Three rural child care facilities are the beneficiaries of gifts this year from the New York based Jamaican charity, Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc., which traveled to Jamaica recently as part of its annual visit in observance of Child Month. COJO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in New York, whose mission is to help improve the health, education and general well being of underprivileged children.
The delegation which was on island for one week was led by Chairman and Founder Gary M. Williams. The group made presentations of computers, televisions, kitchen and other appliances, shoes and school supplies valued at US$15,000 to this year’s selected institutions: Muirton Boys Home in Portland, Windsor Lodge Children’s Home in Manchester and Windsor Girls Home in St. Ann.
The 33-year-old Muirton Child Care Facility located in Manchioneal, Portland received five computers, a dryer, a deep freeze, a commercial stove and several pairs of sneakers donated by PUMA. The Salvation Army run Windsor Lodge Children’s Home in Williamsfield, Manchester received five computers, a 47” flat-screen television, one double-door refrigerator with ice maker, backpacks, and dozens of PUMA sneakers.
The Windsor Girls Home in St. Ann was the recipient of several items, including five computers, an industrial blender, a refrigerator, a 36” volcanic gas stove, a washing machine and dryer, courtesy of COJO and its partner the Sandals Foundation.
Over the past decade, the volunteer-driven organization has supported a number of institutions in Jamaica as well as the United States. Among them, the Alpha Boys’ Home, Glenhope Place of Safety, Marigold Child Care Centre, City of Refuge, St. Augustine Place of Safety for Boys, Manning’s Boys’ Home, Summerfield Boys Home and the Musgrave Girls’ Home in Jamaica; and in New York, the Jamaica, Queens YMCA and Leaf of Life.
Chairman of COJO Gary Williams said that over the last few years the organization has moved beyond assisting corporate area institutions as there is a great need to support these facilities, which are often overlooked. Air Jamaica, Appliance Traders Limited, Jamaica Pegasus, Sandals Foundation, Transcontinental Express Shippers, and PUMA supported this year’s outreach project. The visit is made possible from proceeds raised from COJO’s Annual Scholarship Gala held the first Saturday in December each year in New York City.