Donation from the Facebook Group, Freeport Friends

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9th June, 2017


“Just in time” said Jean Hivert, GBCH CEO, when she was given a check from the Facebook Group Freeport Friends, yesterday!

The friends on this page are made up of former teachers, Syntex, Borco and casino staff, etc.. wives and children who all lived in Freeport in the early 60’s and on. During the Hurricane they kept up with events here, and came together to raise over $8k, which was spilt between the GBCH and the Lucaya Presbyterian Church.

Our home is extremely grateful for these funds, which we are in desperate need of to help keep our doors open for the 28 children (10 under school age) at the home.

Sarah Kirkby is seen presenting the donation to Jean Hivert at the home yesterday on behalf of the Facebook pages’ orgnaizer Chris Child.

Back To School Drive

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Our Annual back to school drive is on. Any items welcome, donations can be dropped at the Home or Barefoot Marketing or Paint Fair. Thank you!

Grand Bahama Children’s Home gets major boost heading into the holidays

By: Jeneva Russell

The Freeport News


The grounds of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home came alive this weekend as scores of residents and supporters turned out to take part in the annual carnival.

The event which is a major fund-raiser, was organized by the Friends of the Home group. The primary objective of Friends of the Home is to assist in defraying costs for the facility which is home to over 20 children.

During the carnival, children of the Home and residents enjoyed lots of food and drink, face painting,  festive games – such as egg and spoon race, sack race, cookie decorating, a bouncing castle and a Santa photo booth.

Wendy Gehr of Friends of the Home expressed pleasure over the public’s response.

“This year about 350 to 400 people came through the doors along with 50 volunteers, who were giving up their time to make this event happen and be successful.

“We also had a fantastic response from private individuals and corporations who provided monetary contributions and items to help the Home with its operational needs.

“This is our Second Annual event which is bigger and better than last year,” said Gehr.

A special fund-raiser dimension was a donation table. Sign-up sheets were available for individuals to commit providing items to the Home.

According to Gehr, the donation table worked well.

“But our goal today is the children,” she said.

“They are incredible and have waited weeks for their carnival to happen and we wanted to create a day for them to feel really special cared for and loved as well as one they will remember for a long time.”

Also pleased with the community support was Grand Bahama Children’s Home Executive Director, Sheila Johnson-Smith, who praised the efforts of Gehr, Indy Castillo, Dunya Alnebek and Gail Williams.

“We are so grateful and happy for these women from the Friends of the Home and their volunteers, that they decided to put on such a fun-draiser for our children.

“It is important that the communities continue to support the home year round. It can only stay open and a be a place of safety and protection for our less fortunate ones if people continue to give on a regular basis.

“We have a lot of children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected and need a place of safety. The Grand Bahama Children’s Home provides that for Grand Bahamians, as well as children from Abaco Bimini and Eleuthera,” informed Johnson-Smith.

Taking part in the festivities were first time attendees Russell and Lynda Miller, who expressed how pleased they were with the event.

“We are happy to be here and plan on continuing to  support and help out. This is our first time and we are pleasantly surprised.  We want to participate, be involved and a part of it because we think that it is a wonderful and worthwhile organization. This is a great event,” said Russell.

Also in attendance was Justin Snisky, with some family members.

“We are enjoying these festivities here at the Children’s Home. Everyone is having a good time and the kids are going crazy with great games, and prizes. So, we definitely wanted to support this great cause.

“The little support that we can give by even coming out to events like this is helping out a huge amount he added. So, I want to encourage everybody to come out and support whenever they are having events like this,” said Snisky.

Highlights of the affair were the singing of carols by the children gathered around the Christmas tree and the Junkanoo rush-out that ended the evening.

2015 Children’s Christmas Carnival


Please join us at the Children’s Home again this year for a fun afternoon fundraiser with carnival games, arts and crafts, face painting, and other prizes and surprises!

A $5 entrance fee (or $10 for a family) will cover arts and crafts, bouncy castle and face painting. Hot dogs and hamburgers, soft and alcoholic drinks will be available for sale together with tickets for carnival games and prizes.

***A donation table will be available for individual donations for desperately needed items for the home****

Grand Bahama Children’s Home Christmas Carnival Set for November 28

Friends of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home team are hard at work preparing for the annual fund-raising carnival set for November 28.

By Sharell Lockhart, Freeport News

Tis the season to be jolly and the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) will be the epicenter of holiday fun on Saturday, November 28 during the Second Annual Christmas Carnival hosted by Friends of the Home (FTH).

