Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Elderly grateful for Parliament's Christmas treat

Published:Thursday | December 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Private Cardel McLean assists 76-year-old Patricia Samuels in getting in to the Houses of Parliament's annual Christmas treat for residents of Mark Lane and surrounding areas in Kingston yesterday.

The Houses of Parliament Christmas Treat for the Elderly and Children came as a breath of fresh air for 79-year-old Ivy Powell, who indicated that the festive season has always been a sad time for her.

Powell, who is also looking forward to her 80th birthday in January, said she was grateful for the free sugar and blood-pressure checks she received, adding that the Christmas packages will serve as a signal of hope.

"To this day, I miss my mother, who died some 50 years ago, because Christmas was a big thing for her. She would invite persons over, cook a big dinner, and I learnt a lot from her about the importance of giving back," Powell said.

"Over the years, due to financial problems, I have not been able to give back at the level she did, but I am still grateful and I'm looking forward to the Christmas.

"Whatever comes, I give thanks, and most importantly, my greatest wish is to be alive when my birthday comes around," she continued.

Similarly, Neville Markland said once he is given the gift of life, all is well.

"I give thanks for this donation. I'm not one to do the big celebration, but it's good to know that persons still see the need to give back and to look out for those who might not be so fortunate," Markland said.

"I won't allow anything to prevent me from having a good Christmas. I give thanks just the same."

REACH OUT

Monica Robinson, chairperson for the Fundraising Committee at Parliament, appealed to citizens to be considerate during the festive season.

"We know that persons in this age group tend to suffer with illnesses such as diabetes [and] hypertension ... . We also know that the medical bills are not cheap, and so we have invited partners to join with us so that participants can benefit from free health care," she said.

"I want to encourage persons to find a way to give back to the less fortunate. Even if you think you cannot do it alone, feel free to join with us here at the Parliament, and we will find a way to make it work. Everyone should feel loved at Christmas," Robinson said.

The two-day Christmas treat saw persons being treated with gift items, in addition to receiving free health check-ups. The children's treat will take place today.