Western Bureau:THE Good Shepherd Foundation (GSF), one of Jamaica's most respected charitable organisations, is calling on corporate Jamaica and individuals to share their blessings in this festive season.
The GSF, headquartered in Montego Bay, is supported entirely through donations and, as a consequence, is always in need of financial support.
The organisation, which is seeking to address the needs of the less fortunate primarily in the areas of health care and education, was founded 12 years ago by former Roman Catholic bishop of Montego Bay, Charles H. Dufour, who is now the archbishop of Kingston and the person overseeing the Roman Catholic religious activities locally and in other sections of the English-speaking Caribbean.
The GSF is consistently seeking to raise funds throughout the year through the effort of its local members as well as members in Miami, Florida, who have established the Friends of Good Shepherd Montego Bay Incorporation. However, the funds generated are never adequate to undertake the many programmes that need urgent attention and financing.
"I have been working assiduously behind the scene to raise funds. I know things are very challenging locally and internationally, but, with God's help, we can achieve our goals," said Dufour.
As a part of his personal effort, Dufour has been spearheading the Bishop's Human Resource fund-raising event, held annually at the Montego Bay home of Kishin and Shoba Samtani, who have been hosting the activity for the past eight years, free of charge.
At the recent GSF function, the foundation's chairperson, Jeanne Robinson-Foster, said she wanted to remind the public at large that the organisation's needs remain great as its seeks to maintain its charitable mandate.
Robinson-Foster, an attorney-at-law, said while her organisation is cognisant of the harsh economic climate at this time, she was nonetheless appealing to corporate Jamaica, persons in the diaspora and other persons who can afford to, to support the efforts of the GSF.
"We know money is hard to come by in these challenging times, and whenever persons make pledges or donate, they want to ensure the funds are used for the best purposes," said Robinson-Foster. " We are also aware that professionalism is expected of us, in spite of us being a charitable organisation. We want to assure all of you that we are committed to professional standards."