Saturday 30 May, 2020

Lilies of Hope provides support to under-served communities

Shada Watkins (left), founder of Lilies of Hope share a selfie with a beneficiary of the charity.

Shada Watkins (left), founder of Lilies of Hope share a selfie with a beneficiary of the charity.

As the cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) rise in Jamaica, resulting in more citizens being laid off or not getting the regular remittance supplement they depend on, the effects have been crippling for many financially and mentally.

One local charity has stepped in to offer support items to residents, specifically, those in inner cities and other underserved communities. 

The charity, Lilies of Hope Jamaica was founded by 26-year-old culinary student and entrepreneur, Shada Watkins. 

Watkins began the initiative within her community of Tavern, Kingston and has so far extended it to other areas including Swallowfield and Arcadia in addition to Bath in St Thomas and the Hope flat community. 

“I have partnered with a dressmaker that produces masks by reselling them online to raise funds to assist students to purchase phone cards in order for them to access online classes, educational resources and communicate with their teachers,” Watkins said. 

Funds are also being used to provide the elderly with basic food commodities and hygiene kits. 

“Donations will also be used to purchase masks and hand sanitizers for residents, in addition to sanitary napkins for our girls and women to distribute initially in the respective communities and the medium to long term across Jamaica,” Watkins added. 

According to Watkins, her goal is to raise $1 million to impact more lives. She is also hoping to do this through an online benefit concert and a radiothon.

“COVID-9 has unfortunately had a major impact on thousands of these residents and while I may not be wealthy, I have the ability to mobilise and get help, so I wanted to play my part,” she said.  

Watkins is also seeking corporate sponsorship and any support to continue to assist the thousands of people who need the aid at this critical time.

“I believe with every bone in my body that this initiative will be a success. I am thinking of all the persons that are going to bed without dinner, and adolescents going through puberty and their parents cannot even afford a pack of sanitary napkins. Though I’m a young woman, I classify myself as a ‘mother to all nations’, who is caring and compassionate about the needs of people. Let us all stand together to help flatten the curve of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Jamaica and make a difference in someone’s life.”

To donate or provide assistance contact Watkins by sending an email to lilieshopejamaica@yahoo.com or give her a call at 876-787-0963. 

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