UK Jamaicans Bring Christmas Cheer to Hurricane Affected Children


Jamaicans in the United Kingdom will be bringing Christmas cheer to the thousands of children affected by Hurricane Ivan, through donations of toys and other gift items.
Last month, the UK Diaspora Advisory Board launched the ‘Shoe Box, Share Joy’ toy drive through which cash and several hundred shoeboxes filled with toys, gifts, toiletries and books were collected for the children.
Jamaicans from all over the UK responded to the appeal, including nationals from Preston, Leeds, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry and Northampton and Watford.
Paulette Simpson, Advisory Board representative, who came up with the idea, told JIS News that the response to the project has been tremendous. “In less than three weeks the Jamaican community has mobilised and have taken the appeal to heart. Individuals, businesses, community organizations and churches have all responded very positively to the project. It has been very successful,” she said adding that “we have already begun to think about a more widespread UK appeal in 2006.”
Last weekend, volunteers met at the Jamaican High Commission in London to sort and wrap the gifts to be sent to Jamaica. Another session of sorting and wrapping will take place this weekend.
The packages will be shipped free of cost by the national carrier Air Jamaica and channelled to the Office of National Reconstruction in Jamaica for distribution throughout the island. It expected that the gifts would be sent to Jamaica on December 2 to facilitate distribution in time for Christmas day.
Community Relations Officer for the Diaspora Board, Delores Cooper said the response to shoebox appeal showed the commitment and loyalty of Jamaicans for their homeland. She said in that addition to the support for this project and the Hurricane appeal, the Jamaican community continued to support many projects and charities in Jamaica.
In recent months, just under

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