Community focus | Beecher Town group, based mainly abroad, giving back for 10 years

The Leadership Team (clock-wise): Errol Wright (Secretary), Aileen Ranger Robb, Sidney Brown (Treasurer), Mornice Miller, Norman Brown, Blanche Cummings, Audley Codner, and Anthony Codner. In the centre is the president, Fay Grocia

An organization founded 10 years ago has etched its benevolence in the minds of people in and around the rural community of Beecher Town, nestled in the hills near Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

Ta-Jera Love, a high school graduate who is now contemplating university, is among several young people who have benefited from the Beecher Town Give Back Association (BTGBA).

The group, which comprises Beecher Town natives living mainly abroad, provided Love with full scholarships for the five years she was enrolled at Ocho Rios High School.

The assistance was paramount, especially considering that Love is from a single-parent household.

“It was my mommy alone, and so the scholarship was really significant. It really helped me a lot,” Love told The Beacon.

Another scholarship beneficiary, Craig Thomas, who lives at Hinds Town – beside Beecher Town, is a recent graduate of Beecher Town Primary School. He is now in Grade Seven at the prestigious York Castle High School. “The group gives me money and helps me out for school and other things,” Thomas noted.

President of the BTGBA, Fay Grocia, explained that the charity organization, which is registered in the United States, so far provided 11 scholarships to students in and around Beecher Town.

It also sponsors the school-feeding programmes at Beecher Town Basic School and Hinds Town Basic School.

Furthermore, BTGBA gives funeral grants, and hosts an annual Christmas treat – along with other community outreach initiatives.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, the organization, last month, distributed care packages to 200 people in and around Beecher Town.

Its president told The Beacon: “We have hosted biennial give-back events since 2011 – which provide residents with dental and healthcare. We recently erected an ‘Entering Beecher Town’ sign, which we hope will prove to the residents that they are special to us – and also an attempt to encourage them to be proud of their hometown, Beecher Town.”

The association, which uses technology to connect with its membership in different countries, was founded in a ‘simple way,’ said Norman Brown, a board member in Jamaica.

He further explained that, about 10 years ago, some Beecher Town residents mulled the formation of a group that is committed to community development, especially in the areas of education and healthcare.

“They formed the group with all those people overseas and call it the Beecher Town Give Back Association,” Brown added.

Since its inception, the group has been living the true meaning of its name. It has been giving back.

“This is a community that nurtured and molded us into the men and women that we are today,” said Grocia, who lives in the United States.

Other members of the leadership team are: Errol Wright (Secretary), Sidney Brown (Treasurer), Blanche Cummings, Audley Codner, and Anthony Codner. Mornice Miller and Aileen Ranger Robb are former board members.

The president said the association is funded through monthly dues from each member, as well as donations from well-wishers – including Microsoft, which contributes through its benevity programme.

The donations, from all indications, have been trickling down to Beecher Town residents. A number of them expressed hope that the group will continue its goodwill and will get even stronger in the years ahead.

ALSO READ: Group marks 10 years – gives food packages to 200 people in St. Ann


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