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Community Groups Help to Give the Gift of Sight


Jan. 5, 2006 — Joyce Gray sat on a folding chair Thursday under a rugged Tamarind tree at a side entrance to Bethlehem House, a shelter for the homeless in island center.
Two years ago the 59-year-old started having trouble with her sight, and then a year ago it really got bad. Now, she says, "Everything is blurry."
Still her faith remains. She says, "I want to turn my life around."
A lot of St. Croix residents share her faith and have gotten behind her to help. Representatives from Rotary West, the St. Croix Lions Club and People United for a Better Virgin Islands presented her Thursday with a check for $2,550. This money will allow her to have an operation to remove her cataracts on Monday.
The donation was the result of the efforts of the staff of Sen. Usie Richard's office.
Urban Paul, representing the St. Croix Lions, said, "This is our way of letting you know the people of the community care."
Andre McBean, representing People United, said that, though his group was small and the donation was not huge, it would help bring about the needed result.
Dorothy McIntosh represented Rotary West.
After the presentation Gray thanked the organizations for "coming at this moment to help me."
She added, "I hope god's blessings among these groups takes place."
Gray is a native of Aruba and lived on St. Martin before coming to St. Croix. She has worked as a house cleaner and provided care for the elderly. Her dream is to have her own business centered on those activities.
Richards, chairman of the Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services, said, "It is good to see civic organizations come together to help a person in need. The government can't do it all."
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