Wendy Buck-Gehr, Friends of the Home (FTH) member noted, “We are excited to spearhead this year’s Christmas Carnival, which is expected to be a wonderful, fun-filled family event designed to galvanize community support for the Home while raising much-needed funds and donations to offset the facilities’ operational expenses.

“Tons of great activities that include face painting, bouncing castles, egg ‘n’ spoon and potato sack races, carnival games, arts and crafts, cookie decorating and great food would be available for all to enjoy.

“Children of the Home are anticipating this event and cannot wait to sing carols with other members of the FTH, trimming the Christmas tree and watching a preview of ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas.’

“The FTH is proud to give back to the GBCH and we want all families participating in this event to have a grand time, as the Christmas Carnival is the perfect way to bring in the holiday season for the children as well as raise awareness within the community about the Home and of their needs.”

GBCH Executive member Sheila Johnson-Smith expressed sincere gratitude to the FTH, who wanted to celebrate the holiday season in a way that children of the Home and the wider community could appreciate.

Hopeful that those supporting the Christmas Carnival would be sensitized to the plight of the children at the Home and make an earnest effort to provide assistance year round Johnson-Smith said, “We are always pleased with the outpouring of support the Home receives from volunteers, private and corporate donors like the FTH, who have been volunteering at the Home and expressed great love for the children here.

“As a result of the FTH our little darlings have the chance to experience the joys of the Christmas holiday season like any other child in loving homes throughout the local community.

“It is truly amazing to see what can happen when everyone comes together to help all our little darlings at the GBCH.

“Thankfully, a donation table will also be set up during the carnival allowing participants to donate a broad range of items such as socks, toiletries and grocery vouchers as well as certificates to help with repairs and maintenance around the Home.

“Every little bit helps as it is an enormous task caring for up to 40 children at a time, 24 hours a day seven days a week hence, the GBCH wishes to thank the FTH and the many individuals, who support us year round including Statoil, GB Shipyard, Polymers, Pelican Bay Resort, GB Power Company/Emera, Sire’s Restaurant, Paint Fair, Kelly’s, Sands Brewery, Rotary Club, M & E, Nesbitt’s Rental, Snack-umms, Elnet Maritime, Flying High Promotions and many more.”

On average it costs $400,000.00 to operate the Home each year and while the Bahamas Government Grant provides $150,000.00 annually, which helps to subsidize staff salaries, but $250,000.00 must be raised from private and corporate donations by the GBCH, which for the past 35 years provides 24-hour care and protection to neglected, abused and abandoned children, who need a safe home, food, clothing, love, guidance and to know they matter.

The number of children in care at the GBCH fluctuates with the holiday season and economic slumps typically show an increase in the number of children admitted. Additionally, volunteers also spend many hours at the Home providing a variety of services like hair cutting, reading and playing with the children revealed Johnson-Smith, who encouraged individuals and families to come to the Home located on Tripp Circle and participate in the Christmas Carnival.

“There is a cover charge per person and families of four to patronize the carnival and anyone looking to donate items or volunteer their time or expertise to the children at the Home, who range in age from birth to 12 years old can call 352-7852.

“Again we look forward to this being a well supported, successful event and thank the FTH and Ms. Buck-Gehr for all they have done and continue to do in aid of the GBCH,” declared Johnson-Smith.

Read the full article with pictures at Freeport News.

Grand Bahama Shipyard donates tournament funds to youth causes

Grand Bahama Shipyard donates tournament funds to youth causes

The Children’s Home received $14,000 dollars for monthly bills, with the balance to go towards food for the Home.

This year’s Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) fishing tournament brought in more funds than ever before, allowing GBS to significantly contribute to the youth of Grand Bahama.

The proceeds from this year’s tournament were donated to Eight Mile Rock High School, St. George’s High School, Jack Hayward, High School, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and the Sir Charles Hayward Library.

During a press conference held at the Shipyard, Katherine Smith, Director of Human Resources and Community Relations, noted, “Our community relations efforts are always focused on how we can assist the young in our community through sports, education, arts and culture. Our donations today are representative of those efforts.”

Receiving donations this year were Jack Hayward High School and St. George’s High School, who each received $7,000 dollars towards their technical training programmes, as many of the yard’s apprentices come from those schools.

Sir Charles Hayward Library and the Grand Bahama Youth Choir all received $14,000 dollars for upgrades to their facilities.

The Children’s Home also received $14,000 dollars for monthly bills, with the balance to go towards food for the Home.

In addition to these donations, the Shipyard also gave $40,000 to their sponsor school, Eight Mile Rock High School, towards the purchase of a new school bus.

