It was all smiles as The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and OMNI Financial Group Limited presented Christmas gifts to Stapledon School. Pictured in front row in wheelchair is student, Devonte Lawes; Parent Teacher Association President, Nina Hall; seated in her lap is Kenria Joseph; Kenelson Lordes; BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Fund Development, Alicia Thompson; Fredrick Williams, Denrio Griffin; Jonathan Wright and PTA Secretary, Raquel Marshall. To the rear from left to right are: OMNI Financial Group Limited Human Resources Manager, Secoya Stuart; BTVI’s President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson; OMNI’s General Manager of Operations, Christina Sands; Emerald Sawyer and Stapledon School’s Principal, Amanda Moncur.
Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute
Photos: Shantique Longley
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) joined hands and hearts with OMNI Financial Group Limited to make the holiday season a little brighter for the students of Stapledon School with a donation of 129 Christmas gifts.
The gifts were donated a day before the school’s Christmas party and according to Principal, Amanda Moncur, it was greatly appreciated.
“It was a wonderful gesture. Students will be so thrilled. For so many of them, they won’t get gifts, so we are pleased that BTVI has partnered with us to bring them Christmas cheer,” said Ms. Moncur.
The Christmas gifts were presented the day after International Day of People with Disabilities which also fell during local celebrations of Disabilities Week.
Dubbed ‘Gifts for the Gifted,’ the initiative was the institution’s way of giving back to the community as the year ends. Stapledon School was chosen because it has gifted students and it offers Cosmetology and Auto Detailing, similar courses offered at BTVI.
BTVI’s President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson was delighted to be a part of the community initiative and besides donating personally, he checked in several times during the gift wrapping stage. Following the presentation, he expressed how pleased he was that the institution continues to give back, whether through raising funds for breast cancer awareness, giving students free breakfast before exams or providing Christmas cheer through gift giving.
“Just to see the looks on their faces was incredible. Christmas is about the children and they are a special group. We are developing the whole man at BTVI and giving back is a part of that. It is important to give back and I thank faculty, staff and students for their participation. I am also grateful for the support of our corporate partner, OMNI Financial Group Limited for its generous donation,” said Mr. Robertson.
The team effort between The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and OMNI Financial Group Limited yielded 129 Christmas gifts for the ‘Gifts for the Gifted’ community initiative. Shown here from left to right are: BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Fund Development, Alicia Thompson; OMNI Financial Group Limited Human Resources Manager, Secoya Stuart; BTVI’s President, Dr. Robert W. Robertson and OMNI’s General Manager of Operations, Christina Sands.
“A truly valued gift one can give to another is time, showing of appreciation and love. Our motto and business model is built on assisting communities and families throughout The Bahamas by providing needed financial services to unbanked members of the society. It is in this vein that OMNI Financial Group Limited saw it more than fitting to partner with this initiative to bring a moment of joy to the hearts of the children of Stapledon School,” said Ms. Sands.
“We experienced one of the joys of Christmas today. The students were so surprised by the gifts and OMNI is elated with this partnership with BTVI,” she added.
Echoing Ms. Sands was BTVI’s Associate Vice President of Finance, Alicia Thompson, who said giving back in this manner was a small way to show gratitude for what others have done for the institution. She noted that this year, BTVI has benefitted from scholarships, computers and other in-kind items.
“There is certainly truth to the old adage, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Throughout the year, donors have poured selflessly into our lives and to show our gratitude, we now have the pleasure of pouring into the lives of these gifted children. The smiles, the hugs and the stares at the mountain of gifts confirmed for us that we did the right thing and selected the right recipients. Giving gifts to the gifted was certainly our most fulfilling initiative this year,” said Ms. Thompson.