Christelle Harris Charity Fund - a godsend
The Christelle Harris Charity Fund in Trelawny is a godsend to the increasing number of destitute families who rely heavily on the charitable organisation for monthly donations.
The charity is the brainchild of Christelle Harris, the 2006 Miss Jamaica World runner-up and the director of marketing for Hampden Estate in the parish.
Through close partnership with the Young Ladies Ministry arm of the Bounty Hall New Testament Church in the parish, the charity has grown significantly over the past two years, catering to shut-ins, the elderly and the less fortunate in Bounty Hall and its environs.
"The ministry has assisted persons with their medical needs, food, clothing, and whatever is needed as they come to us," said Kayan Forrester, president of Young Ladies Ministry.
She told The Gleaner that the charity also plays a pivotal role by staging back-to-school and Christmas treats. Last week, more than 50 children were treated to gifts.
"After that, we went out in the wider community with care packages consisting of rice, flour, oil, chicken, ketchup and more, and gave to persons who are shut-ins, the unsound mind, and less fortunate," said Forrester, noting that more than 26 persons were beneficiaries.
"Our role in Christianity is not only about the spiritual man, but also about the holistic man, and so we try to reach the needs of persons physically, emotionally and socially," she stated.
In addition to the immense support by Harris, the charity further received aid from members of the church as well as Smart Auto.
Forrester said the aim of the church was to now provide skills training to youth in the community, thus giving a lot of them the opportunity for gainful employment.
Harris shared in this vision and also helped to establish a breakfast programme at the Bounty Hall Primary School.
"So I want to focus more on that through a new team. I aim to put together a number of people who are leaders of their individual sectors, so that they can bring their strength to effectively help ... the organisation [do more]," explained Harris, who is granddaughter of Ruth and the late Laurie Hussey.