Message from the President
Greetings friend, and welcome to the April Comfort Connection,
Today I am thinking about all the people in St. Vincent. St. Vincent is a little island in the Caribbean, just west of Barbados, south of St. Lucia and north of Grenada. On Thursday, April 8th, twenty thousand people had to evacuate their homes as the volcano’s eruption was imminent. The eruptions started on Friday, sending volcanic ash everywhere, devasting the country. In this agriculturally based country, fruit bearing trees are completely destroyed. Drinking water has been polluted from the ash and there is no power on the entire island.
The ash from the eruptions has drifted over to Barbados, St. Lucia and even Grenada. A rain shower on Sunday morning brought ash down everywhere in Grenada. The problem with ash is, once you add water it gets heavier; it actually turns to cement. A lady in Barbados had 2 inches of ash on her car. She tried to wash it off and it instantly became cement on her windshield. She was so distraught. Imagine what the people of St. Vincent are going through!
The problem is the island itself does not have room for twenty thousand displaced people and their livestock. The livestock will likely be lost. It's really a devastating situation. The pandemic considerations make travel and housing in shelters much more complicated.
I can’t imagine how it must be for those caring for elderly loved ones or children. Personal care homes are scarce in the Caribbean, so many elderly people stay with their adult children. Perhaps it’s a better model of care than that which we have in Canada, which is to institutionalize most of our elderly. But still, in a time like this, it must be so difficult.
Please keep the people of St. Vincent in your prayers, not only now, but for the months to come. This will not be an easy recovery for them. You can also send a donation of any size through the SOCIETY OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL.
Let us also be thankful for our country, Canada, where we have so much more resources. The last time the volcano erupted was 1979, but this eruption is so much greater and much more devastating. It will take a lot of time for St. Vincent to be able to recover and for people to be able to return to their normal way of life.