Wed | Jan 24, 2018

Joy comes in the morning! St Mary mother all smiles as she gets help

Published:Thursday | October 13, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
A volunteer works to repair the roof of Deandra Bonner's house.
Deandra Bonner with a box of supplies contributed by friends in June.


Only a few months ago, St Mary mother of three Deandra Bonner was in the dumps and feeling dejected. Today, she is wearing a smile that just lights up the room, and that is all thanks to the outpouring of love and support she has been receiving since her situation was highlighted in The Gleaner on June 27.

"Thanks to everyone for making my children and me so much more comfortable. I am so thankful, I can't believe my life could be taking such a big turn. My children and I are grateful for the support. Trust me, I am sleeping so much better at nights now," she said.

Yolandie Bailey, who has been working tirelessly with District Constable Rowena Prendergast - the two who were instrumental in highlighting Bonner's plight - said a team was formed to seek help.

"Sergeant Tyrone Brown and myself spearheaded the initiative by calling on friends and local businesses of a giving nature to help. We're in constant dialogue in securing additional aid for her," said Bailey.

The team has so far spent over $65,000 securing zinc, board for repairs to the roof and creation of a front door, as well as purchasing furniture, inclusive of two single beds with mattresses, cylinder of gas, a four-burner tabletop gas stove, paint, clothes iron, food and other household supplies.

"Friends in the United States shipped the clothes, kitchen utensils, shoes for both mother and children, while Sergeant Brown actively sought assistance from the hardwares in Port Maria and received same," said Bailey.

According to her, helping Bonner is a continuous effort as they will be assisting with the daily school expenses also.

There is even more help on the horizon for Bonner as Food For the Poor Public Relations Officer Petri-Ann Henry told Rural Xpress: "Food For The Poor has been in contact with Ms Bonner and has been guiding her through the process of gathering the relevant land documents required for its housing assistance. The charity has also promised to remain in touch with the family so as to offer whatever support is needed during this process."

Bonner, who lives in the deep-rural district of Brainerd, St Mary, had previously been living in a broken-down house, badly in need of repairs with the roof caving in.