Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Keep your head up, fêted state ward tells depressed kids

Published:Wednesday | December 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
David Mair, executive director of Food For the Poor (FFP), and Marcia Hall-Walker, FFP social outreach manager, hand out gifts to children at the organisation's annual Christmas treat for approximately 500 wards and caregivers from 24 children's homes in Jamaica on the lawns of East King's House in St Andrew yesterday.-Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

Food, gifts, and fellowship combined, to ensure that the hundreds of underprivileged children who turned out at Food For the Poor's annual Christmas treat, on the lawns of King's House in St Andrew, were not disappointed.

The treat, which catered to more than 500 wards of the State from 24 children's homes across the island, left a smile on the face of Simone.

Simone, who was among the hundreds of children who were treated, said she was reminded to be thankful for the small things.

"I could have been a rape victim. I could have been left to the dangers of the world, but I am here today to receive a gift for my Christmas and I am eternally grateful. I might not be living with my family right now, but there are always people who remember us (children of the State), so I am not the worst," the 16-year-old told The Gleaner.

"I'm enjoying the morning (yesterday) so far. The sandwiches were very good, and I would encourage other children who might feel depressed during the Christmas season to keep their head up because the situation could have been worse," she said.

Diane Henry, caregiver at the Elsie Bernard Girls' Home in Meadowbrook, St Andrew, said she was always grateful to persons who catered to the less fortunate.

"These children encounter a lot of challenges on a daily basis, and whenever we get the chance to take them out, it is always a joy. Nobody wants to be lonely during this time and a simple hug will go a far way," she declared.

"It's good to know that somebody still cares and no matter how tough times get, there is always someone who will contribute to our girls having a merry Christmas," she said.

St Joseph's residents treated

In the meantime, the more than 60 residents at the St Joseph's Golden Age Home in Kingston were treated by the Jamaica National (JN) group in partnership with Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) Group.

The home received a brand-new, well-needed stove and fridge

Annmarie Kirlew-Williams, corporate communications officer at JN, said it was a joy to give back.

"There are 64 residents in the cluster, so it gets very difficult sometimes to cater to their needs effectively, so we decided to partner with ATL in donating these appliances," she said.

"There will always be challenges, but we are reminded of our motto, 'we'll help you find a way,' Williams said.

Delfreda Cammock Thorpe, operations manager at the home, said the gifts were a dream come true.

"We appreciate the gifts that we received today because we could not have afforded these appliances otherwise. They (elders) are having a great time, and I am sure this has contributed to them having a merry Christmas," he said.

Name changed

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com