Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer
MOCHO, Clarendon:CAL, MOCHO Man, Allison or Calvin, call him what you may as Calvin Allison who answers to all four names, is a dedicated, hard-working philanthropist who, over the last four years, has brought cheers to thousands of children in Mocho, Clarendon.
Allison does so by providing clothing, food, toys, books, bags and other school supplies, through the Francis, Allison, Ayton, Campbell and Simpson FAACS' Family Foundation, which he manages.
Allison has been living in the United States of America for more than 50 years and was conscripted in that country's coastguard during the Vietnam war. He then worked with the Federal government's troubled teen programme in Florida until his retirement.
The philanthropist said the FAACS Foundation was born out of a need to work with children in Mocho who are facing a different kind of trouble from their Florida counterparts - that is financial.
He said the organisation has its genesis in a trip he took to St Ann with evangelist Alberta Boswell-James to fête some children in that parish.
"I accompanied evangelist Boswell James to Jamaica to assist her with a fête for some kids in St Ann, and I said to myself, I can do the same thing in Mocho where I am from and the idea just born right there and then. Since our inception some four years ago, we have distributed tons of school supplies, toys, clothes, shoes and food to hundreds of delighted kids at our Christmas's treat," said Allison.
He added that "I know the economic struggles that most of these parents endure in sending their kids to school in Jamaica, and it is even more acute in rural Jamaica and more so in Mocho, so I feel compelled to assist in enhancing these future leaders educational development."
He, however, said the programme involves a lot of hard work.
"It's not as easy as it looks; it is a year-round full-time job to pull it off (Christmas treat). Throughout the year, we are engaged in fund-raising, collecting stuffs, sorting, labelling, shipping, clearing the stuff at customs, compiling the list of the most needy and finally, organising the treat where we distributed the things each year," he said.
According to Allison, since the inception of the foundation, FAACS has shipped container-loads of school supplies, toys, clothes, shoes and foods, which are distributed to hundreds of children at the foundation's annual Christmas treat, at the Mocho Community Centre in Clarendon.