The Bartholomew J. Lawson Foundation for Children was established in the days following the untimely passing of its namesake, Bart, on July 31, 2003 in Grenada, the West Indies. On the day that Bart died, he was to receive an award for his extensive work in fortifying the healthcare structure and services of this tri-island nation as well as to receive the title of Grenada’s Ambassador to Qatar so that he could continue his work in promoting it’s international investment potential. Bart was passionate about the island, an interest that was sparked when he traveled there with a friend. He spoke often about the gentle temperament that he found in Grenada; about the true blue of its sea that knows no rival; about its undulating emerald hills and most of all its palpable sense of contentment despite its status as a developing nation with a sure share of challenges.
As a successful NY based healthcare executive, Bart was instrumental in fostering patient-centered regulation at the city, state, and federal levels. Notably, he created an experimental design for the delivery of pediatric services in inner city New York, enlisting America's top pediatrician, Dr T Berry Brazelton, to train a corps of doctors serving the least accessible children. He had plans to do similar work for Grenada as an international application of his model of care.
In Bart’s work as in his personal life, he was generous with his time, talent, and genuine connectedness to whomever was in his path. He did not take the fleetingness of life lightly and set his priorities to this compass: keep your eye on the prize- whatever your goal- and you will win as long as the outcome is equally benevolent for others and oneself. This was his recipe for personal fulfillment.
Bart’s greatest joy was found in his three children and he honored their individuality as he made a commitment that their lives would be filled with love and joy. Though he was materialistically comfortable when growing up, he painfully yearned for parental connection but instead, found respite in the office of a therapist who encouraged him to leave a neglectful home at only 14 years of age. Bart often spoke of how that one dear old man unwittingly changed the course of his life, propelling him in a direction of self-reliance and self-awareness. Mostly, this man taught Bart that one person’s belief in another can create a sea change in young person’s life.
reachwithin is the main program of the Bart J. Lawson Foundation for Children. It is a reflection of Bart’s beginning, middle, and end. Using tools and methods that are easy to access, along with a train-the trainer approach, It has been created to be sustainable. Its philosophical underpinning is based on the sacred concepts of rebirth and regeneration, loss and attainment, and above all, abundance. Our goal is for Bart’s spirit to live on through the support of the most vulnerable of Grenada’s vulnerable children by believing in their capacity for change and their deserving of connection and contentment.