Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Rotoract New Kingston treats downtown residents, homeless

Published:Friday | January 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Inspector Verna Henry of the Central Police Station, combs the hair of one of the residents of the Marie Atkins Shelter in downtown Kingston, as part of the Rotoract Club of New Kingston's Annual Feeding Programme.

More than 150 persons deemed homeless and residents of communities in downtown Kingston were recently fÍted by the Rotaract Club of New Kingston in their annual feeding of the homeless project.

The 14-year-old service club comprising young professionals ages 18-30 has had the project as a staple on its calendar for more than five years.

The annual feeding programme has been expanded to include the donation of clothing items, care packages, medical, dental, vision and grooming services.

"It was easy to call on the vocation of club members to execute the expanded offerings; all of which were well received by patrons," said Felisha Henry, the club's community service director.

"Rotaract is a network of professionals; it was not hard to get the additional things that we thought of, such as the dental, nursing and medical services. Things simply fell into place when we realised we could use our members' vocations and resources to offer more than we used to," added Henry.

Henry is particularly pleased with the support given by several organisations that quickly jumped on board and gave selflessly on the day, including members from the UWI, Mona School of Nursing; Kingston Central Police Division and the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association.

The Jamaica Dental Students' Association, Lions Club of Mona, Kim's Hair Perspective and the National Council for Senior Citizens, as well as the Interact clubs of Calabar High School and St George's College were also keen participants.

President of the club, Diego Thomas, beamed that he was quite proud of the execution and looks forward to an even bigger and better treat next year, as the club continues to grow in membership and raises more funds to make an even greater impact.

"This is part of our yearly programme in giving back to society in a meaningful way. This year, we chose the Marie Atkins Shelter as our focal point and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were more than delighted to extend our service to our fellow Jamaicans," Thomas said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com