‘Grateful Faces’ - Teenager and friends take Christmas cheer to less fortunate in downtown Kingston
In 2017, Abigail Lloyd decided to start a charity which she dubbed 'Grateful Faces'. Since then, the teenager has been using every opportunity she gets to cater to the less fortunate.
"I came up with this idea because I realised that so many of us nowadays, we take for granted the fact that we have so much.
"I have a heart for people who have less than I do, and so we go into inner-city communities and we find the elderly people, people who are really poor, and we give them gift baskets, we give out food to the homeless people who we see while driving on the road, any little thing that we can give out to them," Abigail told The Sunday Gleaner.
A student at St Andrew High School for Girls, Abigail, who lives with both parents and her two brothers in St Andrew, said she selected 'grateful' as part of the name for her charity, because her experiences so far have taught her to be just that.
"You know your parents always tell you that you should be grateful for whatever you have, and I never really understood what they meant until I started this charity. That's why I called it Grateful Faces because every time I go into these inner-city communities, it makes my face that more grateful," said Abigail.
Sponsorship for the charity comes from parents and other family members while her teenage friends serve as volunteers.
"I asked them for donations, I explained to them, what I was doing with the money, and they donated it and we made it happen.
"I encourage my friends and every encounter I go on I try my best to take new people with me. It's an open system and anyone can come and feel free to volunteer, no matter how young you are or how old you are," said Abigail.
"I encourage everybody to give back because it's only by the grace of God why we are where we are today," added Abigail.
Last Sunday, Abigail and friends travelled to Water Lane and Fleet Street in downtown Kingston and gave eight families items for their Christmas dinner.
"Persons were very grateful, very thankful. They were elated and it was heart-warming to see that I could help somebody, give them a Christmas dinner, it was a great experience meeting new people. It was also slightly emotional to see the condition that some people live in.
"I think it's sad but at the same time I'm trying to do my part and maybe one day when I get older and I have more resources at my disposal, I can maybe help rebuild homes and try and do more things with my charity," said Abigail, who has her sights set on becoming a lawyer.