In an effort to lend aid to Bahamians who are struggling with hunger, the West Indies Commandery of the Order St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, has donated $5,000 to the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN).
Dame Natalie Bethel, Knight Coredero Bonamy and Knight Charles Sealy II, some of the newest members of the order, joined Knight Felix Stubbs, who is also the chairman of BFN, and Commander of the West Indies Commandery Owen Bethel for the presentation of the check at BFN’s inaugural Tee Off for Hunger golf tournament last month.
Bethel said he hopes the donation, along with one to the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged, will help the Order’s presence to be felt more deeply in The Bahamas.
“The West Indies Commandery of the Order of St. John Knights Hospitaller is proud to continue its mission of assisting the sick and poor within the community of The Bahamas by these donations to two worthy causes, the Bahamas Feeding Network and the Persis Rodgers Home for the Aged,” said Bethel.
“Both recipients have been previous beneficiaries of the Order as they fulfill important services in the country and which align significantly with the mission of the Order. Being one of the oldest Orders of chivalry in existence, the Order is honored to have its presence felt in a tangible way in The Bahamas.
“This is expected to increase as the Order expands both its membership and activities within the country with a dynamic team of service-oriented and civic-minded individuals.”
BFN Director Mario Carey said donations like the one from the Order are what make the work of BFN — providing more than 70,000 meals a month to Bahamians in need — possible.
“It’s a massive undertaking to put together thousands of meals every week,” said Carey.
“And we can only do it because of the aid and generosity of organizations like the Order. Their support is vital in combatting hunger in The Bahamas, a growing issue that is impacting too many families.”
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem was founded in 1099 with a goal of aiding the sick and the poor and developing methods to improve mortality and patient care. It has a presence in 12 countries around the world and has supported various regional charities in recent years, aiding communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Haiti and The Bahamas.
In the past, the Order has donated to the Ranfurly Home for Children and to Hurricane Dorian relief efforts through the Rotary Club of Freeport.