‘Butch’ Hendrickson donates 24 homes to Food For The Poor
"How can we survive without one of the basic needs - shelter? It just leaves one feeling helpless, hopeless and dysfunctional when one has no roof over their head," said Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson, chief executive officer of the National Baking Company.
The critical issue of shelter is of great concern to Hendrickson and with the recent onslaught of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the region, he has underlined its importance as a fundamental human need.
The successful and innovative businessman has donated 24 homes in the past three years to Food For The Poor Jamaica's 5K Initiative, through the National Baking Company Foundation.
This generous donation has transformed the lives of 72 Jamaicans, who were living in intolerable conditions. The homes were built mainly in the hilly interior of the island in the parishes of St Catherine, Manchester, St Elizabeth, St Thomas and Trelawny.
The company Hendrickson leads has become well known for its corporate social responsibility and community spirit. Just two years ago, the National Baking Company Foundation was established to formalise the manufacturing giant's already well-established tradition of giving back. Through the foundation, Hendrickson believes he is fulfilling his duty as a Jamaican to partner with others in helping his fellow Jamaicans out of poverty.
Since 2015, the foundation has also made donations to several local charities. Food For The Poor, he said, reflects the foundation's own goal to improve the lives of those who are especially disadvantaged in society, including the indigent, seniors, orphans and at-risk children.
As patron of the foundation, Hendrickson plays a proactive role in his support for education. For Food For The Poor's 30th anniversary drive for school furniture, Hendrickson pledged $20 million to the cause. His donation inspired other private-sector players to join in the initiative, contributing to its success.
The early childhood sector is also a key priority for the foundation, specifically in the three- to six-year-old age group, through its Little Leaders programme.