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Mt St Joseph reaches out to less fortunate in spite of fire

Published:Saturday | March 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM
De'Jalee and Ajhae Humber pose for the camera with the C Watch fire team, which responded to the fire at their school last month.
Mount St Joseph students De'Jalee Thompson (left) and Ajhae Humber get a big hug from Elsa Smith, acting superintendent of police.- PHOTOS BY DAVE LINDO
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MANDEVILLE, Manchester:STUDENTS OF Mount St Joseph Preparatory School in Manchester, despite the unfortunate ordeal experienced last month when a section of the school was razed by fire, somehow still managed to reach out to others by staging an Act of Random Kindness Week during this past week.

It was an exercise that was being staged for the second year at the school and involved the students giving items to the less fortunate and gifts of appreciation to groups from various sectors of the Mandeville community.

Lisa Lewis, guidance councillor and coordinator of the project, explained: "This exercise is for the children to know the importance of doing kind deeds and to see the impact that they can have."

Activities for the week included handing out food and toiletries to the homeless on Monday.

On Tuesday, students from the school visited the Mandeville Regional Hospital, where they made cards and gave gifts to people on the paediatric and postnatal wards.

Treats for passers-by

On Wednesday, they handed out chocolate and coffee packets to people passing by the school, which is located on Manchester Road.

Thursday, they visited the Mandeville Police Station, where they presented a cake and a letter of appreciation to the police.

Elsa Smith, assistant superintendent of police, was deeply moved by the gesture when she was presented with the letter of appreciation by grade-three students Ajae Humber and De'Jalee Thompson.

"We really appreciate this gesture, which shows that in spite of the challenges that the school is facing as a result of the recent fire, you still find it within yourselves to show this act of kindness," Smith said before giving the children a big hug.

Smith added: "Sometimes we get carried away with material things and don't pay attention to the human side of things. No matter how brilliant students are academically, it's just as important to teach them the importance of social skills. We need to love each other and be our brother's keeper."

The group then went to the Mandeville Fire Department where it was like a family reunion as the team that responded to the fire at the school, known as 'C Watch', was on duty at the time of the visit.

The students presented the firefighters with a cake, cards, and a letter of appreciation.

Emrick Needham, acting deputy superintendent, was pleased with the presentation made by the school. "We appreciate this kind gesture. It will certainly boost the morale of the team, which at times comes under extreme pressure," Needham said.

The firefighters, Lewis, and the students chatted away as if they had known each other for years, making the occasion a real family affair.

- D. L.

rural@gleanerjm.com