Fri | Dec 15, 2017

Leos bring Christmas cheer to wards of the state

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels
Grace-Ann Archer, a member of the Leo Club of Clarendon, ties the lace of a ward of the state at the St Augustine Place of Safety, Clarendon.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

A joint effort from members of the Leo clubs of Clarendon and New Kingston brought cheer to 32 wards of the state who call the St Augustine Place of Safety in Clarendon home. The Leos were just as excited about the Christmas treat as the wards, whose ages range from nine to 18 years old.

Tissona Ormsby, president of the Leo Club of Clarendon, said a children's treat is something they normally did, but this time, they chose not to do it on a community level, but on a more personal level, with youth who are unattached from society. "Oftentimes, we find that many people don't remember them this time of the year, so we decided to take it to them because they can't go out. We also tried to encourage them as we fÍted them with cake and ice cream. we just had a really good time with them," she said.

The wards received toys, books, clothing, shoes, and goodie-bags with personal-care items.

"It was a beautiful session where they had dancing, a question-and-answer forum, and gift-giving to the wards. This was a good initiative. it was well organised and I liked their enthusiasm. they came prepared, and it was well done. The wards enjoyed it, and they interacted with the Leos, and they may well be looking forward to something like this again," said Derron Smith, one of the health and social care supervisors at the facility.

Smith said that the visit from the Leos reminded the wards that they are not totally locked away from society. it broadened their minds and showed them that there are people out there who care for them and who are willing to treat them well, so this was a good thing for them.

Shantel McKoy, president of the Leo Club of New Kingston, said that she, too, was excited about bringing Christmas blessings to the youth. "I think it's a good gesture to come here and share with the wards, especially at this time of the year when most people are looking to share and spend time with their families. that is why we decided to reach out to them so they, too, can feel special during this season."

Donations in cash and kind came from the Lions Club, Leo Club members, and friends.