The YB Afraid Foundation established by world sprinter, Yohan Blake, has joined with the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in adopting the Mount Olivet Boys' Home in Walderston, Manchester.
This partnership resulted in a day of excitement and gifts for the residents of the Home on Saturday, December 17, as the JIS Management and Staff and the YB Afraid Foundation were accompanied by other sponsors, as they hosted a Christmas Dinner and Awards ceremony, in association with the staff of the Home.
The 30 residents received attractive donations of sneakers, slippers and windbreakers from Adidas, through the YB Afraid Foundation. The ecstatic boys were appreciative of their gifts, and Director of the Mount Olivet Boys' Home, Ms. Sonia Lowe, shared with JIS News how exciting the event was for them.
"The gifts were amazing (especially because) we were very limited in terms of funds. The boys had a fantastic time. They loved meeting Yohan Blake and can’t wait for the training camp,” she said, making reference to the promise made by Coach Glen Mills to host the boys at the Racers Track Club.
“They enjoyed spending time with their mentors from the JIS too," she added. The JIS is celebrating two years since its adoption of the Home in December 2009, and the agency looks forward to continue working along with corporate Jamaica and the YB Afraid Foundation towards the development of the boys and by extension their future.
Chief Executive Officer of the JIS, Mrs. Donna-Marie Rowe, in her address at the Awards Ceremony, expressed the agency’s appreciation to the 28 sponsors of the JIS outreach project and spoke of the staff members’ enthusiasm to serve the boys of Mount Olivet.
“As an agent of change, this is very special for us at the JIS, as we celebrate our decision to give back to the community and positively impact the lives of the boys.
Our desire in 2009 was to invest in the boys today as they will become the men of our society tomorrow. And we are proud of our association over the period with the Mount Olivet Boys' Home," she said.
"Additionally, the support of our sponsors has made our adoption of the Home more meaningful as the resources are pooled together to provide for their needs,” Mrs. Rowe added. The JIS also has a mentorship programme with the Home and visits quarterly to fulfil this obligation.
This is the first charity to be supported by the YB Afraid Foundation and Executive Director, Mrs. Melisa McIntosh, told JIS News about the decision to choose the Mount Olivet Home, and the impact that the day’s activities made on the members of the Foundation.
"Based on the already established relationship between our Chairman, Timothy Spencer (Director of Joseph Holdings Ltd.) and Mount Olivet (through the JIS), we have chosen to support this Boys’ Home and we are so excited to be a part of this great venture," Ms. McIntosh noted.
"Saturday, December 17 was our first substantial donation to the Home and because of Yohan’s amazing sponsors such as Adidas, Wisynco, Key Motors and Josephs, we were able to provide the Home and the boys with gifts that we feel will make a difference in their lives. We feel honoured and humbled to be able contribute to such a great cause and we look forward to future endeavours with Mount Olivet and other organisations such as this," she added.
The JIS took the opportunity on its second anniversary to hand over Certificates of Appreciation to the sponsors, who have been donating gifts, back to school items, toiletries and other well needed supplies since 2009. They included Joseph's, Edge Chem Jamaica Limited, Ping's Distributors Limited, Palace Amusement Company Limited, Sangster's Book Stores Limited, Coldfield Manufacturing Limited, and the Jamaica Urban Transit Company.