Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Powell spreads love to KPH

Published:Saturday | October 29, 2016 | 10:00 AMShayne Fairman

Sprinting superstar Asafa Powell took time to show his humanitarian side yesterday, donating $560,000 to help the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) purchase much-needed bed sheets.

There has been a reported need for more than 6,000 sheets between the KPH and Victoria Jubilee Hospital, with officials from the institutions noting that more than 2,000 sets are in dire condition.

The contribution was made through former 100m world record holder's Asafa Powell Foundation (APF), with Powell himself handing over the $560,000 raised via an online #SpreadABed4KPH crowd-funding initiative.

Funds were raised via Indiegogo, while Powell contributed part of his personal funds from his participation in the last Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"I am really happy for the opportunity to show my support and give back to my country. We started a Spread A Bed funding for the hospital and I said I would match whatever donations were made. Some came out of my pocket and some were donated from the public," Powell told the media before adding that he would continue his efforts to raise funds for the KPH and other charitable causes.

"The reception I got from people was really tremendous. I think we cut it off a bit early or else it would be even more," he continued.

 

START OF A RELATIONSHIP

 

"We started a relationship here with the hospital, and we've been searching for a few places that the foundation would want to take under our wings, and I think KPH is one now and it's the start of a new relationship, and, hopefully, it can be a yearly thing," Powell said.

Powell was partly inspired by a personal experience to give back to KPH after his brother (Ricardo) received medical care there.

"It's not only about helping my brother because he is no longer here. I mean this is where all of Jamaica comes when they are sick, so I am trying to help Jamaica and trying to give back to Jamaica through this process," he stressed.

Ruel Rainford, deputy chief executive officer at KPH, said: "Well, Asafa wishes for it to be spent on linen. We are gonna have an initiative to purchase some well-needed linen and have them installed on our wards."

He added: "There is a great need for bed linen due to constant leakages in the system ... . Any support in that area is always good and needed."

KPH will celebrate its 240th anniversary on December 14.

Dr Natalie Whylie, senior medical officer, expressed gratitude to Powell on behalf of the administrative, medical, nursing, paramedics staff as well as patients, describing his gift as "timely".