Optimist Club Reaches Out To Disabled Community In St. Ann


Seventeen physically and mentally challenged children from the Mustard Seed community of Widow’s Mite, in Murray Mount, St. Ann, have benefited from the donation of a four-burner gas stove, valued at $25,000, for the preparation of their meals.
The stove, donated by the Optimist Club of Bamboo in the parish, was handed over on Tuesday (Sept. 16) to the institution.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, president of the club, Sharon Meredith, said the gift was acquired through contributions from business persons in and around the community, as well as fundraising efforts of the club.
She said members of the club visited the institution earlier this year and were “touched” to render some assistance, “and now we are so happy that with the help of some sponsors we are able to make this a reality”.
Noting that it was good to share with persons, who were less fortunate, president elect of the club, Ann-Marie Whitter, said the group would always be thinking of other ways to assist the institution “because our intention is to adopt you and help keep you happy”.
In her remarks, Widow’s Mite administrator, Jasmine McNeish, said she was happy for the gift, “because the community, which was established in 2001, started with almost nothing, and now we are improving”.
She added, that groups including, the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Ocho Rios Catholic Church, and Gift of Water from Florida, among others, had made generous contributions to the community.
Expressing thanks for the gift, Widow’s Mite assistant supervisor, Gwendolyn Howell, said if it had not been for friends like the optimists, “the lives of the less fortunate would have been miserable”.
Mustard Seed, founded in 1979 by Father Gregory Ramkissoon, seeks to uplift the most vulnerable members of society, especially handicapped and abandoned children, and marginalised communities, through the positive interaction of caring, sharing and training. The organisation, based in Kingston, is also committed to the fostering of homes and communities, which has led to the provision of loving service and mutual respect, bringing joy, hope and dignity to all whom it touches.
Some of the organisation’s accomplishments, include, the provision of a home on Mahoe Drive in Kingston, for 73 abandoned children who are physically and mentally handicapped. It also runs the Mary’s Child Home for teenage mothers, also in Kingston; utilizing banana bark to produce commercial greeting cards; making ceramic products, and hand-made re-cycling stationery, and providing training programmes for assistants in the field of caring for the disabled.

JIS Social