• Feature
    Courtney Greaves (left), hands a warm meal to Layman Thompson in downtown Kingston on March 16.
    Photo: Chad Bryan

    Story Highlights

    • Most children look forward to celebrating their birthdays and being showered with lavish parties and gifts.
    • But for Courtney Greaves, who turned eight on March 14, she wanted to mark the occasion by giving back to the less fortunate.
    • Courtney, who attends Jesse Ripoll Primary School on South Camp Road in Kingston, tells JIS News that she was led by “the voice of God” to feed children and the homeless.

    Most children look forward to celebrating their birthdays and being showered with lavish parties and gifts.

    But for Courtney Greaves, who turned eight on March 14, she wanted to mark the occasion by giving back to the less fortunate.

    Courtney, who attends Jesse Ripoll Primary School on South Camp Road in Kingston, tells JIS News that she was led by “the voice of God” to feed children and the homeless.

    “These people are in need of somebody to care for them. Some of them are hungry and have nothing to eat,” she says.

    Courtney would later approach her mother, Tanya Lowden Greaves, with the idea, but was not immediately taken seriously.

    However, Courtney was earnest, and returned to her mother days later with her plan to feed children at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home and Glenhope Place of Safety, and homeless persons along King Street and its environs, Half-Way Tree and Cross Roads.

    After celebrating a quiet birthday, Courtney, her mother, a few relatives and friends set out on March 16 and 17 to feed the homeless and wards of the State serving a meal of rice, chicken, curried mutton and an assortment of vegetables.

    “I spent well over $10,000. Courtney and I went to downtown (Kingston) and we got all that we needed,” Mrs. Lowden Greaves tells JIS News.

    She says that her daughter has always had a yearning to serve and help people.

    “I think there is a natural spirit growing within her that will take her to the level that she needs to be.

    “She keeps saying to me that ‘it is not what you get; it’s what you give back’. Service to people and children are important to her,” she notes.

    Mrs. Lowden Greaves says she is proud of her daughter’s sense of philanthropy and commitment to such a worthy cause.

    She stands as proof that one is never too young to make a difference.

    Outside of Courtney’s goodwill, the eight-year-old has won a number of accolades from participation in various Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) activities.

    In 2017, she was a gold medallist for Kingston and St. Andrew in the JCDC National Speech Competition.