A charity organization is being formalized by a group of St. Ann people, who started out assisting persons who suffered fallout due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The intention is to ensure that the group continues its community outreach programmes after COVID-19.
“The group is currently being formalized and will be registered in the coming weeks to ensure we can continue these initiatives even after COVID-19. Heart of Love Foundation will become the official name of the group,” said Richardo Aiken, a leading group member who also works with the Caribbean Development Bank.
He further told The Beacon: “The pandemic has made us realize we can do so much more to help the people we see each day.”
Aiken said the group, which initially comprised only young men, had its first meeting in late March 2020 under the theme: ‘Me and Mi Bredda Dem Good’.
During the meeting, the volunteers created two intervention programmes. One is aimed at promoting social distancing through online entertainment, including a cooking competition. The other initiative facilitates the provision of hot meals and care packages to needy people.
Aiken explained: “Since April, the brothers decided to venture into the provision of hot meals for the mental health and homeless persons in the Brown’s Town community, as well as the provision of care packages for needy families across St. Ann.”
So far, 54 families, along with 46 mental health and homeless persons, have benefited.
Aiken told The Beacon that members of the group, who live both in Jamaica and overseas, source the necessary resources for the outreach programmes. GasPro also came on board to support the cooking competition that promotes social distancing, which is one means of minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Aiken said the group is now assembling a team of young volunteers to help prepare care packages and feed street people.
The group, which now involves female members, is yet to formally select an executive.
The current 18 group members are:
Richardo Aiken – Community Development Specialist, Caribbean Development Bank
Alfred Thomas – Principal, Brown’s Town High School
Peter Lawrence – Businessman in Atlanta Georgia
Junior Bennett – Maintenance Supervisor in New York
Dwayne Nash – Trucker in New York City
Calvin Poorman – Linesman, Jamaica Public Service
De’Rhone Campbell – Teacher, York Castle High School
Natoya Bennett – Personal Banking Representative, Bank of Nova Scotia
Levon Green – Small business operator in Brown’s Town
Glenda Graham – Human Resources Manager at Guardsman Limited
Esrick Johnson – Watchman at the Social Development Commission
Doren Watson – Teller, Sagicor Bank
Steven Spooner – Educator, Cayman Islands
Lenworth Houston – Security Guard, St. Ann’s Bay Hospital
Shamoui Glaves – Business owner in St. Ann
Conroy Campbell – Owner of 4 C’s Construction in Michigan
Glenford Nelson – Small business owner in St. Ann
Devrill Foreman – Chef in Miami Florida
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