HELLO MI neighbour! I was truly moved by the anxiety and sincerity of the Kingston neighbour who wanted to help Ms Smith from St Mary after she made an appeal for a wheelchair and a television for her brain-damaged son through this column last week.
Touched by this need, the Kingston neighbour contacted us, expressing his desire to solve Ms Smith's problem. Yours truly, being a little slow in responding to his desire, made him obviously and rightly very displeased - for some strange reason, Ms Smith's contact details could not be found (must have been the work of the devil - but prayer prevailed).
This neighbour's displeasure is a clear indication that many persons take the business of helping others very seriously and are passionate about it. To them, it's a special privilege. The gifts which they offer to needy neighbours are normally prepared with a touch of elegance: second-hand clothing well laundered, perfumed and packaged (like new), and household items are very clean and in good condition. I'm pretty sure that Catherine, our overseas neighbour, would say 'Amen' to that. In her last email, she informed me that she will be shipping a few things for her local neighbours and they won't be "no old bruck".
I totally agree with Catherine! And who would want to argue with her? It is disrespectful and distasteful to dump 'old bruck' on others. If the gifts we give mean nothing to us, it is quite likely that they will mean nothing to others. Conversely, if we give the things we appreciate, it is highly likely that they will be appreciated by others. Those who give 'riff-raff' cause unnecessary rifts.
Tribute is paid here to Sisters Audrey and Harvey from Brooklyn, New York. These two neighbours are true neighbours. They fully understand the concept of loving neighbour as self: going the extra mile. Embedded in their mission to feed the hungry and clothe the naked for more than four years, these neighbours have been sending items of clothing and food for several Jamaican families. It is always a delight to hand a package to a neighbour and to receive a big "thank you ... God bless you", along with a healthy smile.
One of the things I have discovered about people, especially since I started this column little over three years ago, is that no matter how crude, rude, cold and callous they are, they appreciate acts of kindness from others. It's not the 'eye for an eye' or 'tooth for a tooth' approach that adds value to life; it's the kindness that we extend to good or bad neighbours, especially in the time of need.
Until next week, remember that if we respond to negative attacks with positive comebacks, there will be very little space for bitterness or malice.
Thanks for helping:
1. Neighbour, for offering sociology textbook to a needy student.
2. Marcia, St Catherine, for offering a refrigerator to a needy neighbour.
3. Neighbour for offering a blender to Sister Pauline, St Catherine.
4. Neighbour for donating a television to a needy family.
5. Neighbour for giving a bed and clothing to another neighbour.
6. Neighbour for donating a stove to another neighbour who couldn't afford one.
7. Mr Brady for offering a wheelchair and food items to needy neighbours.
Opportunities to help:
Mrs Burnett, St Catherine, mother of seven, needs financial assistance to start a bag juice stall to help with children's schooling.
Rose, St James, unemployed. Needs help to purchase medication and food for 15-year-old autistic son.
Neighbour needs a school bag and shoes for child.
Mrs McDonald, Westmoreland, 78 years old. Asking for a two-piece settee.
Debbie, St Elizabeth, unemployed. Son's certificates and passport were stolen. Needs approximately $18,000 to replace.
Neighbour, unemployed widow, needs help for 15-year-old son attending high school.
Beverly, St Ann, husband is unable to walk ... children have not been to school for past two months. Needs financial help.
To help us, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour, c/o 53 Half -Way Tree Road, Kingston 10, firstname.lastname@example.org.