FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — On Wednesday, the IL Cares Foundation hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the children of The Grand Bahama Children’s Home. It was the first celebration to be held since the official reopening of the home, which was forced to close by Hurricane Dorian last year.
The foundation said the initiative, which began in 2017 and had become an annual tradition, had to be canceled last year as a result of Hurricane Dorian. But in a statement the foundation said with the children returning home, it “felt it fitting to continue the tradition”.
“As the children are still adjusting to being back home, what better way to begin the holiday season than with a familiar celebration”, the statement read.
“Through the foundation, we aim to continue ongoing initiatives with the goal of dramatically increasing the quality of life for hundreds of Bahamians. By giving back to our community in ways that create stronger individuals and households, we can create stronger citizens and a stronger economy.
“It is our main focus and goal to directly affect those with the greatest needs.”
Pauline Bowen-Forbes, the administrator for the children’s home, described the 2019-2020 period “as Queen Elizabeth once described as ‘annus horribilis’”, and expressed gratitude to the IL Cares Foundation for helping the children to “feel loved”.
“Our children have had their share of trauma, repeated displacement and basically their lives once again interrupted with the effects of COVID-19,” she said.
“It is necessary to do whatever we can to return them to some sort of normalcy… We want them to feel loved and remembered. We’re so appreciative of Island Luck Cares for really caring enough to host our children for Thanksgiving dinner.”