Back-to-school help for Bounty Hall children
More than 100 children from the Bounty Hall community in Trelawny were given a good reason to return to school smiling last week as they were the recipients of $250,000 worth of back-to-school items, thanks to the Christelle Harris Charity Fund.
At the recent handover ceremony held at the Bounty Hall New Testament Church of God, 80 preschool and grade-six children and 20 secondary-school students were presented with exercise books, workbooks, pencils and personal hygiene items.
According to Harris, the eight-year-old Charity Fund was born out of a deep-seated yearning she had to use her birthday celebration as a time to give back to the community. Her effort is supported by her team of volunteers.
"There are so many people who have needs that go unfulfilled on a daily basis, and some of them are basic," said Harris. "... so for my birthday, I asked that nobody gives me any gifts, instead, I invited them to make donations to the fund ... . My mission is to give back to people who are in need.
"My daily platform is children, and that is where my passion lies," said Harris, who is the marketing manager for Hampden Estate's popular Rum Fire brand. "I do my best to help with back-to-school efforts at Easter time and Christmas time ... . I think those are times when kids need a little bit of an extra feeling of support ... a lot of kids in Jamaica do not get that feeling."
Pastor Gregory Haughton, who heads the Bounty Hall New Testament Church of God, says Harris' kind gesture is a blessing to the community because it helps to ease some of the financial burdens facing residents.
"It is really an exciting moment, because supporting the children is the greatest thing you could ever do," said Haughton. "Sometimes you can hardly reach out to the older people, but when you reach the young people, it is a great legacy you are building for Jamaica.
"I would want to say a big thank you to Christelle (Harris) and her team for coming and joining forces with us, because we could not do it on our own, and without her and her team it would be impossible," added Haughton.