure that there is baby formula, a baby crib and bathtub, and an infant carrier for the young mothers who require these necessary items. After the baby is born, the young mothers return to mainstream school and PACE may find it necessary to further assist with school shoes, uniforms, formula, and feminine supplies.

The Bahamas AIDS Foundation has a youth program to support students who are infected or impacted by loved ones who are positive. The AIDS Foundation currently serves 143 children, teens, and young adults. They also provide social, psychological, and academic support in their – Outreach Program for Children and Adolescents Infected and Affected by HIV/AIDS which includes snacks.

“We have been able to continue some of our services to our clients with the assistance of some wonderful donors,” said Lady Barnett, president of the AIDS Foundation. “With the donation of school supplies from the recent Zonta fundraiser, many of our young students were delighted with their new bags. We thank the hard-working members of the Zonta Club of Nassau, Solomon’s Super Centre and the generous community members who gave from their heart,” said Lady Barnett.

The Zonta president stresses that the needs for their clients go beyond the backpack and supplies. Getting back to school is about food and breakfast. “There are some people who are not able to get a meal in the morning, and when they come to school they need to get something to eat to fuel them for the day. We seek to provide the students with a warm meal to start their day,” said Brown. The Zonta Club of Nassau created the AIDS Foundation in 1992 and the PACE Foundation in 2004, and continues to raise funds in support of these organizations.

Source: Azaleta Ishmael-Newry