“This year we are going to reintroduce our welding programme, so this donation is very timely,” said Yvonne Ward, Principal at Jack Hayward High School. “The students benefit greatly from our technical programme as they’re able to prepare for careers in technical fields, including becoming apprentices at the Shipyard. We can’t say thank you enough.”

“The Shipyard is very proud to make these donations. We saw the need that each of these organisations had,” said Reuben Byrd, Acting President and COO at GBS. “When we host this event, we want to do our best to help the Grand Bahama community as much as we can; we know that supporting these youth programmes and helping with education will help prepare students for their various careers.”

The continued success of the annual event fishing tournaments ensures that they can continue to be a blessing to the Grand Bahama community.

You can visit the event’s website or the Grand Bahama Shipyard’s Facebook page to see more information.

“We are thrilled about this donation,” said Shelia Smith, GB Children’s Home Administrator. “This comes at a perfect time for us as we’ve just prepared our children to head back to school and funding is desperately needed.”

Photo 1: Grand Bahama Shipyard donates to the island’s youth – This year’s Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) fishing tournament brought in more funds than ever before, allowing GBS to significantly contribute to the youth in Grand Bahama. The proceeds from this year’s tournament were donated to Eight Mile Rock High School, St. George’s High School, Jack Hayward High School, the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and the Sir Charles Hayward Library. Pictured is the Grand Bahama Children’s Home receiving their cheque. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll for Barefoot Marketing)

GB Children’s Home receives sizeable donation from ‘giving’ proprietor

Proprietor of both the Meat Mart and Snackums recently made a sizable donation to the Grand Bahama Children’s Ho-me. The donations included a hefty amount of frozen and generous amount of snack food items for the young residents.
Executive Director of the Grand Bahama Children’s Ho-me, Sheila Johnson-Smith noted that this is not the first time that the owners of the establishments have donated so generously to the Home and she and her team are beyond grateful to the proprietors.
According to Johnson-Smith, “It has been so amazing to receive the donations from Snackums and the Meat Place. Last year we were really down to nothing. The Meat Place heard our cry and they gave us over $1,500.00 worth of meats. That was so amazing. She (proprietor of the Meat Place and Snackums) is such an amazing woman and has such a big heart, it is unbelievable.”
Following the first donation Johnson-Smith shared that the proprietor called her and said that they were ever in need again to let her know. “A couple of weeks ago I called her and said that whatever they could do for us, as far as meat is concerned, we would really appreciate it.”
The proprietor of Snackums and the Meat Place informed Johnson-Smith that she would get back to her. “She called me and asked if I could come to her store. We did and she gave us so much meat for the children. She and her staff were just amazing to us. She then told me that Snackums was going to call me to with a donation of snacks for the children.
“She was true to her word. Snackums called us and we went and picked up the snacks for the children. The children were able to have snacks to carry to school. I can tell you that they have been a blessing; the Meat Place and the Snackums teams have just been amazing to the GB Children’s Home. We cannot begin to thank them for what they have done for the Home.”
Wishing to remain anonymous, the proprietor of the Meat Place and Snackums expressed that the art of giving was embedded in her at a very young age. She also stated that she is indeed blessed and will continue to give as long as she can to those who are truly in need.
“I think that it is a human obligation to give and to share with persons that may be less fortunate. I think that we have a tendency to be so selfish and caught up in our own lives that we tend not to see what is going on around us. I believe that a lot more can actually be done for the children at the children’s home. Personally, at this present time, I do not have the time or the facilities to accommodate a child or two, but if I could I would.”
She further expressed that there are times when many have so much that they sometimes disregard resources or supplies. “We do not look at the fact that there are people out there who can use it; we have, unfortunately, become a population of waste.
“The act of giving for me is an innate thing; it is genetic. My mother is a local school principal, she is always shopping in my cupboard for the children at her school. I grew up around my mother brining home children, not just one or two, sometimes, at any given time she would have up to 10 kids from her school at home with us.
“Giving for me does not take a second thought. Being a business owner, I have had to become a bit more discretionary, as to whom to do give to because I would constantly give. Sometimes it went to the wrong people, those that did not necessarily need it. I truly consider myself blessed and I will continue to give as long as I am able to,” stated the proprietor.

New York’s Lauren’s Central High School Donates Again!

Earlier this year the graduating class of Lauren’s Central High School, from upstate New York, came to Grand Bahama for thier Senior trip on a cruise to the island. They wanted to have a community project as part of their trip so the Ministry of Tourism, on the suggestion of Karen Seymour, came to the GB Children’s Home.

The class also brought some items for the children: books, pencils arts and crafts items, as well as hygiene items.

