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Kevin Lyttle rallies to St Vincent's rescue

Observer senior writer

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

WITH St Vincent and The Grenadines struggling to cope with ash from La Soufriere volcano, one of its most famous sons is rendering assistance to his countrymen from South Florida.

Singer Kevin Lyttle — best known for the 2003 hit song Turn me On — and his Janice Lyttle Foundation are working with Miami-based agency Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) and Caribbean Strong Foundation to send relief packages to persons affected by the disaster.

Since April 9, ash from La Soufriere has forced over 20,000 people to flee the island's northern region for shelters in safer areas.

“It's very important that we help other people, especially in a time of crisis like this,” said Lyttle who was born and raised in Kingstown, capital of St Vincent and The Grenadines.

Lyttle spoke to the Jamaica Observer from GEM's warehouse in Miami where he helped marshall relief efforts with Gilbert Boustany, consul general of Antigua and Barbuda to Miami, and Jamaican attorney Marlon Hill of Caribbean Strong Foundation.

To date the team has sent over 150 care packages to St Vincent that can feed families of five. The packages are distributed to the most affected regions which have designated colour zones (red, orange, green, yellow, etc).

Funding for shipping has come from a GoFundMe campaign as well as the personal accounts of concerned persons including Lyttle and fellow Vincentian artistes Skinny Fabulous and Luther McIntosh.

Lyttle said his uncles and cousins, who live in Kingstown, have not been affected, however the ash from La Soufriere has forced hundreds of tourists to evacuate while winds have deposited refuse from the volcano to nearby St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados.

The 44-year-old Lyttle established his foundation in 2008 in memory of his mother who died that year.

Released as a soca song in 2001, Turn me On was initially a Caribbean hit. After Lyttle signed to Atlantic Records two years later, the single was remixed with guest vocals by Spragga Benz. It made the top 10 of pop charts in the United Kingdom and United States.

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