VincyCares, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that resulted from an encounter between Mrs. Dahlia-Ann Howard-Lewis and an eleven-year-old girl selling sorrel in Kingstown, St. Vincent, early one morning. The encounter had a profound impact on Mrs. Howard-Lewis and Mr. Kenley ‘Shortmus’ John who initiated a Facebook conversation, eventually leading to the formation of VincyCares, Inc.
VincyCares, Inc. is currently led by President, Gillian Arthur. The organization is spearheaded by a group of dedicated Vincentians based in the United States of America, with a facilitation group in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, led by Mrs. Howard-Lewis. Since its formation in November 2009, all fifty-nine (59) primary schools in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have received school supplies collected at drives held in New York City.
Although the main focus of VincyCares, Inc. is to cater to the needs of less fortunate children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, special efforts have been made to assist during times of need. In response to the Haitian Earthquake of 2010, a drive was organized and over 30 barrels of supplies were shipped to Haiti. Also in 2010, VincyCares, Inc. donated supplies to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to assist children displaced by Hurricane Tomas. In 2014, school supplies were diverted to areas affected by the December 2013 floods in St. Vincent. In response to tropical storm Erika impacting Dominica in August 2015, the Board of Directors decided to donate all of the school supplies collected at the annual Taswya Cambridge Sr. Drive to that island. Officials from the Dominican Consulate were present at the drive to officially receive the supplies. In 2017, school supplies were again diverted to Dominica in response to hurricane Maria.
In May 2011, VincyCares, Inc. presented its first full, five-year secondary school scholarship to the young lady who inspired the formation of the organization. The Victoria Sutherland Scholarship Fund is designed to assist children who exhibit potential, be it in academics, sports or the arts, but who lack financial resources to achieve as much as possible from their secondary education. Ms. Sutherland struggled through secondary school but realized that she had a passion for cooking which led her to enroll at the Georgetown Multipurpose Centre to pursue a course in Food and Nutrition and Home Management. Victoria successfully completed that course and graduated on June 29th, 2016.
VincyCares, Inc. currently supports six (6) students in various secondary schools through scholarship donated by others and through our own fundraising. We currently offer scholarships to Miss Rickeisha Glasgow, Miss Mary Ann Woods and Miss Phileen Cambridge. Mr. Cody Anthony Bartley, Miss Ziel Cain and Miss Zomara Lewis were awarded scholarships this year. Our scholarship donors include Mrs. Christlyn Mathews-Child (in honor of her deceased sister, Magdalene Matthews), Ms. Anita Botti, Mrs. Sara Toyloy, Mr. Vince Matthews, Mrs. Natalie Greaves-Peters, Chapel of the Redeemer Lutheran Church (facilitated by Dr. Corinne Cordice-Forde), and Cynergy Spa. We congratulate Miss Niesha Richards, Miss Tyricia Samuel and Miss Gail-ann Pierre, who graduated secondary school this year and are now students at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College; we are so proud of them! In 2016, Jeremiah Augustus, a student at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, was awarded a stipend to assist with lunch expenses. Mr. Augustus was recently awarded a national scholarship! We are proud of his dedication and hard work.
We look forward to the continued support of generous persons in the diaspora so that we can continue supporting deserving students in furthering their education.