The seniors, along with their teachers and chaperones visited the Home on March 28th 2013. Their transport to the Home was compliments of the Ministry of Tourism and their staff. The assistance with dutiable items being exempted was compliments of the Minister of Finance.

While here at the Home the seniors and the entire entourage had a fantastic time playing, reading and teaching Arts and Crafts to the residents of the Home. They spend several hours with the children.

So how nice was it to get an email and learn that this class had decided to donate the left over funds from thier class trip to our home! Thier teacher Mrs. Celine C. Francisco has organised the funds to come to us and we are again overwhelmed by this amazing class!

Hats off to these beautiful students, may you be blessed!

Lucaya International School (LIS) donated 400 juice boxes to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH)


Lucaya International School (LIS) donated 400 juice boxes to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) on Wednesday.

Katelyn Cabral, Sophie Paine and Jessica McBrayer spear-headed the “juice-box drive” this year. This is the fourth “juice-box” donation for the home, which was originally inspired by Katelyn in 2012. During the course of two weeks the students worked hard to promote their drive and encouraged students to help the children of the Home in this small way.

Katelyn, a student in Year 6, said “I am proud to have been able to continue this project at LIS. I know that the children at the home will be very grateful.”

Sophie Paine, an International Baccalaureate student said, “On behalf of the entire school, we are so delighted to donate to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. Not only are we sure that this will make a difference in other children’s lives, but it gives us as a student body great satisfaction to know that we have contributed to the well-being of our community. Organizing a drive like this is certainly not an easy task as it requires cooperation from all the students; however the Grand Bahama Children’s Home means so much to us as students that we gained enormous support which we are proud to share with the children”.

Jessica McBrayer added, “I’m happy that we were able to help the children’s home out through the juice box drive, however I hope to continue to volunteer and help the GBCH in as many other ways as possible”.

“As part of the I.B. programme at LIS, our students have to complete the 18-month CAS element to fulfill the diploma’s requirements,” said Vikki Purvis, CAS coordinator. “There are numerous requirements and one of the aims of this CAS program is to educate students in the importance of caring about others less fortunate than themselves. This year two I.B. students decided to work with one of our Primary students, which illustrates the way our older students interact with the younger ones at LIS.”

“I am very proud of how the students have shown such an act of kindness towards GBCH,” said Vikki Purvis.  “This continual juice box drive plus our annual Turkey Trot for the home, shows that LIS is truly teaching the students to give back and the importance of being good corporate citizens.”

“We are so grateful to the students, teachers and parents of Lucaya International School who continue to support the Home in so many ways. This donation of the juice boxes could not have come at a better time as we approach a long summer break,” said Mrs. Lesley Davies-Baptista, Executive Committee member. “The LIS student body has found meaningful ways to impact the Home – as they set a wonderful example of reaching out and helping others right here in our community.  Both the Executive Board and our children very much appreciate their help – which is especially needed during such a difficult time in our economy,” she added.

Rotary at the Colombus House

We want to share some work that is being done by Rotary at the Colombus House, if you can help please let them know:

Rotary Club Of GB Sunrise Big Brother/Big Sister Youth Mentoring Program for Columbus House music program is in full swing now.

Thank you Steve Persaud, Marina Gottlieb, Ryan Carroll, Larry Lewis, Cassie Hadad for donating their time to bring music to their lives. Following Jujitsu with Professor Moss at Jaguar School of Juijitsu every Saturday its Music Time.

Thanks to all who donated guitars to the program. We are now looking for an electronic keyboard, bongos, percussion instruments or any used instrument you have. The kids want to start a band! Please call Jamie Sarles at 351-9081 or 727-8888 and I will pick up the instruments. These kids need activities like this to make their life richer.


Local business community coming together to help raise Grand Bahama’s children

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Local businesses are continuing to bring smiles to the children at the Grand Bahama Children’s Home … while making an important impact on the Home’s resources thanks to holiday donations received by the Home!

Wanting to spread holiday cheer, UNEXSO partnered with the GB Children’s Home to ensure that every child would have a gift to open on Christmas morning through its Angel Tree campaign.

“We are so grateful that UNEXSO found such a special way to make a difference for our children,” said Mrs. Geneva Rutherford, Executive Committee, GB Children’s Home.

“Every child does deserve some Christmas magic and the sheer joy of unwrapping a gift, knowing someone cares. It meant so much that they reached out to us – especially during such a busy time of the year for them,” she added.

Local medical facility Lucayan Medical Centre also reached out to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home before the end of the year, with a much-needed financial donation to help with expenses at the Home.

