US-Based Montserrat Charity Raising Funds for Golden Years Home

A US-based charity has launched a campaign to help upgrade the Golden Years Home in Brades.

The Montserrat Recovery and Development Foundation USA, Inc. also known as “MRDF USA” is a 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization headquartered in the Commonwealth Massachusetts. The NGO’s aim is to provide humanitarian, recovery and development services to citizens of Montserrat.

The group has taken on a project to assist the Golden Years Foundation, a privately run organization set up in 1997 to assist people who were displaced in the volcanic crisis and who wanted to return home, but did not have a place to stay.  Since 1998, the Golden Years Home has been providing quality care for its senior citizen residents on a 24-hour basis.  This includes preparing meals and providing laundry service to all its residents.

Currently, there are 22 residents residing at the home. “This population is among the most vulnerable on Montserrat, yet there have been no COVID cases among the residents due to the excellent care given by the staff of the senior home,” officials said on the charity’s website.

The group aims to raise US$27,600 to refurbish and equip the laundry room, which fell into disrepair over time. “The laundry room has deteriorated, but because of budget shortfalls, the Golden Years Home has been unable to do any significant repairs.  Earlier this year in the height of the COVID crisis, the last remaining laundry machine broke down and cannot be repaired.  The dryer has not been working for a while. The laundry equipment is beyond repair and has outlived its usefulness.  The laundry room itself is also in dire need of updating. For months, the senior home laundry workers have been washing all of the residents’ clothing, sheets and towels by hand,” the charity’s crowdfunding page explained.

Earlier this year, Cheryl White, director of the Golden Years Senior Home reached out to the charity for assistance.

“So far, this project has been Montserrat teamwork at its finest. MRDF USA assisted the Senior Home with locating a professional architect and senior home planner to donate their time to render plans to renovate the laundry room to make it work better. The senior home laundry room planner is the owner of a villa on island and the laundry architect was a vacationer on the island. Ms. White facilitated with the installation quotes and identifying what the Senior Home’s needs were. The Senior Home has located a local carpenter and electrician who will do the renovation work. They have also provided us with quotes to ship and install two state-of-the-art commercial laundry machines and a commercial dryer to be purchased from a vendor in the USA.

“We are ready to go with this project.  We need you to help the senior home renovate this laundry room and install new equipment so that the laundry room at the Golden Years Home can function efficiently once again.  The cost of this project, which includes the renovation, purchase of equipment, installation and MRDF’s administrative costs and contingencies is estimated at $27,600.00 USD,” their crowdfunding appeal read. “No gift is too large or too small.”

MRDF USA was founded by Alice Esther Fenton, Esq., a former partner at a Boston law firm specializing in real estate finance.  Alice is a descendant of the Fenton family, who are from the north of Montserrat, primarily Cudjoe Head village.  The current MRDF USA Board consists of five board members, all of Montserratian descent, who are based in California, New York, New Jersey as well as in Montserrat.  There are also a number of associates who currently assist the Board with its various functions who are based in Montserrat, Boston as well as London UK.  The Board members and its associates hail from a wide variety of professions including writing, editing, acting, teaching, administration, informational technology, social media marketing, legal, project management, government and non-profit development.

For US citizens and charities, MRDF USA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity. Gifts are tax-deductible.

Currently, there is no on-island facility to collect donations for this campaign. Visit the crowdfunding site to make a donation here…