COMMUNITY FOCUS: St Ann charity group to out-live its COVID purpose

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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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