“As we all know, the holidays are an expensive time of year for any home – and our Home is no different,” explained Mrs. Rutherford. “We are incredibly grateful to Lucayan Medical Centre and its staff for remembering us and helping us with our basic expenses. Our general expenses have risen, as have everyone else’s, despite our every effort to control them so this donation is very much appreciated and will be put to good use in the operation of our Home,” she said.

The technical staff of Cable Bahamas along with the Wilson family of Smith’s Point donated two boxes of food items to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to help them start off the new year.

“Cable Bahamas technical staff would like to make this a tradition, and not just during the holiday season,” said representative Carla Russell, Cable Bahamas technical staff.  “We plan to make the Grand Bahama Children’s Home our special project.  This is only the beginning and we want to ensure the youth of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home are provided with the essentials they need to thrive – charity begins in the heart and for us it was heartwarming to elevate our young people in any way we can.”

Mrs. Rutherford noted that it was heartwarming to know how many local businesses like UNEXSO, Lucayan Medical Centre, the Cable Bahamas technical staff among others and along with many families and individuals who were coming forward with overwhelming support for the Home – at a time when it is so very much needed.

“We are truly seeing a community come together to help raise our children and we cannot thank those who support us in what, at times, might seem like an almost insurmountable task. However, it certainly isn’t insurmountable … not when you can count on the support of your community,” she added.

Photo 1: Nikki Waugh, UNEXSO, (third from left) presents gifts for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll)

Photo 2: Lucayan Medical staff members present a cheque to Mrs. Geneva Rutherford of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. (Photo courtesy of Derek Carroll)

Photo 3: Pictured are some of the Grand Bahama-based Cable Bahamas technicians who donated two food boxes to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to help them start the new year.  They plan to make the home their special project for the year.  Pictured are Steven Munroe, Tyrone Minnis, Charles Saunders, Devin Potier, Addison Bethel presenting to Enzy Jones, GBCH Assistant Administrator.

Sixth graders share the joy of Christmas with the Grand Bahama Children’s Home

Photo: Students from the sixth grade class of Grand Bahama Academy visited the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to make a special donation.

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Last week a group of eleven students from the sixth grade class of Grand Bahama Academy visited the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to make a special donation.

At the beginning of the new school year the class engaged in a process of selecting class officers.  The officers – Diondre Albury, Raeon Stewart and Ostonya Thomas met and decided on a class project that would seek to bring joy to children like themselves.

One of the projects they decided on was to collect can goods to assist the Grand Bahama Children’s Home.  The entire class was extremely excited about this project; and with the encouragement, support, and assistance from their class teacher Ms. Avoney Wellington and parents, the students were able to collect a wide variety of can goods.

As the end of term exams came to an end and heralded the approach of the Yuletide season, the sixth graders were more than eager to visit the home and share in the joys of Christmas with the children.  Along with the presentation of the can goods, the students engaged the children and staff at the home in a short devotional exercise.

A special welcome was presented by Ostonya Thomas, prayer by Diondre Albury, special song by Sabbath Bethel along with a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas presented by Raeon Stewart.  At the end of the program, the students along with their teacher sang a medley of Christmas carols for the children.  To conclude their visit, the children were each treated to delicious cupcakes.

The presentation was well received by the administrators and children as they expressed their gratitude to the students for their kind gesture.  The 6th graders were also grateful for the opportunity to serve humanity and look forward to continuing this mission as they share the love of Jesus throughout this Yuletide season.


Roaring 20’s Cocktail Party Fundraiser

Roaring 20's

Save The Date for the Annual GB Children’s Home Fundraiser

Please join us for our Annual fundraiser for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home under the patronage of Mrs. Bernadette Christie. Tickets will go on sale this week, so call to reserve yours and Save The Date for the best party of them all!

We thank you for helping us care for our children.

Grand Bahama Children’s Home were treated to a very special Christmas party thanks to BTC with the promise for more help in 2013

December 10, 2012:

The children from the Grand Bahama Children’s Home were treated to a very special Christmas party thanks to BTC with the promise for more help in 2013 as a part of BTC’s Bahamas nation-wide focus on underprivileged children.

BTC Bahamas hosted the children to an afternoon of fun at Nesbitt’s grounds in Freeport where they were treated to a visit and presents from Santa, an electric performance from the Amazing Spiderman, laughter thanks to Ms. Daisy, face painting, slides, bouncing castles, singing, dancing, sweat treats and so much more.

According to Mr. Jerome Sawyer, BTC’s Senior Manager of Public Relations, the afternoon event helped to kick off to our Christmas charity at BTC and was also a part of a broader, company-wide initiative to put a lot more emphasis on helping children who really need it the most.

