OPEN LETTER TO VINCY CARES BY Tricia Reddock

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DEAR EDITOR

My name is Tricia Reddock. I am an original founder of your organization along with Kenley John, Dahlia Howard and Fessie York’s. We were the very first 4 members of the group.

I named VincyCares, I labeled the very first barrel, and purchased and placed the very first Vincycares school supplies in that barrel in the presence of Fessie Yorke, with Kenley on the phone from Baltimore.

As you are probably aware, VincyCares was inspired by a Facebook post made by Dahlia when she encountered Victoria on the road early in the morning a little over 10 years ago.

The organization grew quickly, and at one point, we were sending over 30 barrels of supplies to SVG, and were able to reach every single primary school in the nation.

I am quite disturbed by the direction the group has taken in recent years. You no longer send supplies, nor am I aware of the recipients of your scholarships. This is very concerning as transparency was an important priority.

In addition, it has come to my attention that a donation of $1000 was made to a gofundme set up to raise funds for medical care for Soca Jones.

That is very problematic. VincyCares mission is to assist Vincentian schoolchildren achieve their educational goals by leveling the playing field. That was the intent and purpose of forming the group in the first place.

The donation to Soca’s care does not meet that criteria. I am very disappointed by what appears to be a misappropriation of funds that were collected for Vincentian school children.

I am very aware of Soca’s history and connection to the group. He has supported the efforts from the very beginning.

However, one cannot honor a person with a dishonorable act.

A more appropriate response, would’ve been either a dedicated fundraiser where contributors were made aware of the purpose of those funds.

Or, in keeping with the mission, a scholarship for his surviving son, because he is Vincentian by descent. Or, make personal donations from “members of VincyCares” and not Vincycares, Inc., itself.

It’s especially galling that this contribution was made in the middle of a pandemic, and a lot of other Vincentians are currently losing their lives.

You cannot pick and choose who you like to help, based on your personal friendships and associations.

I strongly disagree with that decision. It’s sends a terrible message to Vincentians that the group is only concerned about people in your clique.

In addition, I have yet to see any assistance offered to children on SVG who are now having to do distance learning.

Obviously there’s a need for devices for both children and teachers, as well as internet service.

I am asking you all to please refund VincyCares, Inc, this hastily thought out donation. It’s not ethical, and possibly illegal as well.

When a registered charity collects money for a specific purpose, you are legally bound to keep the public’s trust by using it in the manner that was communicated to the contributor.

I am also insisting that you all get together and immediately make an equal or greater donation to the children on SVG who returned to school today.

Please reach out to the Ministry of Education soon and see how you can help them achieve social distancing.

I am also asking for more transparency from the group. I need to know what you are collecting and where exactly, these funds are being applied.

Prior to this current group of executives, the public was always made aware of who received what from the organization. I am asking you to work on getting back that transparency.

VincyCares was once a wonderful and effective program. Unfortunately, you guys have regressed and are now indistinguishable from the other 40 something organizations that do very little that we can see. I am asking you all to change this.

VincyCares means a lot to me, it took a lot of hard work and dedication to make it grow. I am not just going to stand by without voicing my concerns.

I believe that you have heard similar sentiments, since quite a few Vincentians are unhappy with your blatant favoritism.

I would expect that you all will get together soon and come up with a plan to rectify this travesty immediately.

I would also like to become more involved, as it seems you’ve lost your direction and I would like to help you get back in track so the wonderful children on Vincy gets the best that we can offer from the diaspora. So I am respectfully requesting a discussion about how I can assist.

These are critical times, and everyone must step up in n every way to meet these challenges.

I am awaiting your response. You can contact me via email

4 Comments

  1. As I read this communiqué, I became more assured that my past experiences within the Toronto Vincent community’s main organization, was not just a concern of mind but an unfortunate plague which impedes our growth; and the reason that up to today, we have yet to establish a community building within Ontario and no doubt within the diaspora.
    Tricia; thanks for speaking out against ‘favoritism of people within cliques’ and for your stance in ‘transparency’, very similar to that of my struggles in Toronto which led to my being harassed, my vehicle being vandalised; the many efforts of scared-tactics to my ceasing of membership with an organization I have served in excess of 45 years.
    Covid19 has starred us ‘as a people’ in what is now the NEW NORMAL and therefore; the time for us to alter what was, embrace change and understand the MISSION to that which we hope to accomplished, KEEP THE FOCUS AND ADHERE TO CRITERIA.

  2. Many non profit organizations start with a noble intension,however, we tend to loose the vision that we initially uphold. I would tend to obelieve that Vince Cares Inc. would have a constitution and bylaws which governs the direction of the organization and the manner in which it is managed. If this is missing, it means that the organization is not properly construed.
    The constitution and bylaws should be followed, if an act is not in accordance with the constitution, it means that a decision take that conflicts with the constitution becomes Ultra Vires and therefore has no legal standing.
    The reason for having a constitution is to promote accountability and transparency such as the appropriation of funds. Without taking a position on the allegations express by Tricia, i have to first ask the question, as to whether the $1,000 violated the principle of the Constitution? If so then the donation becomes ultra Vires and therefore illegal.

    • I requested their financials as spelled out in NY states Freedom of Information Law, as well as a copy of the bylaws. They have yet to respond. This email was sent on May 27th, so they’ve gone past the 20 days within which they are supposed to respond. I fully intend to get this information with, or without their corporation.

  3. Just wondering why a request was made for a copy of the bylaws if it’s a public document? This is something that you could have access youself.

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