Sun | Oct 21, 2018

More corporate help for Walker’s Place of Safety

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Chairman of New Era Elia ‘Leo’ Taddeo (left) presents the symbolic cheque to Rosalee Gage-Grey (centre) and Floyd Green, minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Real Estate Development Company New Era Homes 2000 Limited has joined the list of entities that have contributed to rebuilding the lives of the young wards who once called the fire-ravaged Walker's Place of Safety home.

The Kingston-based company last Friday donated $1 million to assist the 34 youngsters whose lives have been badly affected since fire destroyed the state-run facility on January 15. The tragedy also claimed the lives of two female wards.

Additional resources, in the form of building supplies from New Era's Dyke Road, St Catherine, facility, were also pledged to the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) to further assist in the recovery efforts.

Chairman of New Era Elia 'Leo' Taddeo said that the gravity of the tragedy, plus the outpouring of support by Jamaicans, including Jamaica's track legend Usain Bolt, were the inspiration behind the company's decision to assist in the cause.

"When I read the tragic story of the fire that destroyed the Walker's Place of Safety, and which claimed the lives of two of its residents, I felt instantly compelled to do my part to assist," said Taddeo.

"The urge to help became even stronger after seeing the substantive commitment from Usain Bolt and others. It drove home the importance of going beyond the expected, to make a contribution that could significantly assist in the recovery. It is my sincere hope that other companies will come on board and support the cause".

The Usain Bolt Foundation, two weeks ago, donated $1 million towards the recovery efforts.

For his part, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green says that the gesture by New Era epitomises the meaning of what "a good corporate citizen should be", adding that it couldn't have come at a better time" for the children affected.

"It always warms my heart when people pull together in the face of a disaster to help alleviate the distress experienced when tragedy strikes," said Green.

"New Era is to be commended for the tremendous support it is providing to the recovery effort at the Walker's Place of Safety. This is a true example of a Jamaican company exercising corporate and social responsibility. I encourage other private citizens and companies to step forward and assist with this very worthy cause."

In the meantime, Rosalee Gage-Grey, chief executive officer of the CPSFA, who was on hand for the presentation, said that the company must be lauded for its support.