Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
'Tis the season of hope and good cheer and the National Voluntary Centre (NVC) of Jamaica is giving citizens a chance to make a positive impact this Christmas through its annual 'Day of Care' initiative.
The initiative, which falls under National Volunteers Day, is observed annually at St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston. The day is dedicated to catering to the needs of the homeless throughout Kingston and the Corporate Area.
This year, the NVC is urging Jamaicans to contribute to the cause by donating clothing and other "care items" to help make life easier for the men and women who call the streets home this time of the year.
"Let us reach out to others. With things getting so hard, we all need each other, we cannot do it alone," said project assistant at the NVC, Dacia Cruickshank. "No matter how big it is, no matter how small it is, give it. It doesn't have to be a big bag of clothing, it can be two little shirts that you not using, they will be very appreciative of it."
She continued: "It is really amazing to see how many people in Jamaica are homeless. They are really appreciative of what it is that is there and they definitely take advantage."
Cruickshank said the health care offered by medical experts on the Day of Care usually attracts a lot of the homeless who are in dire need of the service.
always a need for volunteers
She said there is always a need for volunteers to ensure that things run smoothly throughout the day, particularly where this is concerned.
"A lot of them, they have serious medical issues, so the fact that you have people who come in and offer them time to check eyes, you find that they are very grateful and they take advantage of it, so we are always looking for persons to manage the lines and take care of other matters."
Chief executive officer at the Council of Voluntary Social Services, Winsome Wilkins, while backing the call for persons to donate to the cause, said lending a helping hand to some is especially important this time of year.
"Christmas is a time for giving, not necessarily giving, of cash, but giving of self. Our volunteers coming forward this time of the year is a form of giving so, as we celebrate this season let us gives back," she said.
The Day of Care initiative will be held on Saturday, December 8.
Persons who want to volunteer their time or make contributions are asked to contact the National Volunteer Centre at tel: 906-0065/ 906-5312, fax: 906-0020 or email: email@example.com.