Tue | Jan 19, 2021

Florida charity on donation drive for local hospitals

Published:Saturday | November 7, 2020 | 12:09 AM
Josephine Stephens, president of the Caribbean Nurses of Treasure Coast, Florida; Dawn Bloomfield, president, CACG; and Fiona Williams, vice-president, CACG.
Josephine Stephens, president of the Caribbean Nurses of Treasure Coast, Florida; Dawn Bloomfield, president, CACG; and Fiona Williams, vice-president, CACG.
From left: Gladstone Campbell and Douglas Walters, members of CACG, and Ms Josephine Stephens, president of the Caribbean Nurses of Treasure Coast, Florida, sort donation supplies.
From left: Gladstone Campbell and Douglas Walters, members of CACG, and Ms Josephine Stephens, president of the Caribbean Nurses of Treasure Coast, Florida, sort donation supplies.
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Hospitals across Jamaica are to benefit from a rolling donation drive that aims to provide well-needed supplies to combat increases in COVID-19 cases across the island.

The drive is organised by Florida-based charity Caribbean American Cultural Group (CACG), which recently shipped barrels of medical supplies that were donated to the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. The shipment included supplies of protective shields, face masks, and gloves and quantities of hospital bedding and health, hygiene, and personal-care items.

President of the association Dawn Bloomfield, a Jamaican national and local bank executive, says members of CACG have been in touch with the hospital administration and have since embarked on the donation drive for needed supplies.

She emphasised that this is an ongoing initiative as the organisation is looking to assist other hospitals, especially in rural areas.

Bloomfield praised the support of other diaspora charitable organisations, including the Caribbean Nurses Association of the Treasure Coast and Beyond the Walls Ministries, with some corporate entities so far responding positively to the ongoing appeal to join in the donation. These include ACCH Insurance, Signature Smiles, Cleaning Diva, and the Nurses Association of Jamaica from the United Kingdom.

SUPPORT THE DRIVE

She encouraged other partners to support the drive via the CACG at www.cacgpsl.

The CACG is a non-profit organisation started in 1984 that is located in and operating from Port Saint Lucie, just north of the Palm Beach area. This year, the association will celebrate 36 years of service to the community and to the regions represented by members of the Caribbean diaspora. The organisation of 210 members of Caribbean descent participates in activities giving back to the local communities, as well as the Caribbean.

Last year, through its scholarship programme, some 14 high-school graduates were awarded scholarships totalling US$15,500 to tertiary institutions. However, this year, the organisation had to scale back on the number of awards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all aspects of economic development globally. Despite the challenge, the organisation was able to award eight scholarships, totalling US$8,000, to deserving college-bound students from the community.

The group is actively involved in various community efforts to empower residents, as well as its members, using the skill sets of its members and other community volunteers. They have organised ongoing computer classes and offered financial-management services pro bono to interested persons. Christmas holiday toy drives and annual August school supply drives to benefit local students, as well as holiday food drives to distribute food baskets to seniors and needy families, are also part of its annual mission.