United Way, corporate J'ca pledge over $3m for fire-gutted kids' home
The entities made the pledges on Wednesday at United Way's launch of Jamaica National Children Home Restoration Fund, at the Jamaica Pegasus. (Photo: Marlon Reid)
United Way of Jamaica and corporate Jamaica have committed pledges of over $3 million to assist with the restoration of the Jamaica National Children's Home in Papine, St Andrew, which was ravished by fire last Friday.
The entities made the pledges on Wednesday at United Way's launch of Jamaica National Children Home Restoration Fund, at the Jamaica Pegasus.
The restoration fund is a campaign organised by United Way to assist with the rebuilding efforts of the home.
United Way has committed $1 million to assist with the restoration efforts, with were Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) pledging $1 million, Noranda Bauxite Company - $500,000, West Indies Alumina Company - $500,000, Alliance Investment Management - $250,000, Proven Wealth Limited - $250,000, BPM Financial - $100,000, Dream Weekend - $100,000, Phase Three Production $100,000 and a director of Dream Weekend $50,000.
United Way rallies corporate support for Jamaica Children's Home
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Engineer Devon Smith, a director of United Way promised personal funds to assist but also volunteered his professional services to provide the technical support needed to start the restoration process, as well as to during the construction.
United Way's immediate past president, Ian Forbes, said his employer, Sherwin Williams, will help with the technical aspect and will also provide fire retardant paint for the facility.
According to Rosalee Gage-Grey, CEO of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, 41 of the approximately 90 children at the Jamaica National Children's Home were directly affected by the fire.
She said that the fire traumatised several wards, especially those who had experienced the fire at Walker's Place of Safety, which was gutted in January last year, killing two of the children.
Rosalee Gage-Grey, CEO of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency
Gage-Grey said that the disaster management of the state agency played a role in minimising the risk to lives on Friday, with staff and wards implementing lessons learnt over the years, during the fire.
United Way's CEO, Winsome Wilkins said the restoration fund is in keeping with the charity's effort to bring stakeholders together after disasters, which was started 132 years ago in the United States when priests of the Methodist Church joined with others to assist victims of a fire.
United Way is appealing to other corporate entities and individuals to help with the restoration fund and has established four accounts that contribution can be deposited.
These are Sagicor Bank (Dominica Drive) - account number 5501371949; Victoria Mutual Building Society (Duke Street) - account number 22772867; National Commercial Bank (Duke Street) - account number 061048596; and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank - account number 119201017.
Donations through cheques can also be sent to United Way of Jamaica, 122-126 Tower Street, Kingston as well through the website www.unitedwayofjamaica.org.