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The Susan J. Wallace Center and playground came alive on Saturday, August 22, 2015 as scores of people gathered in anticipation of the start of the annual Pineridge Back to School’ giveaway, hosted by the Member of Parliament for Pineridge, the Honourable Dr. Michael Darville.
Excitement filled the air as hundreds of children converged to engage in fun-filled sporting activities, while others danced to the melodious sounds of Bahamian music and stood in long lines to partake in popcorn, cotton candy and other mouth-watering cooked food and refreshing beverages.
Children left the event with both their tummies and hands filled as each child personally received a backpack stuffed with school supplies from Dr. Darville. A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Darville admittedly has a soft place in his heart, especially for families who are less fortunate. “It is always such a joy to be able to give back to the disadvantaged in our community. Unfortunately, the constituency that I represent has many persons who fall into this category and as their Member of Parliament I have a social responsibility to assist them. These are the people who have elected me to represent them and it is only fitting that I give back to a community, who has entrusted me to speak on their behalf and to ensure that their concerns are adequately addressed,” Darville stated.
“Giving back to the community should not only be seen solely as a Member of Parliament’s or the government’s responsibility. In fact, I assisted the underprivileged of this community by administering free healthcare to those who could not afford it, long before I entered the political arena. You do not have to hold a certain position in the community to help others, you need only to be human,” Dr. Darville added. “As a community, we need to get back to being our brother’s keepers. There are many people among us who are barely coping. I am certain that everyone knows at least one person who is in dire need of assistance. I would like to encourage the public at large to help at least one person if you are in a position to do so. The funny thing about life is, you never know when the shoe could be on the other foot. Giving does not have to be on a grand scale either. If each of us can commit to helping at least one person, eventually we would have impacted an entire community.”
“I am aware of the many efforts by corporate Grand Bahama and other private citizens who have and continue to give back to the wider Grand Bahama community. I applaud these valiant efforts and encourage more organizations and individuals to follow suit. Let us be reminded of what the Scripture says in 1 John 3:17-18 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth,” Dr. Darville concluded.