It took a while for Kimberlee Townsend to believe that she had won a million dollars. When the Longville Park resident was first contacted by a representative of GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) with the good news, she was wary. “I had been contacted once already by somebody claiming I had won a car, so when I got this call, I thought it was somebody trying a thing.”
Townsend, a regular remittance receiver frequently collects money from her sister in the USA to help take care of her niece who is in high school. “I probably go to GKMS/Western Union about three times per month,” she shared.
GKMS/Western Union understands the environment in which it operates and as a result provides promotion winners with relevant details in order to validate their authenticity. Townsend was very thorough during the initial validation process. It took a visit to the GKMS offices to sign papers, and a talk-radio interview tour, for it to finally sink in that indeed she was a winner. “At first, I didn’t tell my family and then when I did, they didn’t believe me and said that I loved to tell too many jokes. But now they believe me,” she laughed.
Townsend became the first winner in the GKMS 30th Anniversary promotion “Connect and Collect” after collecting a money transfer at DL Financial Services in Pavilion, St. Andrew. She went back to the location on Sunday to collect her ceremonial cheque from Kemar “Ding Dong” Ottey, while other customers looked on vowing that they too would be the next winners.
The promotion started in December 2020 and will end in February 2021, with two more winners to be selected. All transactions, whether sending or receiving, including via Direct to Bank, are automatically entered for a chance to win. The prize money will be deposited directly to a First Global Bank (FGB) account, if the winner does not have a First Global Bank account, GKMS will work with e FGB to open the bank account.
“We are so pleased to partner with GKMS on this promotion, as we continue to drive financial inclusion and work to position ourselves as the preferred bank for the underbanked” said Mariame McIntosh Robinson, President and CEO, First Global Bank. “Last year we partnered with GKMS to open more than 7,000 accounts for persons who were receiving GOJ CARE packages through GKMS, and we will continue to look for opportunities to allow money transfer customers to do more with their funds,” she added.
Meanwhile, GKMS’ Chief Operating Officer, Margaret Campbell said the prize money was significant not just because of the milestone anniversary, but that it had the ability to help and connect families. “One million dollars can do so much for a family, especially one that depends on remittances to help make ends meet. And we hope that each winner, will use the money as a stepping stone to do even more, not just for themselves but their loved ones as well.”
Townsend is already on board with this advice, as she plans to use the money to help her family. “This money is not for me. It’s for my family. I have a niece who is going to Teacher’s College and another niece who wants to do nursing, and I see where this money can really help them.”
GKMS is celebrating thirty years of being the sole agent of Western Union Money Transfer services in Jamaica.