JIS News

The Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) in Toronto has donated C$11,000 to the Haitian relief efforts.
President of the Association, Miss Audrey Campbell, presented a cheque to the Haitian Honorary Consul General, Dr. Eric Pierre, at a handing over ceremony on Thursday (February 11).
The funds were realized from a concert, “Hands Across Haiti”, held at the JCA Centre on January 29 and attended by more than 500 persons. All the performers contributed their time free of charge.
Dr. Pierre, in thanking the JCA, noted that there was so much love, warmth and empathy, coming from the members of the organisation.
“The JCA is a pillar in the community, to see how they can reach out to so many artistes and put together this successful event. I can only say such a big thank you to all the Jamaicans, all the West Indians, who have been part of this big event,” said Dr. Pierre.
Jamaica’s Consul General in Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan, said that the JCA stood out from the many Jamaican organisations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
“I want to express, from the depths of my heart, a deep appreciation to the JCA and its leadership for taking that bold decision to challenge themselves to do something that seemed almost impossible at first – to bring together Jamaicans across the community to come out in support of raising funds in aid of Haiti,” said Mr. Ramocan.
The Consul General also lauded the performers for giving of their talent free of cost, the businesses which contributed and the members of the audience who turned out in their numbers.
“We are appreciative of the many persons who responded in such a short time. It speaks to the heart of the Jamaican person. We are such a warm and loving and friendly people, and that warmth and that love and that friendliness is not only in Jamaica, it goes with Jamaicans wherever they go and, here in Toronto, that spirit reigns,” he added.
“People don’t have to help you; they don’t have to do anything for you. So, you really have to show sincere appreciation when people step forward and assist in the way that you have,” Miss Campbell said as she thanked the community for their support, as well.
Speaking to JIS News, she said that Jamaicans always come to the aid of others, and this was not the first time that the JCA has assisted Haiti.
“When Haiti suffered a hurricane in 2008, we ended up with two U-Hauls filled with donations that we got to them. No matter what it is, Jamaicans always rally around, because we have a giving, caring spirit; that is our people, that is our foundation and that is our heart,” she remarked.
One of the MCs at the “Hands Across Haiti” concert was Jamaican-born comedian and actress, Marcia Brown, who said she felt proud to be one of the participants.
“The warmth in the centre that night was amazing. Everybody came out in a spirit of love and kindness that night,” she said.
A JCA stalwart, Raphaelita Walker, stated that she was very proud of her organisation.
“It just shows that we can all come together when it comes to a crisis. This money for Haiti is just a tip in the bucket. This is an ongoing thing, because it’s not the money that goes now that will build Haiti, it’s going to take a good while and I hope we can do something else to get some more money,” she suggested.
Jamaican-born singer, Michael Thompson, who goes by the stage name, Visionary, wrote a special song for Haiti called “Lifeline,” which has been recorded by a number of musicians, with proceeds going to Haiti relief.