Melanie Canagaratnam, a Canadian volunteer, is on a quest to help the children at Mustard Seed Communities! This is her story:
"When I moved here from Canada in 2007, not only did I have to cope with the different style of education in Jamaica compared to Canada, but also an entirely new concept known as Creativity, Action Service (CAS) - part of Hillel Academy's philosophy of equipping each student for lifelong learning.
Like everyone else, I complained about the community service programme aspect of CAS and did it only because it was mandatory. Upon my first visit to a basic school in Kingston, I realised the importance and necessity of helping. Too many of us take for granted the privileged life we live and, at times, don't understand and appreciate the value of the things we simply get. We are blessed and sometimes don't realise it.
A HEART-WARMING EXPERIENCE
What began as something I had to do quickly became something I wanted to do, and loved doing. Soon, I was off every weekend to visit homes for children and the elderly, not for the hours, but to just be amongst the people. They made the experience of helping heart-warming and fulfilling.
As Jamaica celebrates 50 years of Independence, I wanted to do my part for this country that has blessed me with so much during these five short years and has changed me for the better. While recording this CD, I had the idea of giving the proceeds to two associations that particularly resonated with me, and are very close to my heart. These are the Missionaries of the Poor and the Matthew: 25:40 part of Mustard Seed Communities in Kingston. My goal is to raise US $4,500 and I am pleased to say that, so far, I have raised US$4,200 ($378,000) dollars. All proceeds go towards these charities.
I really do admire how the Missionaries of the Poor devote their time to helping the less fortunate and take nothing in return. I also love how they incorporate music and compose beautiful productions as part of their fund-raising efforts for the less fortunate. Matthew 25:40 is a home in Kingston that I've been working with for a while now. They house over 15 HIV-positive kids who have been abandoned by their family. These kids do not have such luxuries as a new laptop or iPod, or even tasty food. Yet, they were friendly, jovial and united. They didn't do anything wrong but to be born into their unfortunate condition.
The selflessness, generosity, and caring of these charities inspired me to do this project. I hope many more youths will understand the value of giving back and helping. It is a great feeling and I hope to inspire others to take the initiative to help.
To purchase one of the 25 CDs left, Email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org.