Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Onekia Walker: Feeding the hungry, clothing the needy

Published:Sunday | March 21, 2021 | 12:19 AMTamara Bailey - Sunday Gleaner writer

Onekia Walker with a group of children at the Christmas treat she hosted.
Onekia Walker with a group of children at the Christmas treat she hosted.
Onekia Walker cooks meals for distribution in the Old England community last week Saturday.
Onekia Walker cooks meals for distribution in the Old England community last week Saturday.
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OLD ENGLAND, Manchester:

He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:11

For the past eight years, 42-year-old Onekia Walker’s life has been a testimony of the power of God and His ability to use anyone to do His work.

In her small corner, in her own way, Walker has been feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, helping the sick and living a life of service for her earthly brothers and sisters.

She said though her initiatives were inspired by an events supplies company she works with, she said her humble beginnings has been the driving force behind her endeavours.

“Growing up, I went to Old England All-Age and it was a struggle for my parents. When I started high school, I became seriously ill. I was always blacking out and the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. That followed me throughout and I was unable to finish my studies.”

She said, because of her own struggles, she continues to be keen on giving back to children and families in dire circumstances.

“For me, to be able to go back to my community and help the people there, so they can feel good about themselves, it is a blessing. That is why I try to uplift this thing by allowing the children to get what I did not get. I always see how people from overseas come and put on treats for children, and it was always something I wanted to do even without the necessary funding.”

Walker said, when she first approached companies for funding, she feared that she would be labelled as a scammer, but soon realised God was working it out ahead of her.

“I got sponsorship and I was doing the work. Each year, I got more help and I was able to help more. When people saw what I was doing, I got more sponsors and more people saw the need to come on board.”

Walker told Family and Religion that her parents could not afford luxuries of fun excursions and, because of that, she never wants a child, she can help, to not be able to enjoy their childhood because of poverty.

HEARTWARMING

“I didn’t even know what a bounceabout was, and when I see how much pleasure children find in bouncing around, eating popcorn, laughing, it warms my heart.

She said not only is it a blessing for her to give back, but to do so with her church family.

“I have always been a Christian and I love that church members and pastor at the Old England House of God are a part of my outreach projects. When you are a child of God and you are doing something, you put everything in His hand, believing and trusting that it will go through, and it will”

Distributing COVID-19 care packages for the elderly and poor families, conducting back-to-school treats for children, and feeding the hungry are just some of the initiatives Walker has undertaken, with a wish to triple her efforts in future.

“I would love persons who are able to help to give back to those in need in their communities. No matter how small it is, sometimes you think what you have is little, but others have less. Share what you have because you don’t know what can happen and that person you helped, or failed to help, may be someone who can help you in the future.”

She continued: “Little is much when God is in it and even when you cannot find it, find someone who you know can help . It doesn’t have to be tangible, it can be in kind word, encouragement or linking someone to another person who can help.”

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com