Tue | Apr 24, 2018

Emotional time at Food For the Poor treat

Published:Thursday | December 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Khalidah Bryce (left) and Nordia Smith, caregivers at the Windsor Lodge Children’s Home in Manchester, express their gratitude to Food For the Poor following an annual Christmas treat, which was held yesterday on the lawns of King’s House in St Andrew.
David Mair, executive director of Food For the Poor, and Nurse Miriam Berry read to children at the FFP annual Christmas treat for children and caregivers from children’s homes across Jamaica on the East King’s House lawns in St Andrew, yesterday.
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It was deeper than having fun and eating lots of food. A treat hosted by Food For the Poor (FFP) yesterday left many wards of the State emotional as they were reunited with friends and even siblings.

Khalidah Bryce, secretary at Windsor Lodge Children's Home in Manchester, told The Gleaner that she broke down in tears several times after seeing the joy on the children's faces as they had fun and fellowship with friends from all over the island.

"Sometimes it can be a little emotional. This morning, for example, one of our children saw her two brothers, and when they saw each other, they cried and hugged each other so tight I started crying, too," she said.

"The children love the treat, but it's almost like a reunion as well. This means a lot to the children," she said at the event held on the lawns of King's House in St Andrew.

Nordia Smith, a night worker and a class teacher for teenagers at the home, was also overjoyed by the event but advised persons to focus on the importance of family and Christ.

"I think it's a good day to be out, and they look forward to the gifts, food, treats. Christmas is one of the best times for them because, thankfully, we have persons who see the need to give back, and they give good gifts. They (children) can also get to utilise their talents because they take part in a lot of events where they sing, dance, and act. Many people don't know that our children (wards of the State) are very talented."

David Mair, executive director at FFP, said that they catered to more than 1,000 persons, including children and caregivers. He said it was a day that brought joy for organisers and the children.

"Some of the orphanages have sisters and brothers split. So when they come today, they are all coming together as a family, which is what we really want because this is what we do - we give back," he said.

"If you spend some time with them and walk around and just see how they are enjoying themselves, that is what jumps out at me and makes me satisfied."

jodi-ann.gilpin@gleanerjm.com