By Monday night Scott and myself met at the unlit and unfurnished site of what was to become the future home of the unborn
"dream child" Shaky Acres. We spoke by candle light about the future of other people like our young man and the family members of the alcoholic in need of help
here in St. Thomas. At the conclusion of this meeting a family social rehabilitation treatment center became a hope and a need.
Within a few days we had spoken to Bishop
Maynard of the Moravian Church, Nancy O'Brian President of COAST, Pastor Hoffman of the St. Thomas Dutch Reform Church and Valerie Wade. Scott and
myself found these individuals to respond positively to the idea. Over a period of several months the small band of individuals began meeting frequently. We had
decided that this ground floor two bedroom apartment could be our center. At that time we had no money in the coffer and no idea of where money would
come from. One thing we had was faith, as stated by Bishop Maynard, "God will provide". Many days and weeks we clung to "God will provide".
We approached the owner of the building asking if we could rent this two bedroom facility with a promise to pay. From various segments of the community
came future donations. We still had to raise the money to have the electricity connected. So much of our work at the center depended on daylight and lamp
oil. Within a few weeks we held one of many to follow Saturday family Pot luck dinners and family sharing. This became a tradition for several years to follow.
That first Saturday night we had no electricity but with the kind help and ingenuity of Chicque's, now deceased, he rigged up lighting for our first Saturday night
family dinner meeting. The Family Dinner was well attended.
The name of "SHAKY ACRES" was adopted because in the beginning and months
to follow we literally had no money and I mean no money. One of the first person's seeking rehabilitation came to the doors of Shaky Acres, but he was
turned away, because he had to have been free of alcoholic beverage for forty eight hours. So he slept in an abandoned car near the building until he could
qualify. This same man helped us obtain our first means of cooking equipment, "A Coal Pot". One night about seven, we three drove along the road towards the
Charter House, for our man to find his cold pot he had stashed in the bushes near the water. After that one of the other newly recruited recovery persons, made
fried Johnny cakes using the cold pot, because we did not have a stove. I recall, dropping my mother off many a morning at Shaky Acres to handle the sale of the
Johnny Cakes and answer the phone, which was being loaned to us by a neighbor. On one of those days a gentleman came to purchase a few Johnny
Cakes and conversation came up about how the Johnny cakes were being prepared by using our infamous "Coal Pot", by that afternoon, the phone rang,
and we were promised a stove. Volunteers came from various walks of life. Several of The Moravian church members were among the first volunteers who canvassed St. Thomas to get donations.
More to come..........