HELLO MI neighbour! Stretch, stretch, stretch until you touch a life that needs your touch. That touch may save someone from the throes of despair.
Even though it may stretch you a bit, it will be worth the while. The social and economic conditions have stretched some families to the hilt. Ends cannot meet. I repeat, we have a primordial duty to help one another to make ends meet.
Two days ago, a desperate Manchester neighbour called me. Her husband walked out leaving her with four young children. She is unemployed. She gets no support from the church, so she seldom attends. Her little house is rotting - she uses zinc for doors and windows. Her daughter just completed grade six and should be starting high school in September, but she doesn't have the $12,000 to pay for the package. If she is stretched any farther, she will break. Who will stretch a helping hand to her today?
No day passes without a neighbour stretching a hand to us for assistance in one form or another. The most regular requests are for food and clothing. They come from grandmothers who are stuck with three, four or five children, because the children's parents are dead or just absent. Requests come from unemployed parents whose children are mostly hungry. Oh, only if manna could fall from the sky again!
But why should manna fall from the sky when there is enough food on earth to feed its seven billion-plus inhabitants? Why then are so many people starving? The politician will give one reason. The scientist will give another. They will all differ from that of the socialist, sociologist and economist who blame hunger on the political and economic systems of the world. I like the response of the layman: if everyone in his small corner decides not to eat unless he knows everyone is eating, then all will eat. What think you?
The world needs more people like Ms S. Bailey from Canada, who stretched across to Jamaica, through this column, with a barrel of food about a month ago. More than 60 families have benefited from its contents. When my assistant went into a community to deliver a package to an elderly neighbour three weeks ago, she had to share it with many other persons. Fortunately, she had travelled with a few extra pounds of rice. Some got a cupful, some a bowl. Some even brought their plates to collect their rice to "go and steam with their callaloo". Though a serious matter, it was fun time for most.
We enjoy meeting people like Ms Bailey, who have a penchant for assisting with the needs of the less fortunate.
They boost our energy and give us the impetus to go on. Stretch, someone is stretching to you. Enjoy the exercise!
Ms Pearl, St Andrew: 76 years old, is asking neighbours for a wardrobe and refrigerator.
Carol, St Andrew: asking neighbours for a secondhand surger to help make a living.
Pauline, St James: has spinal problems and in need of a mattress to support her back.
Neighbour: grand-niece doing summer course in preparation for higher education, but has no food - most times she is hungry.
Simone, Clarendon: single, three months pregnant and in need of a bed and clothing for baby.
Bridgette, St Catherine: mother of boys: nine and 11, and girl age five, needs a stove and food.
Melvina, Trelawny: 84, trying to rear chicken for a living. Needs refrigerator.
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; email
1. Kelly- Ann, St Andrew, for acts of neighbourliness.
2. Ms Griffiths, St Andrew, for donating a bed to a needy neighbour.
3. Ruckhams Construction for helping a neighbour in St Elizabeth and giving a mattress to Patricia, Mandeville.4. Ms Hyatt, St Andrew, for donating a machine to a needy neighbour.