Saturday 28 November, 2020

‘Relay of Love’ brings Portland mother and her children a new home

Owen Francis (2nd right), Director Retail Banking Channels, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank presents the keys to her house to Camajah Beckford, her son Nasondre (in her lap) and daughters (3rd & 4th left) Camoy and Mickayla.

Owen Francis (2nd right), Director Retail Banking Channels, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank presents the keys to her house to Camajah Beckford, her son Nasondre (in her lap) and daughters (3rd & 4th left) Camoy and Mickayla.

Call it a relay of love.

Businessman Julian Walker was so moved by the challenges being faced by Camajah Beckford and her three children, including a fire which left them homeless, that he recorded a video on his cell phone and shared it widely.

It landed in the box of Owen Francis Director, Retail Banking Channels at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

The next ‘leg’ was to reach out to Food For The Poor (FFTP) with which the bank has a close relationship having already sponsored construction of 15 houses for persons in need.

At the Finish Line, with financing by CIBC FirstCaribbean, house #16 was earmarked for the family.

Representatives of the bank, FFTP and Walker, last month journeyed to Orange Bay Portland, to present the keys to the elated family.

Francis said the collaboration represented “a return to the days of community, when each one helped one and we were all our brothers’ keeper.”

Also presenting Beckford with a sewing machine he said “our objective today is to give you a start. Not to just give you a fish but to give you the tools to provide for yourself and your family”.

“This means a lot to me, it is a great start”, Beckford replied. “I was badly in need of everything, especially, a safe home for me and my children. This sewing machine is the foundation for me to pay my bills. I can sew sheets, curtains, doilies, uniforms. People know my work and they will buy from me”.

She added: “I was so depressed after losing one leg due to diabetes and when the fire destroyed everything we had nowhere to go. At one point we were sleeping on a good Samaritan’s verandah. COVID-19 made it worse because I am not working now.  We are so very thankful to everyone for caring about us. Everything is looking up now!”

 

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