Saturday 17 August, 2019

100 students feted by Ferry Police, IGL Foundation for back-to-school

In anticipation of back-to-school, the Ferry Police Station - backed by sponsorship from the IGL Ignite Foundation and several corporate partners - feted over 100 children from the Ferry community, and presented them with school supplies for the upcoming academic year.

The inaugural back-to-school treat was conceptualized by Woman Corporal Alicia Henry, who, while shopping for her four children, was alarmed at the high costs for supplies and wanted to find a solution for those who might need the assistance.

“I have a steady job and I get assistance with my kids, but when I realized my shopping total was near $200,000, my heart went out to those who are not able to afford it. I thought – what if someone out there doesn’t have a job? How will they be able to afford to prepare their children for school, and how can I help?”

As she thought about the answers to her questions, Woman Corporal Henry saw an opportunity for the Ferry police to connect with the residents, and in doing so, she could assist the students in the community, and ease some of the burden on the parents.

She pitched the idea to her superiors, they responded with commendations, and assisted in rallying the staff members behind the cause. With sponsorships from companies in and around the Ferry Police Station, she was able to purchase backpacks, textbooks, notebooks, and stationery; while adding bounce-about, merry-go-round, music and refreshments to create the perfect event to end the summer on a high note.

On Saturday, August 26, the joyous screams and excited laughter of the children pierced the air at the grounds beside the Ferry police station, as the Treat got in full swing. From toddlers to high school students, to parents and grandparents, the activities kept everyone duly entertained.

Woman Corporal Henry who was assigned to the Ferry Police Station in March this year said she was thankful for the support. “I’m elated to have received so much support from my colleagues, sponsors and the community. This is a first time event, and I was optimistic about getting the best done, but I’m overjoyed to see that everyone worked together to make this a big success,” she said.

Ferry Police back-to-school treat

Wayne Kirkpatrick, General Manager, IGL Ltd. said IGL has operated an office and plant adjacent to the Ferry Police Station since 1997 when the company took over the operations of Jamaica Oxygen & Acetylene. He noted that the IGL Ignite Foundation is committed to supporting its neighbouring communities by fostering programmes that improve the educational, social, spiritual and economic welfare of students.

Kirkpatrick shared, “We decided to support this initiative as we saw the opportunity to assist these parents with a tangible reminder that we believe in education, and believe in nurturing the next generation to foster growth and development in the community and by extension Jamaica.” He added, “We want to see these children grow to become productive members of the society, and this is just one step forward in guiding them towards that path.”

With over a dozen IGL volunteers on location at the event, Annakaye Tucker, Trade Marketing Manager, IGL Ltd. said she was pleased with the turnout.

“Our volunteers are humbled to be able to give of themselves in the community. We feel good knowing we can add some happiness to these young ones during their last hurrah for the summer,” said Tucker. “For the last 18 years, we have been supporting the Riverton Meadows Early Childhood Centre through their Breakfast Feeding Program, sharing in a day of volunteerism and presenting the school with funds to keep the programme going. Today is a similar occasion, and we are happy to be a part of this initiative.”

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