Jamaicans in South Florida Make Donations to St. Mary Boys’ Home


Two donations totalling US$5,400 were recently presented to the Swift Purcell Boys’ Home in Highgate, St. Mary, by the Jamaican Diaspora in South Florida.
Consul General to the Southeast USA, Ricardo Allicock recently toured the facility and made the presentation on behalf of the South Florida community. One cheque for US$4,000 was donated by members of the Jamaica/United States Chamber of Commerce in South Florida while the cheque for US$1,400 came by way of funds collected from the congregation at the annual Jamaica Independence Service held in Fort Lauderdale in August. This will aid in routine administrative details at the institution, according to Superintendent of the Home, Donald Stewart.
The contribution from the JA/USA Chamber of Commerce was two-fold, as US$1,000 will go towards a scholarship fund set up at the institution while the remaining US$3,000 will assist with repairs and the refurbishing of the home, which sustained minor damage as a result of Hurricane Ivan.
Eighteen year old, Josiah Wilson, resident of the orphanage since the age of four, is the first beneficiary of the scholarship programme. He is currently pursuing an Associate Degree in Natural Science at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education in Portland.
Mr. Stewart expressed appreciation on behalf of the staff and residents of Swift Purcell and indicated that the young men were encouraged by the support of the Jamaican communities abroad.
The institution has been home to boys ranging from six to 18 years, since 1919. Some 48 boys are now resident at the facility. While they maintained high standards of discipline in their daily lives at home and school, Mr. Stewart pointed out, the boys were encouraged to participate in various activities to expose them to conditions of family life while they resided at the institution.
Last year, Swift Purcell was also the beneficiary of the funds collected through the annual Jamaica Independence Service in Miami. Support and assistance also come from several counsellors and volunteers from the community, who provide emotional guidance for the boys.
Some of the residents are also enrolled at several schools in the area, including Clonmel Junior and High, and St. Mary Technical, and at the HEART Trust/NTA Centre. Others are pursuing vocational careers in farming and auto mechanics as well as domestic skills. Swift Purcell is also funded by government subsidies, as well as financial assistance from local corporations and other overseas communities.

JIS Social