GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS
HELLO MI neighbour! While settling down to write this article a few days ago, Jackie called asking for food as there was "nothing in the house to give her children". From all appearances, Santa wasn't passing her way this Christmas. Actually, he usually avoids the unemployed and the hungry. Carlene Davis rhetorically asks in her song: Santa Claus, do you ever come to the ghetto?
The mythical figure, Santa Claus, is said to bring lots of goodies, especially for good children at Christmas time. According to the legend, while everyone sleeps on Christmas Eve, Santa enters through the chimney, places his bag of goodies under the Christmas tree (which would have been in place a few days before), and then escapes by the same route. Yeah, right! This gesture brings much joy to the Christmas celebrations.
THE SPIRIT OF GIVING
Santa or no Santa, there is a spirit of giving which permeates the society at Christmas time. Treats for the elderly and children, company bonuses and special packages for employees and customers alike, are reflective of this spirit. Exchange of gifts among family members, friends, well-wishers and co-workers is another feature of the season. As they say, 'di ting tun up'. That's the giving thing, at this time of the year.
Christmas means an over abundance of food for many families. Leftovers which become garbage could feed multitudes of the hungry. Like Jackie and her children, many will end up with a hungry-belly Christmas. The hungry-belly/belly-full dichotomy is an unnecessary evil which has plagued the world for far too long. And why is it that with all our scientific and technological achievements we've not been able to resolve this starvation issue?
It is said that the world produces roughly 17 per cent more food per person today than 30 years ago. That's enough to feed 10 billion people, the population expected by 2050. Yet, close to a billion people go to bed hungry every night. The cause of hunger, therefore, is not scarcity, but poverty and inequality fuelled by selfishness, greed and dishonesty. With our social, spiritual, planning and organisational skills coupled with the spirit of kindness, we can fix this.
Let's take an every-mouth-must-be fed-as-long-as-I-live stance and join the uprising against hunger. When our great Creator tells us to love one another as self, that's what he was driving at. We can either give a fish or teach how to fish. For this season though, please help to ensure that no one goes without a Christmas dinner 'an Gad wi bless yuh'.
Thanks for helping
1. Nadine, St Catherine, for offering a refrigerator to Simone, St Catherine.
2. Janet, for offering a keyboard to Ms Rose, St Mary.
3. Mr Bailey, for offering a playpen to Michelle in Kingston who wants to open a day-care centre.
4. Terrence, St Andrew, for offering a house spot to a neighbour.
Opportunities for helping
n Ms Thompson, St Catherine, mother of six, asking for a sewing machine to help generate income.
n Neighbour, St James, asking for dresser and bed linen.
n Neighbour, St Mary, asking for a crib or a playpen for twin babies.
n Neighbour, St Andrew, unemployed mother of three. Asking for dresser, bed linen, curtain and stove.
n Neighbour, St Catherine, unemployed mother of four boys, ages 13, seven, 11 and three, asking for refrigerator and clothing for boys.
n Yolanda, St Catherine, mother of six. Asking for a settee and a chest-of-drawers.
n Shana, Portland, asking for food and clothing for a two-year-old boy.
n Rose, St Andrew, asking for sizes 12 and 16 khaki for sons. Also needs clothing for church.
n Caroline, Manchester, mother of five, unable to work. Seeking a dresser, television and chest-of-drawers.
n Hyacinth, Clarendon, asking for dresser and wheelchair.
n Nicole, St Ann, mother died, living with grandmother with younger siblings. Grandmother is unemployed. All in need of food. Children at school jeer her because she doesn't have a tablet - needs one to help prepare for GSAT.
Grandmother needs a stove and refrigerator to sell suck-suck to help.
n To help, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; email firstname.lastname@example.org.