November 1, 2022, Freeport, Grand Bahama – Since October 1st, in observation of the day designated as International Day of Older Persons, the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), a charitable organization founded by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), in partnership with SBP Bahamas, is still focusing its support efforts on senior care facilities in Freeport.
Together, GBDRF & SBP also recognized the accomplishments of the women leading our elderly facilities. They joined the United Nations and others around the world, to salute the vital contributions of older women to our society who help us adapt to a changing world, especially after Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As these organizations continue the necessary work to aid those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, GBDRF & SBP are assisting two facilities – Home Away from Home and Grand Bahama Home & Day Care for the Aged and Children’s Centre – with greatly needed repairs and restoration following the devastating flood and storm impacts of Dorian.
Ms. Mervie Knowles is the owner and head caretaker at Home Away from Home, a retirement and assisted living facility that has been in operation since 2010. “We have been struggling with repairs that still needed to be done,” she said. “Last year, GBDRF very generously renovated the bathrooms and the kitchen, and painted and tiled the living area and bedrooms.” Today, GBDRF & SBP are carrying out more needed critical work including the necessary roof repairs to safeguard residents from leaks during this storm season. The Home Away from Home facility assists up to 60 Grand Bahamians including the elderly, adults and children who are sick and still displaced since Hurricane Dorian’s passing.
At the Grand Bahama Home for the Aged, founder and administrator Ms. Agatha Thompson shared that this past October was the facility’s 34th anniversary. Ms. Thompson explained that there are people in the Grand Bahama community who struggle to look after themselves and to take their medication properly. “They need care, a warm bed and a hot meal,” said Ms. Thompson. “We take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.”
SBP Bahamas and their sponsors are grateful for the continued partnership with GBDRF to bring relief to the seniors in their golden years by restoring the facilities. Executive Director Andy Stofleth continues to successfully lead the home repair team with the help of local Grand Bahama Port Authority Licensees and the GBDRF since 2019.
Deann Seymour, GBDRF Board member, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to support the needs of the Island’s older residents. “Thanks to facilities such as Home Away from Home and the Grand Bahama Home for the Aged that so many of our seniors are well cared for in a safe, nurturing environment,” said Mrs. Seymour. “Ms. Knowles, Ms. Thompson and their teams are making a difference to families in our communities, and it is our honour to support the critical work that these facilities do every day through repairs and restoration.”
The GBDRF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information about GBDRF or to donate, visit https://gbdisasterrelief.org/donations/.