Tue | May 22, 2018

Giving, 'my best birthday gift'

Published:Friday | December 21, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Michelle Williams being thanked by one of the many beneficiaries of her special birthday treat.
Birthday girl Michelle Williams (right) speaking with Sister Patsy from Sisters of Charity.-Contributed

Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator

It all started with a video on Facebook. In November when Michelle Williams saw the video of a 22-year-old who did 22 things to help 22 persons for his 22 birthday, she thought it was a great idea. "I thought it was a great idea and decided I wanted to spend my birthday helping others. Usually I spend my birthday with my friends, and this time I wanted it to be different. I wanted to make others feel special even though it was my day."

She then set out to plan how to spend her special day feeding the destitute and those in need.

"I wanted to order meals from a caterer to distribute to persons on the street. However, my boss Metry Seaga suggested that I use the company's canteen, which turned out to be an excellent idea. I posted my idea on Facebook, seeking the help of my friends, and I realised that there are a lot more needy persons out there than I thought."

She received cash donations from Prestige Holdings Limited in Trinidad, Jamaica Fibreglass Products, Seprod, and 16 of her friends. "I found out that people are very willing to help once it's for a good cause."

And true to form, her friends turned out to help her in the distribution and preparation of the meals. "Headed by my dear friend, Marlene Fuller-Thompson, I could not have done it without her or the other 21 persons who gave their time so willingly." Some of the taxi drivers from City Guide also helped in transporting some of the meals.

550 homeless

For their efforts, they were able to feed 550 homeless, poor and needy individuals in Cross Roads, Half-Way Tree, New Kingston and the downtown area. "I was hoping for 600, but unfortunately, I was left with a few empty boxes. Some persons were also treated to a piece of my birthday cake," she told The Gleaner.

When I looked around and saw that things were falling into place, and also when we started delivering, that is when I said to myself, "Yes, we did it." I was very happy when someone returned after delivering meals to Sisters of Charity and handed me a card that they sent. The hugs and handshakes I received from the people who were invited to my 'likkle party' at Laws Street Trade Training Centre were simply priceless. I knew then that I did the right thing, and I would not hesitate to do it again."

But Williams doesn't want to wait until it's her birthday to do it again. "I don't want to wait until it's my birthday though, since people are always in need. This is something I would like to do more often, even if it's for a smaller number," she told The Gleaner.