Sat | Feb 16, 2019

CALF responds to the plight of the needy - Charity group makes special Christmas donations

Published:Wednesday | December 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Businessman Andrew Morsby, of Jamdung Jerk and Tings, donating a pair of sneakers to school boy Ricardo Bell of Norwich Primary School.
Businessman Derron Fisher of Digi Gas donating a cash amount of $20,000 to Leroy Gray, who is visually impaired.
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Smatt Road, Portland:

It was a fitting way to mark the festive season when charity group Change A Life Foundation (CALF) handed out cash and kind to dozens of needy persons.

The special pre-Christmas initiative was held recently at Friends Church in Port Antonio under the watchful eyes of CALF chairman and founder, Samantha Russell, who fought back tears, especially when she spoke about the importance of touching the lives of the less fortunate.

"Caring is sharing, especially with those who are in dire need," she said.

"This group is all about sharing and giving back. It is a wonderful feeling and a joy to see the smile on the faces of those who have benefited from our donations over the years, and today is no different. CALF has always responded to the plight of the needy, and our overseas members and partners work tirelessly to ensure that we have the necessary resources to see to the needs of many," Russell said.

"Today, our membership has grown significantly, which is why we are able to touch the lives of various persons with needs. I am sure that what we do today will positively impact the lives of these beneficiaries, who are faced with many challenges. I am hoping that initiatives like this one will be replicated in other communities across Jamaica," she added.

CALF was founded in 2013 out of the personal desire of Russell, who was driven to provide assistance to the needy as a result of growing up in similar circumstances herself.

Among the recipients were 72-year-old Leroy Gray, who is visually impaired. He received $20,000 from CALF and an additional $20,000 from Derron Fisher of Digi Gas; a mother and her four children, aged six to 14 years, from Arnett Gardens in Kingston received J$40,000 and US$150; Bonnie Barrett, who has a physical disability, received a cheque for $35,000; Kadene Ricketts, who is wheelchair-bound, received a voucher for 10 bags of chicken feed and 50 baby chicks. She had earlier benefited from a similar donation from the group. Wekel Sinclair, who lost her house during a fire, received a voucher for a queen-sized bed; and schoolboy Ricardo Bell received a pair of sneakers from businessman Andrew Morsby of Jamdung Jerk and Tings, plus $5,000 from retired Jamaica Defence Force officer Hugh-Paul Roberts, along with $20,000 from CALF.