Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Hello mi neighbour | Activate the spirit of philanthropy

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2020 | 12:15 AM

Hello mi neighbour! On the surface, if you were writing an article on the state of our world, which of the following words would you most likely exclude from this article? ‘Pandemic’, ‘panic’, ‘pandemonium’ or ‘philanthropy’? Quite likely, some would exclude ‘philanthropy’. Why? With an uncertain future, job losses and looming financial woes, many persons have been holding on to their every penny. However, some bright sparks, in the midst of this pandemic, pandemonium and panic, are persons who will give every penny they own to help improve the lot of another neighbour. Yes!

I recently came in contact with a naturalised Jamaican, who was born in Trinidad, whose caring disposition in this environment is more than desirable. From an early age, her spirit of philanthropy was instilled through the kindness of her grandmother, her teachers and former students from Glenmuir High school, who “took an interest in me after seeing my potential”. With their assistance, her dream of becoming a lawyer became a reality

Having received so much help from others, and being the third of eight children for her mother, she feels duty-bound not only to help with the education of her younger siblings, and the welfare of those institutions which impacted her life, but also the education of other youngsters whose parents are financially challenged. Disappointed in her inability to help more students, she reminds herself that “that is God’s job” and as God requires of all of us, He only wants her to play her part “to the best of my abilities”.

Her advice to neighbours is “to continue to help however you can. Every little bit helps, even if you think it’s too small. Sometimes an encouraging word means a whole lot, as it can breathe life into a person without hope. I would encourage everyone to continue to help each other! That one person you help can turn around and help a whole family and community.”


So when the need of a final-year university student from Portland was published in The Gleaner on April, this Trinidadian by birth saw a great opportunity to help another student with her education. Satisfied that the case was genuine, after being furnished with the requisite information, within minutes the Portlander’s tuition was paid in full by this Trinidadian philanthropist! Wow!

The grateful student, who is still dazzled by such unbelievable act of kindness, vows to “help other youth and let them know that they are worth so much more than they know. My advice to neighbours is to continue helping each other, especially now when persons have lost hope”. And what can I say about the above transaction but, wow!

By now I am pretty sure that, even if you were, you are not preoccupied with ‘pandemic’, ‘pandemonium’, and ‘panic’ but rather, how can I be of assistance to someone in need at this time? That’s the spirit! Activate the spirit of philanthropy and help someone in need today. Share from the little you may have at this time, and experience the priceless peace, joy and happiness reserved for all genuine givers. Ask them if it’s not always ‘more blessed to give than to receive’.

So, let me ask you again, if you were writing an article on the state of our world, which of the following words would you most likely exclude from this article? ‘Pandemic’, ‘panic’, ‘pandemonium’ or ‘philanthropy’? Got the picture?


1. Layoyer, St Andrew, for donation.

2. Mrs Langrn, St Andrew, for household items.

3. Janet, St Andrew, for donation of food packages.

4. Everybody’s Pharmacy for act of kindness.


1. Neighbour, St Andrew, had a motor vehicle accident and in need of a walker.

2. Neighbour, St James, asking for help with food … is unemployed.

3. Miss Grace, St Thomas, in need of a dresser.

To help, please call Silton Townsend @ 334-8165, 884-3866, or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. Alternatively, send donations to HELLO NEIGHBOUR c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10. Paypal/credit card. Email: Contact email: Visit Mr Townsend exclusively manages the collections and distributions mentioned in this column and is neither an employee nor agent of The Gleaner.