“Of course, Christmas is about children,” explained Mr. Sawyer. “And what we are doing is … a nation-wide thrust towards underprivileged children.”  Such fun filled activities were also planned in Nassau, New Providence and Cat Island along with specific projects on various islands to bring products and services to disadvantaged youth.  “This fits into our entire corporate-wide thrust when it comes to our corporate social responsibility.  We put a lot of emphasis on youth and a lot of emphasis on youth sports. This ties into that.”

The smiles, singing, dancing and laughter from the children made for a very special afternoon. “We are so very grateful to BTC for hosting such a wonderful event for our children,” said Mrs. Lesley Davies-Baptista, GB Children’s Home Executive Committee member who was on hand for the fun.  “What a fantastic way to spread Christmas love and cheer by giving these children, who haven’t always experienced such in their lives, a very special afternoon.  It was so heartwarming to see and it was not only a fantastic time but it is also created wonderful memories to stay with the children for some time to come,” added. Mrs. Baptista.

BTC, however, is not stopping at the fun-filled afternoon when it comes to its giving back to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. Mr. Sawyer also revealed that the corporate-wide initiative would soon return to Grand Bahama to lend even more assistance to the Home.  BTC’s “I volunteer” program is an initiative where BTC employees volunteer their time and talent along with equipment and resources donated by BTC itself.  Out of that program, BTC has renovated and outfitted computer labs in the Children’s Home in Cat Island as well as the Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home in Nassau. Mr. Sawyer revealed that The Grand Bahama Children’s Home will also be part of this exciting initiative in the New Year when a team from BTC will assess the space and needs at the Home, provide the equipment and the service for a lab similar to those already done.

“We are overjoyed to be able to do this. Grand Bahama is very special to us…because of our employees as well as the support of the community which has been very good to BTC, and we are happy to give back,” explained Mr. Sawyer. “We see children as the future of the country… The technology that you are now seeing through BTC products and services is going to be primarily used by children. They are the future and so we have got to make sure we not only give them great products and services but we want to make sure we also give them opportunities as well.”

Executive Committee member Mrs. Sarah Kirkby presented Mr. Geoff Huston, BTC’s Chief Executive Officer,  with a special “Thank you” plaque with artwork done by the children at the Home. “Thank you BTC! We are thrilled at wonderful Christmas party for our children and the promise to do even more in the New Year. We are very blessed by such support,” said Mrs. Kirkby. “This year’s response from the community has been overwhelming – Grand Bahama is literally coming together and showing our children love and helping with much needed donations of all kinds. We hope that everyone giving knows just how important the donations are … and how very grateful we all are,” she added.

Turn your trash into real cash for a great cause! Please recycle and give a local charity some green this holiday season.

Turn your trash into real cash for a great cause! Please recycle and give a local charity some green this holiday season.

Dec. 2012

This holiday season help your favorite local charity by recycling aluminum cans, car batteries, aluminum food trays and all other scrap metals. The Keep Grand Bahama Clean committee in partnership with Presto Recycling invites everyone to participate in Grand Bahama’s first annual “ Recycle for Charity” campaign. Individual residents, schools and local businesses are encouraged to take part in this island wide initiative to benefit the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, the Humane Society and the Salvation Army.

This program presents a winning opportunity for our community and our environment. We all know that the holidays produce more beverage and food container waste than any other time of year. It would be interesting to be able to quantify the amount of soda cans and aluminum food trays we throw away from our celebrations but instead of wasting time on such calculations let’s just commit to recycling this waste instead. All the proceeds from the recyclable trash will be donated to the local charities previously mentioned.

The program is simple. During the month of December anyone that brings recyclable materials into Presto Recycling can request that the proceeds be donated to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, the Humane Society or the Salvation Army. In January all of the proceeds will be distributed to these local non-profit organizations. Proceeds that are donated generally will be shared equally amongst the recipient organizations. Anonymous scrap donations towards these charities are also welcomed.

Presto Recycling is located at 13 Mahogany Street right off of Logwood. Please contact Presto Recycling at 351-9319 or Keep Grand Bahama Clean representatives at 350-9164 for more information about this program.

