Wed | Nov 13, 2019

Jamaica Madhouse ready for Heroes Day Dinner

Published:Wednesday | October 3, 2018 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry/Gleaner Writer
Individuals who benefited from the Downer family's yearly tradition of feeding homeless people in the Corporate Area.


The charity organisation Jamaica Madhouse is now gearing up to feed more Jamaicans this Heroes Day, something the organisation has been doing, much to the delight of the needy, for the past four years.

Plans are in place to take the bold initiative, the 4th annual Heroes Day Dinner, to the homeless, mentally ill and shut-ins in all 14 parishes across the island. Last year, the organisation fed more than 2,033 persons islandwide and is targeting increased numbers this year.

"It's important to us to do this because, in essence, these are the forgotten people," said Shena Carty, who heads the Jamaica Madhouse organisation.

According to Carty, the organisation's generosity is well appreciated by those who have benefited over the years, and that is a part of the motivation to continue.

"They let us know how appreciative they are when they get a meal," said Carty. "Expressing the heartbreaking sentiments of not having eaten in days or saying thank you so much, God bless you," she said of the beneficiaries.

"We have even reunited family with missing family members. We have got help for the elderly who needed more than just a meal," she disclosed.

In a bid to make the process as seamless as possible, Carty said that every parish will have its own coordinator and a location for volunteers to meet up.

"Our volunteers are selfless. The younger ones are anxious to help and learn valuable life lessons from the people they assist, and they look forward to the next occasion for them to get the opportunity," said Carty.

"On the other hand, the seasoned volunteers are appreciative. They are about giving, caring and not receiving. To them, this has turned out to be more than just handing out meals on Heroes Day. It is community bonding, unity and togetherness," she said.

Persons who wish to be part of the upcoming initiative can contact Jamaica Madhouse at 518-812-3398 or 876-433-0782.