'I Fed One' for Christmas

Published: Monday | December 24, 2012 Comments 0
A homeless man eats his meal.	- CONTRIBUTED
A homeless man eats his meal. - CONTRIBUTED

Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer

This year, 'I Fed One' celebrates five years of feeding the homeless on Christmas Day. The project started in 2008 as a vision of Wendell Lawrence to have every Jamaican give at least one meal to a less fortunate Jamaican. After teaming up with Mark Johnson the two formulated a system that could allow for the realisation of that vision. Coleen McFarlane-Simpson was consulted for her expertise and her organisation, Shekinah Ministries, accepted the responsibility of preparing the meals.

"The thought came after having Christmas dinner at both myself and my wife's family homes and saw the left-over food. It came to me that if one person could help one person it would be a catalyst to get everybody in need to get one plate of food," Lawrence said.

Since then, the project has evolved and in 2010 the term "I Fed One" was coined to represent a vision of each human being meeting at least one other human being at the point of his or her need. The focus was no longer on food only but on people helping people.

The 'I Fed One Foundation' is now a non-profit organisation with the vision to provide volunteerism and tangible assistance to specific target groups in need. For those who have an inclination to help people but don't have the mass resources or infrastructure through which to accomplish this, the I Fed One Foundation' is an option that pools small individual contributions to make a bigger, more meaningful impact.

Tomorrow, the 'I Fed One Foundation' will be leading a team of volunteers through the streets of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and Spanish Town to feed the homeless and less fortunate.

Since 2008 when they distributed 450 meals with the help of 93 volunteers, last year, the project distributed 950 meals with the help of 122 volunteers. This year, they have registered 180 volunteers so far.

"We get varying responses each year. Some persons when they receive the meals kneel down and pray. Sometimes we see homeless persons digging into garbage bins and when they take the meal they start crying. For the most part, we get a keen sense of appreciation from our homeless guests," Lawrence said.

Over the years, they have received support from many Jamaicans and some corporate entities including the Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and Devon House. The foundation typically makes appeals through the media to garner the support they need to offset their budget and obtain items from their online shopping list.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com

'I Fed One' for Christmas

Keisha Hill

Gleaner Writer

This year, 'I Fed One' celebrates five years of feeding the homeless on Christmas Day. The project started in 2008 as a vision of Wendell Lawrence to have every Jamaican give at least one meal to a less fortunate Jamaican. After teaming up with Mark Johnson, the two formulated a system that could allow for the realisation of that vision. Coleen McFarlane-Simpson was consulted for her expertise and her organisation, Shekinah Ministries, accepted the responsibility of preparing the meals.

"The thought came after having Christmas dinner at both myself and my wife's family homes and saw the left-over food. It came to me that if one person could help one person it would be a catalyst to get everybody in need to get one plate of food," Lawrence said.

Since then, the project has evolved and in 2010 the term I Fed One was coined to represent a vision of each human being meeting at least one other human being at the point of his or her need. The focus was no longer on food only but on people helping people.

The I Fed One Foundation is now a non-profit organisation with the vision to provide volunteerism and tangible assistance to specific target groups in need. For those who have an inclination to help people but don't have the mass resources or infrastructure through which to accomplish this, the I Fed One Foundation is an option that pools small individual contributions to make a bigger, more meaningful impact.

Tomorrow, the I Fed One Foundation will be leading a team of volunteers through the streets of the Kingston Metropolitan Area and Spanish Town to feed the homeless and less fortunate.

Since 2008, when they distributed 450 meals with the help of 93 volunteers, last year the project distributed 950 meals with the help of 122 volunteers. This year, they have registered 180 volunteers so far.

"We get varying responses each year. Some persons when they receive the meals kneel down and pray. Sometimes we see homeless persons digging into garbage bins and when they take the meal they start crying. For the most part, we get a keen sense of appreciation from our homeless guests," Lawrence said.

Over the years, they have received support from many Jamaicans and some corporate entities including the Jamaican Urban Transit Company and Devon House. The foundation typically makes appeals through the media to garner the support they need to offset their budget and obtain items from their online shopping list.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com

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