The Gracious Givers organization, which operates out of Above Rocks in St. Catherine, has distributed more than 200 care packages to residents amid increased challenges caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The charity organization, which was registered on February 14 this year, is headed by sisters Camille Bicknell and Charmaine Bicknell, as well as their friend Nickolyz Legore.
Charmaine, who is President of the group, said the contents of the packages included soaps, and food items such as rice, flour, cooking oil, chicken, sardines, mackerel, and cornmeal.
“The recipients were very appreciative,” she told The Beacon.
“We wish we had enough resources and more people would come on board, so we could give those who didn’t receive a bag.”
Charmaine further explained that some 200 care packages were distributed on May 19, and another 35 on May 23.
The communities that benefited included Above Rocks proper, Industry, Highgate, Parks Road, Zion Hill, Big Hill, Barnette, Spring Field, Garden Valley, and Golden Valley.
“Gracious Givers decided to help our community when St. Catherine was under lock-down because of the increase in COVID-19 cases in the parish,” Charmaine said.
She added that the care packages were funded by the three operators of Gracious Givers, along with donors. A number of persons also volunteered to distribute the packages.
Meanwhile, Charmaine, who now lives at Brooklyn in the United States, has been a gracious giver long before the formulation of her organization.
She explained: “It was always a pleasure to have enough of anything to give back. I would pack barrels and boxes with all sort of toys and food, and come to Jamaica every Christmas. I would keep parties and treat for the kids. I have been doing that ever since my 21-year-old was 2.
“I also have some elders in the community of Above Rocks who I would give groceries every time I am home,” Charmaine further said.
Her organization also hosted two treats for children last year at St. Mary’s Basic School in Above Rocks. One of the treats took place in July and the other in December.
Charmaine, along with her sister and friend, eventually decided to register the charity organization, hoping that the registration will help in garnering more support to assist more people.
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