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Le Antonio wants bags for the needy

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry

The local-based charity the Le Antonio's Foundation is calling on corporate Montego Bay to assist in the provision of educational opportunities for inner-city youngsters as a part of the overall initiative to help stem crime in the tourist capital.

The organisation recently launched a campaign to acquire 1,000 school bags for underprivileged youth, whose parents are having a challenge to adequately provide for them.

According to Antonio McKoy, chairman of the foundation, while the provision of the school bags is probably no more than a drop in the bucket in terms of the overall needs facing many inner-city families, he believes it is an important step in showing care for the less fortunate.

"If you are serious about telling these young people that somebody cares for them and they don't need to have to turn to a life of crime, then get on board," said McKoy, who is also one of the driving forces behind the anti- bullying campaign in local schools.

"This is the moment for us to do something that is going to help to curb crime, and I personally believe that through education, all things are possible," noted McKoy.

The foundation, which is being assisted by several overseas partners, has been successful in acquiring more than 70 school bags to date.

It would appear that McKoy's appeal is steadily gaining traction as The Gleaner has learnt that Danny's Department Store, which is based in Montego Bay, has pledged to provide 400 more bags to the cause.

The school bags, along with other stationery supplies such as notebook, pens, pencils and other items, will be handed over to the students during the Le Antonio's Foundation fourth annual back-to-school treat, which is slated for August 27.

"Every year, we have this treat. we realise that the need is more than what we have to give," said McKoy. "Last year, we set out to give more than 200 packages to kids. It was, like, a small gesture in terms of the amount of people who came out."

"So we saw the need, the frustration on their faces, and we heard the stories, and it breaks my heart. So I decided that this year, I am going to try and do something bigger," said McKoy.

Persons who are interested in helping the organisation in its ambitious endeavour are being asked to make contact via the organisation's website at leantoniosfoundation.com, or its Facebook page, or email and Gmail accounts, which all carry the same name.