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Mustard Seed Communities Spreads Joy This Christmas

Published:Friday | December 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Father Gregory Ramkissoon

Are you ready to spread some Christmas cheer this year? Join the Mustard Seed Communities on December 25, as they continue their tradition of delivering food and toys to inner-city communities in sections of Kingston and St Andrew.

The project, initiated in 1995 by founder and head of Mustard Seed Communities, Father Gregory Ramkisson, will see participants departing the organisation's offices on Hagley Park Road, heading to Half-Way Tree, then on to Heroes Circle, and culminating at St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston.

Joyous and lively seasonal music will be provided by the young and enthusiastic drummers who have become an indispensable part of the special morning's energy.

Darcy Tulloch-Williams, executive director, Mustard Seed Communities Jamaica, said the Christmas treat is one of the charity organisation's methods of giving back to the communities in which it operates. "Throughout the year, we are constant recipients of goodwill from local and overseas donors, so this is our way of giving back," Tulloch-Williams said.

More than 200 local and overseas volunteers, including staff members, begin preparations up to two days before Christmas Eve, and then work through the night to prepare meals, drinks and stuffed animals for delivery.

"People who volunteer with us give up their Christmas holidays to interact with those persons who are less fortunate than themselves. Some of our volunteers are there from 5 a.m., packing the toys and helping to prepare the meals. We are giving from our side to bring Christmas cheer to these communities, and our volunteers help us to make this possible," Tulloch-Williams said.

Last year, approximately 5,000 persons were able to benefit from the efforts of volunteers. This year, the treat will again target 5,000 residents in these various inner-city communities.

"Each year, Mustard Seed Communities has a toy drive with the aid of a number of local schools and churches in order to supplement the donations. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and this year's Christmas treat will once again provide much cheer and goodwill to so many who lack so much," Ramkisson said.

"It's a marvellous collaboration. We who have must share with others who do not. We want to make the children forget about anything negative that might be happening in their lives and think about the love of others and what God has in store for them," he added.

The Jamaica Defence Force will again assist in maintaining order along the route, while the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be assisting at the distribution areas to distribute the meals and toys. Other sponsors this year include the CHASE Fund, and Caribbean Broilers .