92 Mothers’ Day care packages were donated to nurses at 2 local health care facilities on Saturday 9th by Stories Left Behind, SVG’s youngest philanthropic outfit. 

Founder Rachael Degrads-Grellmore explained, in an ANN exclusive interview, disclosed that Sunday’s goodwill gesture was really meant to be, “something special for her cousin Nurse Degrads and her teammates,” members of the nursing staff at Milton Cato Memorial. This is not the first benevolent acts Stories Left Behind has proffered to date.

 Recently, they stepped up to help Our Lady Guadeloupe Home for Girls when it was “burnt to the ground earlier this year. The girls are still in need of help. Feel free to make contact with the heads of the foundation,” Degrads-Grellmore encouraged. Additionally, some 42 lunches were distributed to nursing staff across several wards at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on April 30. These included the: Male Medical and Accident & Emergency, Male Surgical, Female Surgical and Female Medical quarters.

Founder Degrads-Grellmore extended, “a special thank you” to the donors who made the gifts possible. “To the donors of the Mother’s Day Packages – your kindness did not go unnoticed.”

The team that went “above and beyond” to bring this venture to fruition included: Desrie Williams, Lavern Oliver (plus her Anonymous Circle), Petraun McIntosh, Odette McIntosh, Ankiah Degrads, Lana Boo Kitchen, Branding by Weeks(Web marketing, Event planning, Website Building), Consular General Fitz Huggins, Grace Walters, Sister Stay and Sister Richardson. 

Nurse Ankiah Degrads reported, “we targeted MCMH for all of the nursing staff including Registered Nurses, Nursing Assistants and Ward Assistants/Auxiliary Nurses. It was a total of about 83 nurses at MCMH.” The solitary nurse on the COVID-19 Unit, those serving on the maternity wards and the central sterilizing unit were amongst the departments targeted at the MCMH before the delivery team headed out to the Modern Medical Diagnostic Centre in Georgetown.

“The afternoon shift of 7 mothers were given packages” at the recently commissioned heath care facility even while, “I ventured to the home of 2 single mothers in the Colonaire area to give them packages,” Nurse Degrads noted. She expressed gratitude on behalf of the recipients who, according to Nurse Degrads, honored the physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene etiquette guidelines that are promoted as essential steps to limiting the coronavirus spread.

 “We as nurses in SVG have been working hard and diligently for a very long time and we would continue to focus on this pursuit of good health care for all. Thank you, much love and give our regards to everybody who supported us,” Degrads also said.

Intriguingly, Stories Left Behind got underway as a private Facebook group where followers are drawn to the mature atmosphere within which real life stories are shared without prejudice. “We got started on January 20, 2020. I was inspired by a post on a Grenadian page, a young lady stated she would like to write a book about parents who migrate and leave their kids behind.

“I responded to her post saying it was an ‘excellent idea; this is such a deep topic. My husband and I have been discussing it for many years. We have seen and heard kids, when they arrive from being left behind, when their parent(s) come to North America, to try and make a way for a better future. Some of them arrive with a vengeance; they’re angry and hurt, traumatized from what they endured while being left behind. Most of the times they’re left at such a young age, where they’re in need of a parent’s love and comfort, someone to listen to them and  to stand up for them,’” the group’s founder told us.

This movement is currently made up of 424 members – an internationally mixed demographic with a strong Vincentian presence – “we vet our members. Shaming and vulgarity is unacceptable within our group.  It’s like coming into a comfort space, where you can have a mature conversation or a good laugh.” 

Although the non-profit operation is yet to be fully registered, the vision behind this new society is laudable. The shooting death of Nurse Taylor earlier this year provoked SLB’s founder to brainstorm possible means of coming to the rescue of women who may need practical help in times of abuse. While she is keeping the idea upon when she finally latched onto under wraps, Degrads-Grellmore agreed that the inciting incident that actually caused Stories Left Behind to mobilize support and send physical donations was the fire which destroyed the girls’ home.

As for the next items on the philanthropists’ agenda, “we’re awaiting some information from the Milton Cato Hospital, towards our next project. Also, there’s a lot more in store for SLB, there is a major project that is on hold due to the pandemic we’re facing,” founder Degrads-Grellmore confided.

JP.Schwmon.Vincy@Gmail.Com

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