We are all connected
Hi neighbour! If you have been reading this column from day one, with a memory a little better than mine, you would recall that in my third instalment I said when we speak of 'neighbours', we speak of everyone everywhere, not just the person who lives adjacent to you.
Let us accept that we are all connected with one another despite colour, creed or class - we have the same eternal Father. There is something even in the worst of us that moves us to help another human being, especially in a time of crisis. There may be a few who resist this pull, but, thank heavens, the majority don't.
I need not mention how the spirit of neighbourliness, the lifeblood of this column, has moved the world in response to the Haitian crisis. How governments, the media, organisations and individuals, around the globe, have been facilitating donations for Haitian neighbours in the aftermath of the January 12 quake. I have not met a single person who does not want to send something to Haiti, or go in person to lend a helping hand.
When Novie Frith and Derie Gilzeane from our office went to drop off our donation, there was an elderly gentleman in the crowd of donors who had trekked all the way from home about a mile and a half away, to drop a single US dollar in the kitty for his Haitian neighbours 300 miles away.
On Monday morning, I heard about a gardener who sent half his life savings to assist with restoration. I also heard of at least one community where rival factions ceased feuding to help the Haitians.
With this spirit of neighbourliness at work, we can be confident that this time, next year, Haiti will be completely restored.
As we are bombarded with images of our suffering neighbours crying in frustration for water, food, shelter and medical attention, we urge the authorities to do something quickly. Their crisis has become ours. When we see other human beings suffer, we are affected emotionally, psychologically and spiritually because of this biblical cord that connects us all: love for neighbour.
It's that same chord that motivates people to respond to those needs that are published in this column week after week. Mr Francis, an unemployed father of three girls, came to us in search of hope and assistance last week. To help generate an income, he wanted to start a pan chicken business.
We had no chickens to give, but we had an idea. We contacted one of our partners, Mr C, an employee of one of our chicken companies, to see if we could garner some assistance for this Jamaican in crisis. Surely enough, we succeeded, and the gentleman is now well on his way with his micro-business.
I can bet that some of you who think outside the box will give it a try! We stand ready to assist with names and circumstances.
If you want to help a neighbour, Hello Mi Neighbour is here for you. Let's not wait until there is a huge crisis before we activate the spirit of neighbourliness. There are neighbours in crises around us every day. Some of them are herein published. Let's help them!
Silton Townsend, the author of Hello Mi Neighbour, is more popularly known for his portrayal of the character 'Maas Gussie' in the once-aired local sitcom, 'Lime Tree Lane'.
Thanks to these neighbours
1. Sophia, St Andrew, for offering a walker to a needy neighbour.
2. Lorraine, St Catherine, for donating a dining table to her neighbour.
3. Kimone, for offering a stove.
4. Ms Brown, St Catherine, for giving a bed base in good condition to a 72-year-old neighbour.
5. Ms Green, St Mary, for donating a brand new mattress to Janet for her elderly parents.
6. Cecile, St Catherine, for offering clothing to children and adults.
7. Ruby, St Andrew, also for clothing.
8. Mrs Adams, St Andrew, for offering financial assistance to an injured neighbour.
9. Maureen, Westmoreland, for suiting out her female neighbour with hat and other clothing for church.
10. Ms Nooks, St Catherine, for giving a television set to a needy neighbour.
Opportunities to help neighbours
1. Shauna, unemployed, caring for her 19-year-old sister who was involved in an accident and badly in need of a bed. She also needs a stove and dresser.
2. Ms Powell, diabetic and cancer patient, who got burnt out. She's asking for help to rebuild. A second-hand container would go a far way.
3. Anthony, unemployed, is seeking food and accommodation for his family.
4. Margaret got burnt out last November; seeking a little piece of land to rebuild.
5. Claudia, mother of five, asking neighbours for a bed.
6. Doreen, St James, unemployed and partially blind mother of two; in need of financial assistance to purchase medication for diabetes.
7. Keisha, Clarendon, unemployed mother of two, asking for a bed.
8. Karen, St Catherine, in need of twin pram and clothing for young child.
9. Yvonne, St Catherine, her husband was killed, leaving her with five children to care for. The children are 18, 13, 7, 5 and 2, and are all in need of clothing and shoes.
10. Isolyn, 77-year-old of St Catherine, is asking neighbours to assist her with tiles to help complete her small house.
11. Shernette, a St James widow, is staying at a friend's house with her three children. Life is almost unbearable. She's requesting a stove, table, refrigerator and TV.
12. Jennifer, unemployed mother of four, is asking for food.
13. Andrea, Clarendon, would like a bed for sisters and brothers who are all sleeping on the floor.
14. Elaine, Clarendon, who, along with her husband, is unemployed, has three children to care for. They need assistance to start a small poultry business.
15. Elaine, Clarendon, mother of three, needs a table and chest of drawers.
To help, please call 906-3167, 884-3866 or 373-7745, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make the link-up. Those who desire to make financial donations to this project may make deposits to account 351 044 276 at the National Commercial Bank. The bank routing password: JNCBJMKX.