Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
DISCOVERY BAY, St Ann:
THIRTY EMPLOYEES of Noranda Bauxite Partners Jamaica in Discovery Bay, St Ann, ditched their duties for two days recently to concentrate on helping less fortunate persons at the Widow's Mite orphanage in Murray Mountain in the parish.
The team was accompanied by general manager of United Way of Jamaica, Winsome Wilkins, and management representatives from Noranda.
Widow's Mite is a children's home that caters to physically and mentally challenged children, some of whom have been abandoned. The home is operated by the Mustard Seed organisation and is located close to the bauxite company's mining operations.
The team continued work on projects that were started during a previous visit last October. This includes a vegetable garden, which saw them planting more cash crops, following the reaping of vegetables planted previously, and then building a fence to protect the garden from stray animals.
The workers also donated baby chickens and supplies, with United Way providing a water-storage tank fitted with guttering.
Administrator of the home, Gwendolyn Howell, was extremely grateful and thanked Noranda and United Way for its assistance.
Noranda president, Pansy Johnson, was very proud of her staff.
"This has made such a difference to the lives of the children," Johnson said. She added that it was encouraging to see that the workers were focusing on the needs of the home at this time.
Noranda's human resource manager, Nathan Thompson, also commended the team, while Karen Kates-Thompson, Noranda's United Way campaign manager, said the support shown by the workers was a reflection of the humane side of the bauxite company.
The partnership between Noranda and United Way has been going on for several years, with Noranda Aluminium's president and chief executive officer, Kip Smith, at the forefront of driving an annual corporate campaign among employees to raise funds for United Way.
Since the 2010 formalisation of the internal United Way campaign, Noranda employees have donated $5.1 million to the campaign.
Noranda Bauxite Partners Jamaica Limited is the proud recipient of a United Way of Jamaica silver and bronze award for its contributions. The company also picked up the runner-up Employee Coordinator Award in 2012.