Sun | Aug 1, 2021

Each one can reach one – Young philanthropist seeks help for burnt out family

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 5:37 AMTamara Bailey - Gleaner Writer
Crystal Scale (right) with Kerene Smith-White and daughter
Crystal Scale (right) with Kerene Smith-White and daughter

Porus, Manchester:

Approximately five months ago, Kerene Smith-White, a 36-year-old mother of six children, and recent widow, received devastating news she would later confirm.

Her two-bedroom dwelling, along with all of her belongings, were being destroyed by fire.

As she watched her home burn, her loss became more evident and her body wavered under that pressure.

No house, no husband, nothing saved, and many unanswered questions.

It was this story that pushed philanthropist, Crystal Scale, into action and has her doing everything she can to get help for this family.

“This family was not only grieving the loss of a home, but of a father and husband who was buried three weeks prior to the fire, after succumbing to dengue-related complications. I had to reach out,” said the former Manchester Festival Queen.

“After meeting the family, I realized that Mrs Smith had even more to contend with as she had to move in with her parents in an already tight space; find ways to help her son, who had become more withdrawn since the death of his father; cope and provide for her children and younger siblings.”

Having received assistance with food and clothing from church and community members, Scale said more than ever, the family needs a house and continued assistance with efforts for sustainability.

“Mrs White’s blind father continues to farm his bananas to help to provide for the family, and her mother continues to work in her cook shop. She is currently awaiting feedback from Food For The Poor regarding their request for a home. We are happy, though, that through the assistance of our 4Ts Project, community members and other organizations, she now has a promising piglet and chickens to rear.”

She added “The hope is to help to establish a foundation for her to restart her chicken-rearing business so that it may contribute to her source of income. And we have to give thanks to all the persons and entities who have so far helped and continue to help.”

Resilience

Scale said she admires the resilience of the family members, a key reason why she wants to do more for them.

“They could have become despondent and given up hope. But every day, they work harder, and I just want them to get the help they deserve.

They are in need of ply boards to fix the structure for a bar and grocery market for the poultry raised, crop seeds for the farm; a job /apprenticeship opportunity for her (Smith-White’s) son, who is experienced in working on a construction site and in farming; and a home or a favourable word from Food For The Poor.”

Scale said her 4Ts Project is seeking donations towards a back-to-school drive for Smith-White’s five-year-old and 15-year-old daughters.

“We need two schoolbags - black, size 10 school shoes and navy-blue socks, black size 13½ tiny school shoes and size 5-6 tiny red or white school socks. Stationery such as: notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, a calculator, geometry set, ruler, English dictionary, folder leaves, scrapbook, graph leaves. Blank leaves are also needed. Your help would be greatly appreciated.”

To assist the family, email crystal.r.scale@gmail.com.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com