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    Founder of the charity organisation, Acts of Grace Foundation, Amanda Fraser (left), speaks to children at the Sunshine Childcare Facility, in Spanish Town, St. Catharine. With her are Caregiver at the home, Alicia Blake (centre), and volunteer at Sunshine, Jovaughn Thompson.
    Photo: Dave Reid

    Story Highlights

    • The Acts of Grace Foundation, which was founded in 2015 by Clinical Psychologist, Amanda Fraser, is quietly tending to the needs of several disadvantaged persons across the island, while empowering vulnerable children.
    • Established by the Manchester native, along with a handful of persons, the Foundation assists persons who are beset by psychological and financial challenges, and is also now functioning as a major charitable group, with scores of young volunteers who are making a difference in the lives of those who rely on the support of others.
    • At the inception of the Foundation, Miss Fraser sought to utilise gifts that she received for her 26 birthday to ease the hardships faced by many around her, and carried out 26 acts of love to others.

    The Acts of Grace Foundation, which was founded in 2015 by Clinical Psychologist, Amanda Fraser, is quietly tending to the needs of several disadvantaged persons across the island, while empowering vulnerable children.

    Established by the Manchester native, along with a handful of persons, the Foundation assists persons who are beset by psychological and financial challenges, and is also now functioning as a major charitable group, with scores of young volunteers who are making a difference in the lives of those who rely on the support of others.

    At the inception of the Foundation, Miss Fraser sought to utilise gifts that she received for her 26 birthday to ease the hardships faced by many around her, and carried out 26 acts of love to others.

    Since then, every year before her February birth date, she spearheads charitable projects in keeping with the number of her age.

    Now in its fifth year of operation, the Foundation has directly touched the lives of some 7,000 persons across the island, through Mentorship; building of a house for an indigent person, at a cost of US$3,600; beach clean-up projects; blood donation drives; breast cancer awareness activities; and gifts and other support to children in State care.

    “For the last three years, this Foundation has been instrumental in changing the lives of the boys, and putting smiles on their faces,” says Director at the Mount Olivet Boys’ Home, in Manchester, Patrick Newman, in an interview with JIS News.

    Mr. Newman shares that the group organises regular treats for the residents at the Home, and provides the boys with back-to-school supplies.

    “The boys always look forward to them coming. People like these have not forgotten them. They are friends, they are partners, big sisters and big brothers to the boys at the Home. We are grateful, because very few boys have family visits, and they look forward to persons like Acts of Grace,” he adds.

    Miss Fraser tells JIS News that it is “very rewarding” to be able to visit children’s homes across the island, and other families, and “help someone who has no parents.”

    Founder of the charity organisation, Acts of Grace Foundation, Amanda Fraser (right), and Media Director at the group, Tiffany Grey (centre), interact with children at the Sunshine Childcare Facility, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.

     

    She says they do a lot of educational programmes to build the capacity of women to manage and coordinate their personal development.

    “We have a heavy focus on gender equality, and women empowerment. We are very big on solving poverty and hunger and health issues,” Miss Fraser adds.

    Going forward, the Foundation will no longer tie the number of projects to the age of its Founder, but focus on things that Miss Fraser says are “sustainable,” such as the building of houses for needy persons, and establishing income generating ventures for educational institutions.

    “We will do more mentorship programmes, sustainable green houses, a major fun day for the residents at Mount Olivet, more breast cancer awareness events, and other wellness initiatives, in conjunction with support groups,” Miss Fraser points out.

    She notes that they are on a drive to raise US$2,500 for a green house to be established at a school in Manchester.

    Describing her team of volunteers as “exceptional young people, who are excelling in all of their fields,” Miss Fraser says she has accomplished so much for others, and she feels “completely fulfilled.”

    “It’s a mission for me that will never end. No matter what I am doing, I will always give back to my country. I believe in service wholeheartedly, and I don’t think I will ever stop, once I have life,” she tells JIS News.

    For Custos of Manchester, Hon. Garfield Green, the group is doing a lot in the parish, which he says is “commendable.”

    “I will be supporting her from my office to reach the youth,” the Custos tells JIS News.

    For her part, Caregiver at the Spanish Town-based Sunshine Child Care Facility, Alicia Blake, says the institution is “appreciative” of the support that Acts of Grace has been providing.

    “It gives a warm feeling to the children, getting them very excited when they get acts of love from outside,” she says.

    Volunteer at the Facility, Jovaughn Thompson, says the support brings joy to the children. “I would encourage other visitors to look out for these children; it means a lot to them,” he tells JIS News.

    Volunteer with the Foundation, Kevario Bell, shares that participating in beautifying beaches and helping children with disabilities provide him with “some kind of peace.”

    Media Director at Acts of Grace, Tiffany Grey, tells JIS News that after returning from university overseas, she wanted to serve with a credible organisation that was predominantly staffed by youth, and the Foundation was ideal for her.

    Media Director at Acts of Grace Foundation, Tiffany Grey (left), interacts with a child at the Sunshine Childcare Facility, in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.

     

    “It was empowering for me, and it shows that you don’t have to be a 40-year-old with money to make an impact in Jamaica; you can be somebody in college, and still impact the country, and affect people’s lives in a major way,” Miss Grey says.

    The Acts of Grace Foundation can be reached at amandafraser@gmail.com, or at actsofgraceja@gmail.com, and on social media platforms.

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