A mother, who is struggling with two differently abled sons, has expressed gratitude for the monetary donations she has been getting, and the visits she has got from Government agencies since The Beacon first published her appeal for assistance on June 8.
Bernadette Baker, who lives with her sons at Williamsfield in St. Elizabeth, yesterday used a portion of the donations to purchase food items and diapers for her sons.
One of them is 16-year-old Travelle Vanriel, who is autistic. The other is 23-year-old Shanaldo Goodwin, who was diagnosed with scoliosis and is mentally challenged.
Since the mother made a public appeal for financial help, she has received donations amounting to at least JA$100,000, which is no longer immediately accessible to her – in the interest of security.
That amount is just a drop in the family’s proverbial bucket, but the mother is overwhelmed by the benevolence being shown by people in Jamaica and overseas.
“I feel great; it is the first I ever get such a response in anything at all,” she said. “I would like to tell everybody who donated thank you very much; may God continue to bless and keep you.”
The mother further told The Beacon that, since the story was published, representatives of different Government departments have visited her home.
They include personnel from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, along with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development.
The mother said Councillor for the Siloah Division in St. Elizabeth, Audie Myers, has been discussing her situation with some of the Government agencies.
She explained that Councillor Myers also previously assisted her in starting a chicken-rearing business, but that collapsed because customers paid up too late and she had to foot her sons’ needs.
To help off-set some future expenses, the mother is planning to use a portion of the donations to reopen her chicken coop. In fact, she intends to expand it to also facilitate egg-production.
“The business is not going to fail again, because I am going to try my best to keep it open this time,” the mother promised.
A nurse from St. Elizabeth, Beval Lewis Townsend, is willing to give the mom financial guidance – free of cost.
“The fact that her sons have to be undergoing continued medical care; that alone is a financially overwhelming issue,” said the nurse, who had brought the family’s enormous struggle to the attention of The Beacon.
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