Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Christmas treat a success for little 'Angels'

Published:Monday | December 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Robert Demercado, playing Santa Claus, hands gifts to children participating in the Angels Of Love Jamaica annual Christmas treat held yesterday at the Hope Zoo in St Andrew. - Rudolph Brown/Photographer

Andrew Harris, Gleaner Writer

Angels of Love Jamaica (AOLJ) yesterday brought early festive cheer to the hearts of youngsters suffering from paediatric cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions, during the fifth staging of its annual Christmas treat at Hope Zoo in St Andrew.

AOLJ is a charitable organisation that was established in 2009 and has been reaching out to the families of children living with cancer.

The organisation provides assistance to youngsters from a day old to over 12 years.

In providing this assistance, AOLJ raises funds to take care of the medical expenses of the children and offers emotional support to the families by developing long-lasting relationships, even in cases where the child has succumbed.

"We try to make them feel love, because if a child has cancer, then it's rough on the family of that child," said Royanne DeSilva, chairperson of AOLJ's Kingston chapter.

Members of the AOLJ team brought laughter and smiles to the faces of the youngsters by means of singing, tap dancing, gift giving, and face painting courtesy of an energetic clown who maintained a fun-filled atmosphere and a number of other interesting forms of entertainment.

Robert Demercado, in the guise of Santa, and Mrs Claus would soon be on hand, by means of a 1998 Mitsubishi Pajero 'sleigh', which came by road with no reindeer.

The man in the red suit showed off his country music-singing skills, entertaining the children and everyone else listening.

At the end of the day, the smiles on the faces of many showed that AOLJ had achieved its objective of bringing hope and light to the families of the children.

DeSilva encouraged persons who are interested in volunteering and donating to the worthy cause of saving the lives of these children.

"We do thank our sponsors for their contributions and Hope Zoo, who gave us 100 passes, so the children can go and see the lion," said DeSilva.

"AOLJ wants to reach out to anybody who seeks to help the children with cancer, and I think it's something we as a country should tackle together," she noted.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating to the organisation can like the Facebook page, Angels Of Love Jamaica, where contact details are provided.

andrew.harris@gleanerjm.com