Shaggy and Friends treats Bustamante Hospital for Children
Jordane Delahaye, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Ailing children at the Bustamante Hospital for Children were treated by the Shaggy and Friends Foundation last Thursday as the philanthropic organisation continues its annual gifting ritual.
Shaggy was joined by a slew of other celebrities, including Tifa, Konshens, Aidonia and comedians Ity and Fancy Cat.
The Grammy-award winner could be seen actively interacting with the children and their guardians, along with the staff at the hospital, who must be very familiar with him since his efforts have been ongoing for more than a decade.
While Shaggy was busy bringing joy to the children, his wife and director of the Shaggy Foundation, Rebecca Packer, told The Sunday Gleaner: "We do it for the children. The Bustamante hospital is the only full-service children's hospital in the entire Caribbean - not only Jamaica - so we definitely have to cater to this hospital, in particular."
Packer also revealed that the foundation also makes donations to the Mustard Seed Communities when there is an overflow of gifts, but the primary concern is making sure that the Bustamante hospital is well taken care of.
According to Packer, gaining support is never an issue with Shaggy's face behind the hospital and the initiative.
"This year, we provided all the gifts with help from Be True in Loshusan," Packer explained.
Be True Children Fashion donated in more ways than one, as Nicholas DeBellis from the store donned a rather padded red suit and white wig and made the rounds to the different wards with Shaggy, giving out gifts and spreading Christmas cheer. Children could be heard screaming "Santa" as he walked by and those who were not intently watching his every move were probably distracted by the clowns or the celebrities.
Packer also pointed out that the Shaggy and Friends benefit concert was not cancelled this year, but is held every other year so as not to put a strain on sponsors, who she says always give their full support.
There was also a mini-concert, which delighted everyone at the hospital - especially the children who were, for the most part, able to forget about their ailments and enjoy themselves.