Volunteers fete the needy
The 13th staging of the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS) Day of Care saw over 800 of Jamaica's poor and needy citizens benefiting from care packages, clothing, medical assessment and edutainment on various health and social issues.
More than 200 volunteers, both young and middle-age, bustled around to cater to the needs of the citizens at St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston last Saturday.
Winsome Wilkins, chief executive officer of the CVSS, was impressed with the number of persons who turned out to volunteer. "This has been a big one for us. What it tells me is that persons do care. All were excited to be here for this special day," she pointed out.
Wilkins also noted that the use of social media in promoting the Day of Care was helpful in bringing out the youth. In fact, she was able to single out first-time volunteer at the event, Sarrah Ann Allen, head girl of Ardenne High school whose friend forwarded her a tweet regarding the day.
For Allen, who has a passion for volunteerism, the event represented an opportunity to fulfil just that. "I have been a dressmaker, a chef and everything in one. It has been really nice talking with the persons who came. They really appreciated when I was able to sit with them and have a conversation," she said.
The CVSS CEO was heartened by Allen's attitude and the many others like her who were present. "The more the youth are baptised into the culture of volunteerism, it makes the sector more sustainable and resilient," she noted.
Rohanna Chance, a HEART Trust/NTA Professional Girls Institute trainee, described the day as being a fun adventure, while attending to her first customer, wheelchair-bound Angella Allen Reid. She disclosed that 15 of her fellow students were present to offer their services. They were seen providing shampoo and styling services, with evident alacrity, to their very grateful destitutes.
"The whole experience was very good. I look forward to coming again next year now that I know about it," she said.
In addition to the high volunteer input, Wilkins remarked that the success of the day was also attributable to support from corporate Jamaica, along with the Poor Relief Department and Marie Atkins Night Shelter, which assisted in mobilising those in need to attend, and the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, for the use of the park.