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Volunteerism helps donors and recipients alike - Chukka Foundation manager

Published:Friday | May 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Schatzie's Katrin Casserly

Western Bureau:

The Hanover Charities and Chukka Foundation have each walked away with J$1.4 million to assist their various charities thanks to the funds generated from the recently held family fun day and polo sporting event that took place at Chukka Caribbean in Sandy Bay, Hanover.

During the presentation ceremony, Sheona Muschett, manager of the Chukka Foundation, praised the benefits of volunteerism, arguing that both recipients and donors stood to benefit. According to Muschett, research done at Washington University in the United States has revealed through randomised control trials that volunteerism has led to improvement in stamina, memory, and flexibility, as well as reducing levels of depression.


Integral to health


"Volunteering should not be viewed as simply the responsibility of an engaged civic-minded individual, but also something that becomes integral to the overall health and well-being of the volunteer," said Muschett. "Corporate volunteering builds leadership skills, tests employees' adaptability and problem-solving abilities," she added.

Muschett pointed to surveys showing that more than 80 per cent of professionals said that they developed leadership skills as a result of their volunteer experiences, and three in four believed that companies should use volunteering as a professional-development tool.

"Volunteering builds teams. Volunteering promotes trust and camaraderie by building a sense of community among employees as they work towards a common goal," emphasised Muschett.

Chukka Caribbean is an attraction with nine physical locations and promotes eleven tour categories, all scattered along the north coast of the island. The Chukka Foundation, which has been around since 2008, is involved in several community projects within the communities where its attractions are located.

Katrin Casserly, the chairman of Hanover Charities, expressed gratitude to the Chukka Foundation, indicating that the financial contribution would go towards the many projects in which her organisation was involved.

Casserly also announced that her more than 60-year-old Hanover Charities had raised over US$600,000 (J$75.6 million) from its primary fundraising event in 2018 - the Sugar Cane Ball - which was held at the Round Hill Hotel and Villas.

Carlene Moore, a marketing officer with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), which was one of the sponsors of the polo event, said that while it was not easy, volunteerism was very important.

She pledged the JTB's continued support of both the Hanover Charities and Chukka Foundation.