Tue | Mar 28, 2023

Whose life will you touch today?

Published:Wednesday | February 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM
An unidentified donor hands over a stove accessory to a needy neighbour in response to the Hello Mi Neighbour appeal. - Contributed

Hi neighbour! We all account for our existence by adding value to the lives of others each day. How will you account for yours today? Whose life will you touch? Who will say thanks to you today, and what for?

I believe our daily plans and monthly/weekly budgets should include an item or two that address the needs of others. People tell me whenever they give for the benefit of others, it stretches their resources. Some even claim to have acquired more as a result of giving than from their years of working. Would be it reasonable, therefore, to assume that apart from prayer, giving to others opens doors and creates opportunities that no other human activity is capable of.

I was at a meeting last week where a businessman shared an experience. Unknown to his workers one Friday afternoon was that he had no money to pay them. However, for some reason, he was not perturbed. As a habitual giver, he felt he had the right to expect a miracle in this time of crisis.

Surely enough, there was a miracle approximately 12 minutes before pay time. As we listened nervously, he told of how, having prayed and waited for an outcome, a gentleman and his wife turned up with a request and an offer. They were on their way to the United States with a large sum and suddenly felt that they should take it to their friend of many years. They requested of him to keep the money for them and that he could use it for whatever pressing need he might have had. They were in no hurry to retrieve the funds and would check with him a few years later.

The workers were paid. When he explained to his friends what had just happened, the three agreed that it was no mere coincidence but the power of giving - supported by prayer.

Last Saturday evening, a group of former and present employees of the Jamaica Public Service Company converged at the City View Hotel on Mannings Hill Road in a very happy and nostalgic mood. The purpose was to touch the life of their former managing director, Derrick Dyer, on his birthday. This event, which was organised by former employees Collinnette Wilson-McDonald and Juliet Ramsingh, attracted many old friends and colleagues.

The power to influence

Some cancelled flights and other appointments as their opportunity cost to come and celebrate with Dyer. All attendees had one thing in common: They wanted the celebrant to know that even though out of the limelight, he was still under their spotlight. This experience will add years and pleasure to Mr D's life. That's the power of a neighbour's touch!

As you touch a life today, please bear in mind that many times the intangible far outweighs the tangible. A hug, a smile, a how-de-do can heal a wound or mend a soul. We never know what's happening in the mind of a neighbour. The world is full of disappointments and confusions. Whenever people are inflicted by either of these, the medicine of neighbourliness can make a world of difference.

Countless homicides and suicides could have been averted if there were more listening ears. Listening ears and fittingly spoken words are the hallmarks of neighbourliness and are affordable to the poorest among us. People are under stress. They blow fuses daily. You never know the impact of your positive input until you try.

Silton Townsend, author of Hello Mi Neighbour, is best known for his role as 'Maas Gussie' in the once-aired local sitcom, 'Lime Tree Lane'.

To help, please call 906-3167, 884-3866, 373-7745, 299-3412 or email neighbourtoo@yahoo.com and we will make the link. Those who desire to help us with our financial obligations may make deposits to account 351 044 276 at the National Commercial Bank (bank routing password: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour, c/o 53 Half-Way Tree Road, Kingston 10

Thanks to these neighbours

1. Sonia, St Andrew, for offering clothing and shoes for babies.

2. Antoinette, Kingston, for offering financial assistance to a mother whose child is crippled.

3. Ms Jacobs, for offering female clothing to her neighbour in need.

4. Peaches, St Catherine, for offering a stove to Vincent, St Catherine.

5. Mr Smith, St Andrew, for donating male shirts and cash through Hello Neighbour.

6. Pamella, St Catherine, for helping Patricia, single mother of four, who has difficulty caring for children.

7. Millicent, St Catherine, for giving a dry-cell battery to Mazie for her motorised wheelchair.

8. Sherline, USA, for offering to assist Melissa, St Ann, with a textbook for her course in nursing.

9. Ms Burrell, Kingston, for offering a bed with a brand new mattress to a needy neighbour.

10. Jasmine, St Catherine, for offering a wheelchair to a neighbour from St Mary, and adult diapers, clothing and a bed to a St Andrew neighbour.

Opportunities to help neighbours

1. Patricia, St Andrew, single mother of four whose husband has died, is asking for a sewing machine to help generate income.

2. Keisha, Clarendon, mother of two, is requesting help with food and clothing for children; father passed away; also seeking a home.

3. Tricia, St Catherine, involved in an accident in the Cayman Islands. She's currently unable to work. Furniture was shipped to Jamaica but unable to be cleared because of a lack of funds. She's asking neighbours to assist.

4. Shemeka, whose mother is ill and unable to send her to school, is requesting help with school expenses.

5. Marion, whose husband is sickly, needs help with sending her child to school; asking for a sewing machine.

6. Jasmine, practical nurse, is unable to get a job. She faces difficulty in caring for her children; would do crochet in the interim but cannot afford the thread and wool.

7. Neighbour asking for a table and chest of drawers.

8. Neighbour from the country who is partially blind, with one leg and one arm, needs help to visit the doctor, etc.