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Competition for charitable giving

bajaninnymickeyAs Summer leaves, Fall loudly rings the philanthropic bell.

Two weeks ago, Caribbean masqueraders – some wearing skimpy outfits – paraded Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Elsewhere, families and friends attended barbecues and bus rides. Then, last week as the weather got cold before summer gasped and breathed its last “hurrah” hot air.

Now, as falls begins, sweaters surface and so too fliers and internet mailings announcing the events of some New York based Barbadian organisations. The competition for charitable giving has truly begun.

Over the next few months, Bajan organisations will ask Barbadian and Caribbean community patrons to donate money, as they seek to fulfill their mission. They will hold dinner dances, galas, educational fairs, symposiums. Some will connect to their anniversary. Others will promote a health or education foundation and at least one group will target the Halloween organisations weekend.

Ultimately, some projects in Barbados or a need of Barbadians in the diaspora is the goal of these organisations.

Cases in point are:

Since last year, the Barbados Cancer Society (BACA) embarked on a plan to build a hospice in Barbados, an area of mainstream health care that is new to the island. The concept of a hospice has evolved from care given to wounded and dying pilgrims and travelers to one that gives formal palliative care for the incurably ill. A concept that some say is built on work pioneered in the 1950s by Dame Cicely Saunders.

The Young Barbadians Professional Society – which sponsored a careers forum in Barbados, in August last year- is now seeking to expand their scholarship fund.

On November 24th, the twenty year old Council of Barbadian Organization, celebrates Barbados’ 47th Anniversary of Independence with a Gala, held under the patronage of the Lennox Price – Consul General to Barbados, at New York.

Randy Brathwaite – the 5th president of the council of Barbadian organisations – when asked about plans for the upcoming Independence gala said:

“We are getting there ”

He was referring to his commitment to broaden the base and outreach of CBO so that it included other Caribbean organizations and younger Barbadians.

Additionally, over the years, top Barbadian entertainers – Red Plastic Bag, Mac Fingall, Blood and Mikey have become permanent features of the package that organizations use to pursue patrons. This year is no exception.

The fall campaign, so to speak, began last weekend when the Barbados Cancer Society held a cancer symposium at the Kings Brook Jewish Medical center. Their Hospice Fund raising Gala will be held at- Ricardo by The Bridge on Friday September 20.

The events are schedule as follows:

*Barbados Nurses Association of America – A community Health Fair- at Jesus The Good Shepherd Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday September 28 – 2013.

*The Foundation School Alumni’s 35th Anniversary Dinner dance on Friday October 25th at Glen Terrace from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

*The Association Aid For Physically Children of Barbados special Evening with Red Plastic Bag and Mac Fingall at Africa House on Sunday October 27th from 6-12 p.m.

*Young Barbadians Professional Society’s 6th Annual Blue and Yellow Masquerade Ball at the Free Port Yacht Club- Saturday November 2.

*Council Of Barbadian Organizations 47th Annual Barbados Independence Gala at Russo on the Bay from 7pm to 12pm on Sunday November 24th.

In the 1950’s and later the Sons and Daughters of Barbados – a benevolent organisation – was an organisation that contributed to the livelihood of early Barbadian immigrants. Its design was broad based and included benefits for their members in their vision. If a member was sick or died, the organisation made a contribution to the cause.

In today’s financial climate everyone is now in need. One may therefore wonder if history will repeat itself and the Sons and Daughters model ‘ may rise again?

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