Thu | Jun 17, 2021

Giving hope to others is the meaning of life

Published:Wednesday | June 13, 2012 | 12:00 AM
  • US missionary gives helping hand to family in need

HELLO MI neighbour! I expect to "pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer nor neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."

Indeed! Those words penned by William Penn aptly remind us of life's temporariness as we know it.

To live and leave without helping to lighten someones burden is to miss a great joy! A cup of water to quench a burning thirst, a hello to a lonely stranger or speaking a fitting word to a troubled mind is of greater value to humanity than the greatest accomplishment for personal consumption.

Another author once wrote: "the true meaning of life is to plant trees from which you do not expect to benefit." What could have motivated Missionary Joyce Lopez who resides in the USA to travel all the way to Jamaica just to meet the needs of strangers from whom she expects to receive nothing in return? Insanity? An insatiable desire for recognition? No, it's her grasp of the meaning of life and a strong desire to give hope to others.

A need which was published in this column a few weeks ago caught the attention of Missionary Lopez, a regular online reader of The Gleaner: Laurel's elderly mother had needs which, being unemployed, she was unable to meet. The missionary having contacted us and received contact details for Laurel, was satisfied that the situation needed her input and decided to take action.

Without asking for anyone's help, this pensioner spent thousands of dollars to travel to Jamaica to deliver toiletries, adult diapers, protein, vitamins, milk and other necessities for Laurel's mom. To complete her deeds of kindness before returning home, she chartered a taxi from Kingston to St Mary to donate supplies to the Belfield Basic School.

"Living that others might live," has been her watch word for many years. At almost 70 years old, she has no intention of retiring and will continue to travel to meet needs. And while she may have her own needs, she will never grow hungry "because the Lord keeps on multiplying my resources as I give to others". The saying is true that "thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, without the life of the candle being shortened..."

May you be inspired by Lopez's generosity to add meaning to your life by adding meaning to the lives of others, please see opportunities to help below.

As a closing note: The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

To help us, please call 334-8165, 884-3866, 299-3412 or deposit to acct # 351 044 276 NCB. (Bank routing #: JNCBJMKX) or send donations to Hello Neighbour C/o 53 Half Way Tree Road, Kingston 10; e-mail

Thanks for helping

1. Mrs Johnson, for food items.

2. Ms McNish, St Andrew, for walker.

3. Mrs Russell, for diapers.

4. Everybody's Pharmacy, Cross Roads, for acts of neighbourliness.

5. Doreen Grace, USA, for financial donation.

Opportunities to help

Dawn, St Catherine, unemployed single mother needs a stove.

Patricia, St Catherine, unemployed, needs a mattress.

Sandra, St Catherine, asking neighbours for a second hand blood pressure monitor.

Neighbour, St James, physically challenged, needs a stove.

Ms Henry, Clarendon, mother with son who is ill needs financial assistance to purchase medication for him.