Yutes4Change brings cheer to the needy
Santa Claus may never go to the ghetto, but the undeserved and deprived can definitely expect Ricardo 'Mr Volunteer' Burke and his charity Yutes4Change.
A son of Barking Lodge, St Thomas, who has dedicated his life to serving others, Burke has been working overtime to ensure that those who cannot afford to, get a chance to experience the festivities of the season.
He revealed that it has been more than five years since he last had a Christmas dinner with his own family and this year was no different.
"Last year I did the breakfast programme for children that the organisation has been doing since, and this year the thought came to me to do dinner for persons on the street.
I was looking forward to doing it as it brought the same joy to me that my family dinner would, because I am very passionate about mental health, underserved people and just struggling individuals on a whole," Burke said, adding that he had his daughter with him all the time as she is also very passionate about giving and volunteerism.
The Samaritan revealed that some 56 boxes of home-cooked food were delivered to the homeless in downtown Kingston and via public transportation.
This is but one charitable act that his foundation took on this Christmas.
Mr Volunteer told The Gleaner that on Thursday, December 27, there was a dinner for the elderly living in and around Gregory Park, the community in which he now resides.
"The Yutes4change Foundation Christmas dinner for senior citizens and disabled persons is a treat for seniors in the community" he said.
The humanitarian noted that last year's Christmas dinner for senior citizens, put on by the Yutes4Change Foundation, was sponsored by dancehall entertainer Bounty Killa. However, the main sponsor for this year's event was an organisation in the US called Jamaica Project USA, with donations for other individuals.
"Also yesterday, we headed to Westmoreland and Hanover to give food care packages to senior citizens and disabled persons in random communities. This was our fifth and final such mission for the year," Burke said, adding that the team will donate a two-burner stove and a full gas cylinder to a family in Portland on Sunday, December 30.