JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some 275 wheelchairs were handed over to persons at the New Testament Church of God in Montego Bay, St. James, on July 19.
  • The Errol Rattray Evangelistic Association, a local faith-based humanitarian organisation, as well as the charity group, Ja’ Mobility, out of California, United States, made the donation to families of amputees and bedridden patients.
  • “There are a lot of good people in this world who have no problem giving, once they recognise that there is a genuine need. Having seen the need here in this country I will do everything I can to assist even more people. That is my covenant to the people of this country,” he said.

Some 275 wheelchairs were handed over to persons at the New Testament Church of God in Montego Bay, St. James, on July 19.

The Errol Rattray Evangelistic Association, a local faith-based humanitarian organisation, as well as the charity group, Ja’ Mobility, out of California, United States, made the donation to families of amputees and bedridden patients.

Businessman Matt Andrews, a member of Ja’ Mobility, said the idea was born out of wanting to give something back in a meaningful way to people who are less fortunate, and Jamaica was chosen because of the personal connections some of his partners have with the Caribbean nation.

“I am a member of Ja’ Mobility, but as a businessman I also try to create a personal network where I can get donations from other business people right across the United States,” he explained.

“I personally made the trip, so I can record the handing over ceremony to take back to show that this is indeed a worthy cause,” Mr. Andrews said.

He pointed out that two containers, each with 550 wheelchairs, have so far been delivered this year in Jamaica, and they have been distributed in parishes across the island.

Persons who received wheelchairs on July 19 were from Montego Bay, Negril, Savanna-la-Mar, Hanover, and other neighbouring western communities.

He noted that earlier this year, wheelchairs were handed out to persons in Kingston, St. Mary, and Portland.

 

Mr. Andrews said he has seen at first hand the need for the wheelchairs and that he will be going back to the United States to double his efforts in securing even more donations.

“There are a lot of good people in this world who have no problem giving, once they recognise that there is a genuine need. Having seen the need here in this country I will do everything I can to assist even more people. That is my covenant to the people of this country,” he said.

Dr. Tony Angelo, a Clinical Psychologist from  Southern California and a founding member of Ja’ Mobility, said his organisation has affiliated itself with Free Wheelchair Mission, a prominent United States-based charity group, which has provided most of the assistance in sourcing the wheelchairs.

He noted that his organisation has handed out just over 6,000 wheelchairs here in Jamaica over five years.

Dr. Angelo has high praises for Evangelist Errol Rattray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Errol Rattray Evangelistic Association, who has done an outstanding job in ensuring that the distribution of the wheelchairs is done in a transparent and efficient manner.

For his part, Mr. Rattray said he is grateful to the Government for the waiving of customs fees and that his organisation is proud to be partnering with the overseas-based charity groups to assist persons in Jamaica.