Bolt builds house for charity
Retired Jamaican sprinter, Olympic and former world champion Usain Bolt, Remax, and Food For the Poor Jamaica recently made a positive impact on Sean Sutherland when they combined resources to build a home for him and his family.
Fire destroyed Sutherland and his family’s two-bedroom home in Ellerslie, St Catherine, in July. They have been staying with relatives in the neighbouring community since. Sutherland, a vendor who sells on the train line adjacent to the offices of Food For the Poor Jamaica, was overjoyed that his home was replaced and that his life would return to normalcy.
“We lost everything in the fire, including all the items we had purchased for our two children to start school in September,” Sutherland said. “It feels really good that Food For the Poor, that operates in our community, has assisted me and my family.
“I was shocked when I heard that Usain Bolt would be helping to build the house. It is the best birthday gift I have ever received.”
Food For the Poor Jamaica director Craig Moss-Solomon said Sutherland is no stranger to the organisation, and he is known for his hard work in his efforts to care for his family.
“We selected Sean because we know his history, and he has been like family to us,” Moss-Solomon said.
“Since we have known him, he has never approached us for assistance. He has always been self-sufficient, so when he contacted us after his home was destroyed, we thought it fit that we should assist him.”
Food For the Poor Jamaica is the largest charity organisation in Jamaica. The housing project is made possible through the organisation’s 5K run, where funds are raised to offset expenses associated with the construction of the houses.
Remax Chief Executive Officer David Dixon, one said they have always been giving back to the community. It formed a partnership with Food for the Poor in 2015 to build one house per year.
“This year is our 10th anniversary, and we have decided to donate 10 houses to persons in need.
“This is the second of the 10 houses that has been made possible through our partners and clients. We have also had a great relationship with Usain Bolt as we are his premium real estate advisor. He was more than willing to assist us on this project,” Dixon said.
Bolt, assisted by former Reggae Boyz Ricardo ‘Bibi’ Gardner and Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison, as well as individuals from Food For the Poor, Remax, and other entities, applied the finishing touches to the house.
“I always try to help in any way that I can to give back,” Bolt said. “When I was approached by Food For the Poor and Remax to partner with them, I instantly volunteered and gave the donation. It feels good to assist Sean, based on the fact that he lost his home to a fire. This is a great opportunity for him to receive a new home that will provide shelter for him and his family.
“I am encouraging other individuals and corporations to come on board and partner in this initiative and help our fellow Jamaicans.”