Representatives of The Jamaica Beacon media entity travelled to three towns and distributed meals to 150 people, including the homeless, in observation of the organization’s third anniversary on Wednesday, 30 December 2020.
They served cooked meals, along with natural juices, in Ewarton town, followed by Linstead and Bog Walk – all in St. Catherine. People were also fed along the roadway between Ewarton and Linstead town centres.
“It was a pleasure assisting some of the most needy people with a meal that was well prepared and served with love. The beneficiaries were grateful for the initiative, which targeted mainly them, considering that they too have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Horace Mills, Founder of The Beacon.
He explained that the initial target was 100 people, but the number rose to reflect the true benevolence of sponsors.
Some volunteers were surprised by the relatively large number of people who converged especially in Linstead to partake of the meals, which included rice and peas, vegetables, and meats prepared in various ways.
Mills said the company will continue to give back annually to mark its anniversaries.
Basil Donaldson, who was among persons fed while they sat on a sidewalk in Ewarton, lauded the effort.
“The work that you doing is charity; it is a good thing to feed the people who hungry and in need. Anything that can help the poor is alright for me,” he said. “Mi feel good because some people don’t have anything to eat this day,” Donaldson further commented.
Another beneficiary, Natalie Hutchinson, who hangs out with a group of children at a shack near the bridge in the Vanity Fair area of Linstead, was a picture of joy while she and the children collected meals.
“Mi feel good,” Hutchinson told The Beacon while her children playfully moved about with food and drinks.
A similar sense of gratitude oozed from beneficiaries in Bog Walk town. “A good something oonu doing helping the people; may the Lord bless you all,” an elderly Noel Thompson said while collecting a meal.
Graciann Walker-Powell, along with other members of Linstead New Testament Church of God, volunteered in preparing and distributing the meals.
She opined that the gesture was an impressive way to observe The Beacon’s third anniversary and to also end the year 2020.
“It is a wonderful feeling [being a part of this initiative]; I can’t complain; it is refreshing,” Walker-Powell further said.
Shantel Welsh, who was not part of the church group, left her home at Pollyground district in Ewarton, St. Catherine, to assist with food distribution.
“I think everyone should volunteer,” said Welsh, an early childhood teacher and dining room attendant, who has been hard hit by restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, Mills expressed gratitude to people who have been supporting The Beacon over the years, adding that he is grateful to sponsors who made the anniversary event a success.
The sponsors were:
- Linval Taylor and his wife Menervah, who are both Jamaican natives living in the United States
- Member of Parliament for St. Catherine North West Hugh Graham
- Markland Williams who lives in the United States, but is a native of Ewarton district in St. Catherine
- People’s National Party candidate in Lluidas Vale Division Moneque Brown, and her sister Latonya Brown-Stanley
- Jamaica Labour Party candidate in Linstead Division, Clement Dehaney
- Jermaine Case, who is a Jamaican lawyer from Clarendon practicing in the British Virgin Islands
- Trudy Thomas, a Jamaican native who owns T&B Travel Agency in Georgia, United States
- Bullpus Entertainment
- Teika-Gay Comrie-Burrell, a teacher in Dubai who is from Jericho and Lluidas Vale districts in St. Catherine
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