Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Sandy Point Benevolent Society (SPBS) has impacted the lives of countless young persons from across the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis since its conception. On Thursday, September 2, 2021, SPBS held a donation drive at the Fig Tree Basketball Court in Sandy Point where several school children received back-to-school items. Speaking at the simple handing over ceremony, SPBS President Ms. Shermin Stephens stated that given the economic situation created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the group saw the need to assist by any means possible.
“The Sandy Point Benevolent Society is an organization that was established over 20 years ago coming out of the Sandy Point High School. Over the years, we have evolved; we started out giving equipment to the school for the science department and we have grown so much now that our branches have now extended beyond the Sandy Point community. We have adopted the mantra “We give back so others can move forward”; we are a non-profit organization. This afternoon we are here at the Fig Tree community to give back to students because we know this is a very challenging time as we all face the COVID-19 pandemic and many parents are out of work. So, we are just here today to give back a bit to this community, and we hope what we do today helps our students,” said SPBS President Ms. Shermin Stephens.
Students present at the handing over ceremony received back to school packages of backpacks, stationery items, and purchase vouchers to help with preparations for the new school year. Also present at the handing over ceremony was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr. William Vincent Hodge who gave an overview of the development of SPBS and urged students present to accept the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to protect themselves.
“This afternoon is for you with these school supplies. The donations are coming from a group that came out of the Sandy Point High School, persons who would have attended and moved overseas and want to give back to help you to be better boys and girls in school. Those of you who are 12 years or older, we want to encourage you to get vaccinated because you will be going back to school face to face, you will be mixing with other students and you have to protect yourself. Encourage your parents, tell them you want to go and get vaccinated and that will be done,” said Permanent Secretary Hodge.
The Sandy Point Benevolent Society is well known for its scholarship programme that has assisted many young persons during their time at university. The scholarships are the Ridley Guishard Memorial Scholarship, Sir Hugh and Lady Claudette Graduate Scholarship, and The Sandy Point Benevolent Society Scholarship. Interested persons can apply to the SPBS to benefit from the scholarships available.