Bringing Christmas joy to the less fortunate
The Gleaner spoke with politicians, journalists, and young people and asked them to share one thing they plan to do to bring Christmas joy to someone less fortunate.
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, member of parliament for St Catherine Central:
I will be treating many persons, including children, senior citizens, and shut-ins in my constituency. Gifts will include food packages and toys, and we will provide Christmas dinner for the shut-ins. As usual, we will be partnering with the Urban Development Corporation to host the exciting New Year's Eve fireworks on the Kingston waterfront as part of the merrymaking for the season, especially for residents of the Corporate Area.
Floyd Green, member of parliament for South West St Elizabeth:
Our aim is to definitely target those who, otherwise, will not be able to experience the joys of Christmas. So, we'll be targeting 400 elderly and shut-ins across the constituency. In addition to taking care packages to them, we will also be spending some time. We're also aiming to reach 1,000 children as a part of our Christmas treat programme. We will be having treats all of this week, which normally includes food, toys, and a fun day of activities for the children.
Andrea Chisholm, TVJ reporter and Journalist of the Year for 2017:
I do not usually wait until the Christmas season to extend acts of kindness. I will continue to volunteer my time and offer a helping hand to those who are in need, especially children, teenagers and young adults who just need that special person to offer an encouraging word and give support, whether financial or otherwise, for them to get a jump-start. That jump-start often works miracles. Like a motor vehicle, it takes them to the battery shop, allows them to upgrade to an even more durable brand, and it lasts them for an extremely long time. There's no law of diminishing returns! I have proven that one iota of good can make a world of difference.
Andre Lowe, Gleaner sports editor:
Children hold a very dear space in my heart, and as often as possible, I try my best to contribute where I can in making at least one child's life more pleasurable. I have already distributed some books and other school supplies and will be purchasing toys to share with some who may, under normal circumstances, not have that opportunity. I do have a four-year-old son and I think it's also important for him to understand the value of sharing and making a positive impact in the lives of others, so this is an experience I am looking forward to sharing with him.
Sandrene McKenzie, head girl of Westwood High, youth parliamentarian:
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. I do not only seek to be kind and to give back to others during Christmas, but throughout the year, whether it is by giving food to those who are less fortunate, money if a child really needs it, or simply being a listening ear for someone who needs it.
During this Christmas season, however, I will be leading my team as the vice-president for the Region Three National Secondary Students' Council in executing our Christmas project in St Ann at a local basic school. The school is in need of cleanup and painting, and so the students from the various high schools in Region Three (St Ann and Trelawny), along with other volunteers, will combine their efforts in carrying out this project at the basic school.