Senor Frogs Opens in Grand Bahama and Helps the GB Children’s Home

Senor Frogs Opens in Grand Bahama and Helps the GB Children’s Home

December 5, 2012

Freeport, GB  – Last week saw the offical opening of the newest Bahamas Senor Frogs in Grand Bahama. The Grand Opening was made all that more specail as the Managing Owner, Auturo Solas, decided to make the event a fundrasier for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home.  The 200 invitied guests were asked to donate to the Home as they enjoyed dinner and drinks on the house!On hand to offically open the restuarnt was Senator Tanisha Tynes,  stepping in for Minister of Tourism Obadiah Wilchcombe, who was unable to attend but was instrumetal in bringing the restuatant to Grand Bahama. In his absence, Senator  Tynes brought remarks along with Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) president Ian Rolle who both cut the ceremonial ribbon so the night’s festivities could begin.Salas said he is happy to be a part of the Grand Bahama community and thanked Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe for the Señor Frog’s franchise to be realized on the island, he hopes to make a great impact on the island and give as much as he can in helping the community grow.  Salas and his partner have hired over 50 Bahamaina staff on Grand Bahama and have franchise staff training for these emoployees to make sure Grand Bahama’s restaurant is up the standard of Señor Frog’s  franchise which are found in 40 countries around the world.
Sarah Kirkby, Grand Bahama Children’s Home Exectuive Committee, expressed the homes gratitude to Señor Frog’s director Salas, his wife, partners and staff  for thier tremendous generosity. “We are absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed that Mr. Salas would think of the Children’s Home when tonight is a big opening for him,” she noted. “Today this donation is even more special because we just had five more children come to the Home today and that is a hard thing for the holidays so with the money that is raised it will help to cover our additional operating expenses.””Mr. Salas said he hopes to do more events like this with us and cannot thank him and so many others in our wonderful community who continue to keep our home open and funcitoning throughout the year,” she added.
Elnet Maritime Spreads Holiday Cheer!

Elnet Maritime Spreads Holiday Cheer!

December 4th, 2012

For the second consecutive year, Elnet Maritime Agency hosted the children of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to a post-thanksgiving feast and fun-filled day. Their mission was to share God’s love with the less fortunate during this holiday season.

“It was a time for sharing and fun where we had the opportunity to show God’s love. We prayed with the children, sang songs and enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast,” said Janet Mills-Shepherd, Vice-president of Human Resources for Elnet Maritime.

Pastor Audley Swain of Grace Bible Fellowship was there to share an important message to the children. After their meal they enjoyed bouncing castles, slides, music, popcorn and cotton candy. Elnet also provided every child with a t-shirt and coloring book.

“Our CEO Mr. Ellie Hepburn came up with this incredible idea and our Elnet team worked together to execute this special event” said Mrs. Mills-Shepherd (tittel) “ Specail thanks to Tabitha Bowe, Tanya Hall, Shandell Johnson and Patricia Rolle who all played a special role. It was a rewarding day for us all,.”

Elnet Maritime plans to continue this annual event and is committed to assisting the Grand Bahama Children’s Home.

“The Grand Bahama Children’s Home is grateful to Elnet for their generosity to our children. Its gestures such as these that ensure our children reach their full potential. I hope that seeing the children’s smiles and hearing their laughter gives the management and staff of Elnet a great feeling of satisfaction,” said Lynne Fraino, GBCH Committee Member.

For more information on how you can assist the Grand Bahama Children’s Home during the holiday season, please call 352-7852 or visit GB Children’s Home on Facebook or via their website

Students Join Forces to Assist Less Fortunate

Students Join Forces to Assist Less Fortunate

Azariah Brice, a student at Freeport Gospel Chapel, adopted the juice drive idea and collected a significant donation for the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. Pictured from left to right: Rowena Ferrell, 5th grade teacher at Freeport Gospel Chapel; Katelyn Cabral, inspiration for the juice drive; Brennamae Rolle-Cooper, Administrator of GBCH; Azariah Brice; and Fran Brice, Azariah’s mother

It is said that it only takes a spark to get the fire going. This is also true when it comes to igniting the spirit of giving in others.

Earlier this year, Bishop Michael Eldon Student Katelyn Cabral was featured for her generous school project where she collected hundreds of juice boxes and donated them to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH). Around the same time that Katelyn made her donation, another local student was looking for a way to help her community.

Azariah Brice, a student at Freeport Gospel Chapel, heard of Katelyn’s juice drive and took the idea to her school. With the help of her teacher, Rowena Ferrell, Azariah and her peers collected a container full of juice boxes and recently donated them to the GBCH on behalf of Freeport Gospel Chapel.

“Juices and snacks are some things that our children always need. We are very grateful to Azariah and the students of Freeport Gospel Chapel for adopting Katelyn’s idea to help the Home and we hope that other students reading this story will also be inspired to coordinate similar donation drives at their schools,” said Brennamae Rolle-Cooper, Administrator at the Grand Bahama Children’s Home.

