Special Treat for Girls in State Care

Photo: Contributed: Owner of Shades of Elegance and Bella Day Spa beauty salons in Old Harbour, St. Catherine; and Kingston, respectively, Treacha Reid-McCalla (right), puts the finishing touch to the hair of a ward of the State. Mrs. Reid-McCalla gave the girls and their caregivers an early Christmas treat when she and members of her team visited Yadel Girls’ Home in Old Harbour and the Mustard Seed Communities-run Mary's Child to treat them, recently.

Story Highlights

  • Owner and Operator of Bella Day Spa in Kingston and Shades of Elegance in Old Harbour, Treacha Reid-McCalla, along with 13 members of her team, took time out to pamper the girls
  • Twenty-eight girls from Mary’s Child had their hair either permed or braided. They were also treated to a manicure, pedicure and body massage.
  • The girls and their caregivers at both facilities were also presented with tokens such as clothing, feminine products, care packages and baby formula and diapers for those at Mary’s Child.

Christmas came early for more than 50 wards of the State and their caregivers at the Mustard Seed Communities-run Mary’s Child facility in Kingston and Yadel Home for Girls in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.

Owner and Operator of Bella Day Spa in Kingston and Shades of Elegance in Old Harbour, Treacha Reid-McCalla, along with 13 members of her team, took time out to pamper the girls on December 6 and 13, respectively.

Mrs. Reid-McCalla tells JIS News that she always had a burning desire to give back to society. “As a corporate citizen, where beauty is our business, it is only fitting that some of the most vulnerable are the beneficiaries of what we give back to society,” she says.

She points out that more than $400,000 was spent to coordinate the events at both facilities.

Mrs. Reid-McCalla says she has always involved herself in corporate social responsibility activities over the years, so after consultation with the Child Development Agency (CDA), it was agreed to extend this initiative to State-care facilities. “This initiative is about bringing Christmas early to girls in State care,” she adds.

The girls at Mary’s Child are underage mothers.  “We took into consideration that having a baby limits the time mothers have to take care of themselves as they would normally do, and it is even more so with teenage mothers, because the focus is on taking care of the child.  So, we took the babies from the mothers and then pampered them,” Mrs. Reid-McCalla said.

“We want them to feel that they are still women and that they can still look beautiful despite the fact that they have a baby,” she explains.

Twenty-eight girls from Mary’s Child had their hair either permed or braided.  They were also treated to a manicure, pedicure and body massage.

According to Mrs. Reid-McCalla, the girls looked beautiful and fresh after the beauty treatment.

At Yadel, the 22 wards aged 14 and over experienced the same beauty treatment as those at Mary’s Child. This home was established in 2001 as a safe haven for girls 10 to 18 years of age.

The girls and their caregivers at both facilities were also presented with tokens such as clothing, feminine products, care packages and baby formula and diapers for those at Mary’s Child.  The activities also included meals and entertainment, in which the girls participated.

“It was a remarkable experience for us and the wards. They wanted to know when we are coming back and the House Mothers were so elated,” Mrs. Reid-McCalla tells JIS News.

Lydia Brown, a ward at Yadel, who had her hair braided, tells JIS News that she feels extra special.  “Because it is Christmas time, this is really a wonderful gift, so I am very appreciative of what Mrs. Reid-McCalla and her team did for us,” she says.

Meanwhile, caregiver at Yadel, Yvonne Daley, notes that all the girls were excited about being treated special. “It just warms my heart when I see the girls so excited and looking so beautiful,” she adds.

Public Relations and Communications Manager at the CDA, Rochelle Dixon, says the agency is very grateful to Shades of Elegance and Bella Day Spa for making the girls feel loved and special.

She tells JIS News  that one of the challenges that the CDA faces with children in State care is that “we would want to be able to provide them with beauty services that they need, especially if the hair is chemically treated, which will require maintenance”.

“So, with Mrs. Reid-McCalla agreeing to come on board, we are elated,” Miss Dixon adds.

According to Mrs. Reid-McCalla, everybody needs to feel special, and this is something that, as a corporate citizen, she sees as part of her responsibility.

“What we are hoping to do is to extend the programme throughout the year, where we visit the homes every three months.  We’re appealing to other sponsors to come on board and provide us with products, and we will provide the time,” she says.

“Once you start giving, then you just want to keep on giving. So try and touch someone, especially this holiday season, and extend the giving spirit throughout your life,” she encourages.

Meanwhile, Miss Dixon says the aim is to extend the programme to the boys’ homes. “We want to be able to go into these facilities every quarter to ensure that wards of the State are exposed to the same experiences as children outside of State care,” she adds.

She expresses gratitude to the sponsors who supported the initiative and commended those who have committed to forging future partnerships.

Sponsors included Lifespan Water, Irie Rock, Springvale, Everybody’s Pharmacy, Kelly Spence, Beauty Concepts Limited and Kayd’s Farms.

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