Red Plastic Bag hailed as a true Bajan Ambassador by Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart
Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc presents its 5th annual Caribbean in White, All White Charity Fundraiser on June 16, 2018, at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Hyattsville, Maryland. Barbados’ top Calypsonian Red Plastic Bag, is the featured performer at the event.
Stedson Wiltshire, better known as Red Plastic Bag, RPB, or merely Bag is a calypsonian from Barbados. He has won the Barbadian calypso monarch competition a record ten times. Hailing from the eastern, rural Barbadian parish of Saint Philip, RPB became one of few performers from that region on the island to become successful.
Stedson ‘Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire was celebrated as one of Barbados’ newest cultural ambassadors in grand style on January 7, 2018. Wiltshire, Alison Hinds-Walcott, and Anthony ‘Mighty Gabby’ Carter were presented with their instruments of office and official designations as cultural ambassadors in a ceremony fit for royalty at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. (Nation News)
Hailed as a true Bajan Ambassador by Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Red Plastic Bag began performing in 1979. He combined the sounds of reggae and soca, and has become one of the most popular performers in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean. His biggest hit, “Ragga Ragga”, has been recorded in seven different languages.
In 2011 RPB won the title of Sweet Soca Monarch with his song “Once Upon A Wine”, a commentary on how Caribbean music and dance have evolved over time. In 2012, Red Plastic Bag won the Pic-o-de-Crop finals for the 10th time singing “I Thank You Calypso”, a tribute to his 30th year in the art form as well as “The Royal Visit”.
In January 2015 RPB, along with fellow Barbados and St. Lucia stars Charles D. Lewis, Wayne “Poonka” Willock, Anderson “Blood” Armstrong, Lennon “Blaze” Prospere and Nicholas Brancker were invited to Berlin, Germany to participate in a cultural exchange project, receiving high accolades from both critics and the general public.
Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc. is actively involved in trying to meet some of the immediate needs of many poor individuals—some are in the USA, Barbados, and other Caribbean countries. Additionally, initiatives are created to provide assistance to those in dire need due to devastations caused by recent hurricanes, Irma and Maria.
When we asked how many people have benefited from the efforts of the organization thus far, the response was:
“OMG, hundreds of individuals, several families, various other nonprofit organizations,” Julia Robinson, CEO, and Co-founder of Robinson Smiles & Hope.
Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc. provides essentials such as food items on a quarterly basis to a food bank, reading books, school supplies to children and schools, toys for annual Christmas parties, toiletries to the Child Care Board and helps with emergency medical expenses for deserving children suffering from rare conditions. Our latest initiative is the adoption of a family of seven minor children and assisting with essentials into young adulthood.
The organization is one of the Charities applauded for work with children by the Barbadian Government and has been featured in the press.
Funding for the organization is needed to continue the various programs. Presently, the organization obtains most of its funding from personal contributions by its founders. “Approximately 75% of the funds if not more, come from my household; the other 25% comes from friends and associates. The majority of that 25% is in-kind, not monetary,” stated Julia Robinson.
In order to widen its reach in helping others, the organization plans to extend its appeal beyond close personal friends, associates, and the church family. This will be done through a 5k run-walk in an effort to raise more awareness and thereby garner more support.
Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc. plans to expand its reach to others in the Caribbean and has provided assistance to people in Jamaica, Dominica, and Haiti and will continue to do as donations to the organization increase.
Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc., is a registered 501(c) (3) organization (nonprofit organization) in Maryland. The organization is governed by a board of directors that dedicate time and resources to ensure that all proceeds from events and fundraising campaigns go directly to stated uses.
When asked what percentage of the proceeds from events and charitable receipts goes to charitable causes, “100% of all proceeds from fundraising or donations go into our causes,” answered Julia Robinson.
Julia Robinson proudly told us, “People are extremely thankful and grateful. They know that without the help of Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc. their specific need would not be met.” She continued, “One family whom we helped over the Christmas holiday said and I quote ‘Christmas was splendid, best one ever, really wonderful’.”
Tickets to the 5th annual Caribbean in White All White Charity Fundraiser are available via Eventbrite: https://robinson-smiles-caribbean-in-white-fundraiser.eventbrite.com or by calling 240-421-5289, email: [email protected] @ a cost of $100 each.
Get social with Robinson Smiles and Hope, Inc: https://www.facebook.com/Robinson-Smiles-and-Hope-Inc-537119509638731/
Learn more about the organization: https://www.facebook.com/robinsonsmilesandhope/
By Karl A. Haughton