Mount Gay Rum Distilleries is leading the way in the We Gatherin’ 2020 Philanthropic Drive.
The company donated $20,000 to the St. Lucy District Hospital during the rum factory’s Open Day last Saturday, and announced that its 140 plus employees would volunteer at the healthcare institution to beautify its environs, and spend time with patients.
Several fruit trees were also planted on the estate, as part of Mount Gay’s quest to play its part in the We Plantin’ More than a Million National Tree Planting Project.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, thanked Mount Gay’s Executive Director, Raphael Grisoni, and staff for having “the vision to partner” with We Gatherin’ 2020.
“Philanthropy and the role it can play in driving investment into local communities is a key component of We Gatherin’ 2020,” she said, adding: “We Gatherin’ 2020 will also shine a spotlight on the hospitals of Barbados, which are earmarked to benefit from its philanthropic drive and see other health care institutions such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Psychiatric Hospital, the Geriatric Hospital and other district hospitals receive financial and/or in-kind assistance.”
She indicated that throughout the year, the needs of hospitals would be catalogued to facilitate the receipt of charitable donations, and encouraged corporate Barbados, Barbadians at home and abroad, and friends of the island to join in the giveback efforts.
The Information Minister indicated that a digital portal was being created to allow persons to contribute financially, and pledge time or technical support to specific projects.
The portal, which is being worked on by the Ministries of Health and Wellness; Labour and Social Security; and Innovation, Science and Technology, will itemize needs according to the parish and focus on health, education and community-based initiatives. Once established, it should function as an easy and efficient mechanism for charitable donations.
“Our largest vision is not only to foster the spirit of philanthropy, but to make it easy for Barbadians and those who care about Barbados to give of their time, expertise, materials or cash to support and develop our country’s healthcare system.
“Our aim through the philanthropic drive is to improve the regulatory framework for charitable donations, increase the amount of donations made to public and community-based organizations, and nurture a culture of philanthropy among Barbadians. We, Barbadians, are a caring and giving people who respond to a need whenever it exists. We wish to ensure that current and future generations continue to view volunteerism as personal and national development and take a personal stake in improving the lives of persons and the livelihoods of families and communities,” Minister Moe said.
Executive Director of Mount Gay, Raphael Grisoni, praised the We Gatherin’ 2020 programme, stating that it was great way to get Barbadians at home and abroad, as well as visitors, to discover or rediscover the country.
He said giving back was part of the company’s culture and pointed out that We Gatherin’ 2020 provided a platform for Mount Gay to showcase this. In previous years, outreach activities benefited the Mount Gay Village in St. Lucy, Alleyne School and Brandon’s Beach.
“Every year, the staff gives back to the community. It’s not forced; it is natural for us to give back. I think it is important, and I encourage all companies in Barbados to do the same,” Mr. Grisoni said.
Also lauding Mount Gay for its donation to the district hospital was Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Peter Phillips, who is also MP for the parish of St. Lucy.
“I want to reiterate that Mount Gay’s support will aid the St. Lucy District Hospital in improving its infrastructure to make the environment aesthetically pleasing and more comfortable for the 52 residents who live there. The investment in the district hospital is part of the larger vision of We Gatherin’ 2020, which will allow Barbadians and those who care about Barbados to give of their resources to improve Barbados’ healthcare system.
The development of the District Hospital is one that St. Lucy champions, and this assistance from Mount Gay and future support from Barbadians, well-wishers and corporate Barbados is not only welcomed, but vital,” Mr. Phillips outlined.
Persons interested in contributing to the We Gatherin’ 2020 Philanthropic Drive should contact Project Officer at the Vision 2020 Project Implementation Unit, Chereda Grannum, at One Barbados Place, Warrens, St. Michael, or call 535-7532. They may also visit www.wegatherinbarbados.com.