Many people might already assume that living conditions in some Jamaican orphanages are no bed of roses. Yet, what many might not know is that sometimes, there are no real beds at all.
In 2006, Plantation resident Alex Azan visited an orphanage in Falmouth, Jamaica during a mission trip with a South Florida based church. He witnessed firsthand the shelter’s deplorable bedding conditions. Eight years later Azan, along with his parents and younger brother, have started an organization – “For Jamaica” – dedicated to improving the bedding conditions of orphanages and shelters across the island nation.
For Jamaica will hold its eighth annual fundraiser Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Plantation beginning at 6 p.m. Guests can expect a full dinner by Broward-based Jerk Machine, a cash bar sponsored by Miami Club Rum, and the sounds of a variety of musical acts, including Willie Stewart and Friends, during the event. All proceeds will benefit the purchase of new mattresses, bed frames, pillows and sheets.
“Our mission continues to be to personally visit and asses the bedding conditions of each and every orphanage, shelter and place of safety for children listed by Jamaica’s Child Development Agency,” said For Jamaica founder Stephanie Azan.
To date, 19 orphanages/shelters/places of safety have been served, 319 new bunks/beds have been assembled and 904 mattresses have been delivered. Beginning with facilities on the country’s western side, For Jamaica plans to move eastward, first focusing on shelters in rural communities.
“These items provide a little piece of dignity in little lives filled with daily indignities,” she added.
Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at www.forjamaica.org. Attire is casual. Other generous supporters of the eighth annual event include Grace Kennedy, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Seafreight Agencies and Victoria Mutual Building Society.
For Jamaica Inc. (501C3) was founded in 2006 by the Azan family to improve the bedding conditions of orphanages and shelters in Jamaica. Its mission is to provide new mattresses, bed frames, pillows and sheets. With support and donations from local businesses on the island including BOSS Furniture, Stuart Joinery, SNH Worldwide Trading and Super Plus Trucking, the Azan family coordinates a team of volunteers along with the drivers and craftsmen to personally assemble and deliver beds and mattresses to each and every possible orphanage location across the country.
For more information about For Jamaica and its annual fundraiser event, please visit www.forjamaica.org.