Although this school year will be Azariah’s last at Freeport Gospel Chapel, the school’s administration has agreed to continue the juice drive as an annual event. They are proud of Azariah’s act of kindness and the different ways she helps through volunteering at school and in her community.

Katelyn is also excited and working with the administration at Bishop Michael Eldon School to plan their second annual juice drive which is now appropriately being referred to as “Students Sharing”.

For more information on how you can inspire your school to assist less fortunate students, please call the Grand Bahama Children’s Home at 352-7852 or visit GB Children’s Home on Facebook.

New IBM think pads for the GB Children’s Home for Christmas

All of our children need the right tools to learn and succeed in today’s world. Thanks to a very generous donation from Reuben and Jacqueline Byrd, the children at the Grand Bahama Children’s Home are far better equipped. Mr. and Mrs. Byrd donated four brand new IBM Think Pads to the Home just in time for the holidays. “Christmas is the time of giving and we wanted to give these children something practical and, as we understand it, very needed,” said Mr. Reuben Byrd. When accepting the IMB Think Pads, GBCH Administrator Mrs. Brennamae Cooper said, “What a wonderful surprise gift for us! We all know how important computer training is today – and, to date, our children have had to struggle to get their time on the computers we have. These new computers will make a wonderful addition to our computer lab and the size is perfect!”
Pictured at the donation are (left to right) Reuben and Jacqueline Byrd, Brennamae Cooper and Enzy Jones, GBCH Assistant Administrator.

Photo credit:
Photo: Erik J. Russell for Barefoot Marketing

PAINT FAIR takes its popular “LOOK AT WHAT PAINT CAN DO” workshops to the GB Children’s Home

PAINT FAIR takes its popular “LOOK AT WHAT PAINT CAN DO” workshops to the GB Children’s Home

Paint Fair took its popular paint workshops to the GB Children’s Home to spread some holiday cheer. All of the children were given a pillowcase with their name on along with a child’s prayer so that they could personalize with their own creative flair by decorating with paint. “Our workshops are a great way for little ones to create something that they are very proud of – and we are always amazed at what they are able to create with a little bit of paint and terrific imaginations,” says Lesley Davies-Baptista, Paint Fair. “Thanks to special volunteers like Mrs. Margaret McNab and Joan Davies, we were thrilled to work with the children on their masterpieces – the kids just let their talent and imaginations loose and did some wonderful designs!”


The arts and crafts time was topped off with a pizza party, Christmas carols and cookies.

Skyler Ferguson becomes an Angel to the GB Children’s Home


GBCH Angel Skyler Bain-Ferguson raises funds for the home this Christmas.

Nine year old Skyler Ferguson-Bain is becoming quite the Angel to the Grand Bahama Children’s Home this Christmas. Seeing a post on her mom’s Facebook page about Furniture Plus’ fundraising efforts on Grand Bahama for the Home, Skyler decided to lend a hand. As a part of the store’s “Charity of Hope Campaign,” Furniture Plus’ staff are selling paper ‘Angels’ to hang on their trees and Bahamian candles to support their store’s chosen charity. In addition to these sales, Furniture Plus then matches – dollar for dollar – the amount raised from those sales. “My daughter thought this was a great way to help the Home and asked if she could sell the angels too,” said her mother Ms. Stephanie Ferguson. “I contacted Furniture Plus and her school, Bishop Michael Eldon (BMES), and they both agreed to let Sklyer make sales to help the Children’s Home.” So far, Skyler has sold over $2,000 worth of ‘Angels’, which includes two amazing pledges of $500 and $1,000 which came from persons who read about her hard work on Facebook. Skyler has been given permission to sell the ‘Angels’ until the end of school term this year so if you see her about, please help her help the Grand Bahama’s Children’s Home. Sklyer is pictured with Tanya Wildgoose, Vice Principal at BMES, outside her school in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

(Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)

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GB Community Continues to support the Home

The Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) was very pleased to receive a donation of twenty-six school bags and supplies from Statoil Company Ltd recently. “This donation was a wonderful surprise and a much needed donation,” noted Christa Woodside, GBCH Office Assistant. “We are always in need of school supplies and, as any parent can tell you, bags, books, and pencils often need replacing!” Pictured at the home are (left to right) Ms. Christa Woodside, Mrs. Mable Gibson, GBCH Supervisor; Mrs. Betty Smith, Statoil Administrative Assistant in the Modification & Maintenance Department, Ms. Tiffany Mazzoni, Statoil Technical Engineer in the Modification & Maintenance Department; Mrs. Latalia Dames, GBCH Asst. Office Administrator. For more information about the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, please visit their website at or visit the Home’s Facebook page for updates on upcoming events and special needs.