Odane Reid - Making huge imprints on the hearts of the needy
A knack for unlocking potential in youth and a keen eye for those in need are key components of Odane Reid's blueprint for community development.
The 20-year-old patron has an active hand in several goodwill initiatives geared towards uplifting the underprivileged in Jamaica.
He is the president and founder of the ICare Initiative, former youth coordinator of Le Antonio's Foundation, and current regional executive director of the 1Jam1Love Foundation, a Florida-based organisation.
"I began community involvement in March 2014 at the age of 18 as I saw the needs of persons living in my former community of Beaufort in Darliston, Westmoreland, and I wanted a change for the better," he told The Gleaner.
A resident of Lilliput in Rose Hall, St James, since 2013, Reid's brainchild, the ICare Initiative, is currently centred in his childhood community of Beaufort. It seeks to alleviate the needs of the less fortunate in Jamaica through outreach initiatives.
Gifting a mother of two with a cooler through assistance from family and friends is Reid's most cherished deed to date.
"The cooler generated income that she would use to send her kids to school. The one she had prior was in need of repair, so I decided to replace it. Her facial expression did it all for me."
Reid is currently reading for a diploma in education at the Northwest Technical Vocational Education and Training Institute in Falmouth.
While acknowledging that balancing tertiary studies and community involvement is no small task, Reid credited his family, friends and team for helping to shoulder the massive weight.
On the topic of expanding his outreach project, Reid told The Gleaner: "I plan to use my ICare Initiative to target the youth living in my current community (Lilliput) because I see a lot of potential in them; they only need that extra push to move forward."
Total community involvement resulting in islandwide upliftment is the major goal of the humanitarian who is shy of years, but bold in wisdom.
In speaking to the feeling derived from giving and to those who would seek to travel a similar path, Reid told The Gleaner: "Seeing smiles on faces of persons I have given back to is a feeling I'm still unable to explain. I encourage young persons out there like myself to get involved in community activities, and if [you are] able, give assistance to those in need in your community. If [it's] even a small act of kindness, trust me, that person will appreciate it.
"You'll find that these small acts of kindness are the ones that leave a big imprint on their hearts and yours."
Odane Reid's projects completed in Beaufort:
- Distribution of food packages to the needy
- Providing a mother of two with a cooler through the help of friends and family members
- Hosting mentorship sessions with youth in the community
Projects completed outside of Beaufort:
- Partnership with the 1Jam1Love Foundation in St Ann; coordinating an annual back-to-school treat and surprise Santa treat for kids in St Ann communities