The Ranfurly Homes for Children
Nassau, Bahamas

Dear GAWDA Members,

As summer approaches, many of us are gearing up for this year’s annual convention in the Bahamas this September. When we go, we are also looking forward to giving back to this beautiful island and its people as part of GAWDA GIVES BACK.

This year, we are excited to announce The Ranfurly Home for Children as the 2008 recipient of GAWDA GIVES BACK. The Ranfurly Home was founded in 1956 by the wife of the Governor of the Bahamas, Lady Ranfurly. After a downtown fire, Lady Ranfurly discovered homeless children living in the streets of Nassau. She established this home for orphaned, abused or abandoned children. Over the past 52 years, thousands of Bahamian children have been raised in this home. At the present time there are 38 children ages 6 to 23 living at there. The children of the Ranfurly Home are well adjusted children with a strong desire to succeed. They are raised in a loving and caring environment. They attend school, play sports, attend their place of worship, and are involved in after school activities, the arts and clubs. They remain at the Ranfurly Home into their early twenties when they either attend college or obtain suitable employment to start living independently.

Ranfurly Home is a private facility. In 2007, it had a budget of $313,819 through private and corporate donations, as well as a government subsidy. The Ranfurly house has an administrator, 12 paid staff and volunteers.

The Ranfurly Home would like to build separate housing on its property for the older children. This would allow older college age young men and women to be housed away from the younger children as they face different challenges and issues and are asked to develop increasing levels of independence as young adults. We have earmarked the GAWDA GIVES BACK donation for this construction project.

Our family stopped in and visited the Ranfurly Home this April. We met many of the beautiful children and gracious staff. The staff showed us around the home and explained to us their history and their hopes for the future. We were genuinely touched by the polite and respectful manner of the children and the dedication of the staff. While we were there, our six year old daughter Casey met the youngest child at the home, a six year old girl. As we left, Casey asked many questions about her new friend. It was a touching moment and it made tangible the vision of the GAWDA GIVES BACK.

We ask you to consider a donation this year to the Ranfurly Home for Children. It is a remarkable place where the lives of children are nurtured daily. It is beautiful work, for beautiful children, on a beautiful island.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity,
Gary and Liliana Stoneback