Agatha Thompson, Administrator at Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Center is making a public appeal for assistance, in any way possible, to ensure that the Home’s doors remain open, providing a safe haven for both our ‘Precious Pearls’ and tiny tots.
This coming October 19, the Home will celebrate 28 years of operation, a feat Thompson is proud of; however, she recently shared with this daily that she is anticipating the 30th Anniversary of the Grand Bahama Home for the Aged.
She added that planning has begun for a lavish celebration to signify the Home’s three decades of existence and despite weathering a number of devastating storms over the years, the Home has never closed its doors to those in need of its services.
Being able to keep the doors open, however, has been far from easy, revealed Thompson, as maintaining the Home has not been an easy task.
She noted that as the operator of the facility, she is desperately seeking assistance to sustain the Home, in hopes of having the opportunity to serve for an additional 30 years.
“The Grand Bahama Home for the Aged is in desperate need of help. We are preparing to celebrate our 30th Anniversary and leading up to our anniversary, we have several functions planned; but for right now we have a three-fold mission.
“We are in the middle of the Hurricane Season and during the last hurricane that impacted the island, we received damages to the building. We have insurance; however, it did not cover everything. The roof has been repaired, the back section that was blown off has been restored, but the covering on the roof itself has not been completed.
“A local Rotary Club has graciously donated the metal for the roofing. Half of it was blown off, the entire back half. The metal portion needs to be completed right now, as there is no covering. But the roof itself has been repaired. I do not know if that alone is able to withstand the pressure of a hurricane, therefore, we need that completed. We are also appealing to the community for some hurricane shutters and a generator; those are our hurricane needs,” informed Thompson.
“Our 12 months of the year needs are funds, to sustain us. Right now, we just cannot seem to steer ourselves out of this rut – with mortgage, salaries, utilities and maintenance. As we approach our 30th Anniversary, we are once again thanking the Grand Bahama community for their assistance and help over the years, keeping the doors of the Home open; but we need to stay open, to be able to operate, meeting our commitments and continue to keep our elderly safe and secured for another 30 years and beyond.
“We have weathered every storm for the past 30 years in this building; we have never had to relocate to a shelter. It has always been safe. We would often listen on the radio and hear of persons moving from shelter-to-shelter, leaving their homes, but we have always been able to weather every storm right here. But the last storm, Hurricane Matthew, did a number on us. Therefore, we need to make the building safe again so that we can stay here and also assist others.
“We have persons here that came from West End and other outlying settlements after their places were damaged in the hurricane and we were able to house them as well. Some of them are still here and so we really need this building safe so that we can stay here during this Hurricane Season,” said Thompson.
“Our appeal, as usual, is assistance with our utilities and other bills, those things we never seem to be able to keep up with. We get assistance from the government and the community; however, it is never enough.
“We also have some fund-raisers planned, but because the economy is so bad it is difficult to plan fund-raisers, with so many others trying to raise funds.
“For the next three years, we are planning a number of fund-raisers and asking the public, the schools, churches and service clubs to host their own and perhaps, have part proceeds donated to the Home, or have the events in aid of the Grand Bahama Home for the Aged.”
She noted that the fund-raising events will commence this coming October, for the entire month, in commemoration of the Home’s anniversary.
“We are starting this October. Every Saturday in the month of October we will host a grill out, from farm to table. We encourage all backyard farmers to bring their produce to the Home, where they can sell some and give part proceeds to the Home. We will also have a grill out during that time. That will be held every Saturday, in October, right here at the Home,” Thompson revealed.
Another area that Thompson shared that can be capitalized on is a ‘Back Truck Sale,’ where persons throughout the community can bring their items to sell out of the back of trucks or vehicles. “Persons will not have to pay for a tent; they can just come with their goods and sell them from their trunk. All we ask is that they donate part proceeds to the Home.
“Whatever other fund-raiser the public such as churches and civic organizations would like to plan, we welcome it. All of them have had someone in this Home, and all of them have helped us over the years. We do thank the Grand Bahama community, because these doors have never closed. We want to say thank you and to ask them once again, for their help,” concluded Thompson.
Grand Bahama Home and Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Center officially opened its doors on October 19, 1990 and has since provided a safe haven to countless citizens residing in the Northern Bahamas.