Hundreds of children from several Children’s Homes throughout Kingston and across several rural communities will be given holiday treats as volunteers from the South Florida Diaspora visit some institutions across the island during next week.
In Kingston, large shipments of toys, food and clothing totaling nearly $8,000 (US) will be distributed by volunteers from both the Clint O’Neil Needy Kids Association and Caribbean Music Festival associations, two South Florida based organizations, at a special Christmas Treat to be held at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall.
Hundreds of children will be bussed from several Children Homes including the St. Andrew Girls’, Alpha Boys’, Musgrave Girls’, Glenhope, Maxfield Park among others, to the annual event, where they will be feted to an evening of fun and games and party treats sharing the holiday spirit.
Each child will receive a specially wrapped gift of toys and clothing, “a delight of every child at Christmas time” according to Ms. Elgeta Thompson-Martin, President of the Clinton Needy Kids association. The annual treat was now in its 26th year, and her team looked forward to sharing the holiday joy with children of lesser fortunate circumstances, she added.
Each year the proceeds from the annual Grand Independence Ball hosted by the Needy Kids Association, are used for purchasing items for the holiday treat, according to Mrs. Thompson-Martin. She expressed appreciation to the Jamaican-based corporations for their assistance annually. Those included Air Jamaica Limited, Victoria Mutual Building Society, the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and the Ministry of Health-Department of Children’s Services.
Simultaneously, several children from three homes in the rural communities will also be feted at similar holiday treats hosted by a volunteers of the Holy Sacrament Episcopal Church in Pembroke Pines, South Florida.
Residents of the Clifton Boys’ Home in Darliston, Westmoreland; the St. Monica’s Children’s Home in Chapleton, Clarendon and Granville Children’s Home in Falmouth, will receive gifts and holiday treats from the Church’s mission team – Friends Reaching Friends, led by Deacon Stafford Lue during visits to those three institutions.
Holiday packages to the annual three-day fellowship and treat, now in its 18th year, were donated by parishioners of the Holy Sacrament.