WHEN Montego Bay’s celebrated online mathematics tutor, Richard James, along with Evon Bartley, a teacher from Old Harbour Bay, Elder Carolyn Phillips from Hayes and three other individuals were summoned to meetings in their respective parishes, they had no idea that they would be honoured and rewarded for their spirit of kindness in their communities, especially in a year that proved challenging for everyone.
What made the surprise even more heartfelt for them was the fact that this recognition was based on feedback from their very own peers in their communities.
In early December LNG provider New Fortress Energy (NFE) launched the second staging of its annual Community Heroes initiative, which invites persons to nominate individuals in their respective communities who embody selflessness, kindness and the spirit of volunteerism. One month and countless nominations later, six individuals were identified — two winners each from the parishes of Clarendon, St James and St Catherine, where New Fortress Energy operates its LNG plants.
Speaking on what inspired this philanthropic initiative of recognising community members for being model citizens, vice-president at New Fortress Energy, Verona Carter said: “Even before we started constructing our LNG plants in these communities we became very involved and connected with the community members, and we were inspired by the indomitable spirit kindness and selflessness of many of these individuals that continue to uplift the lives of those who are most vulnerable around them.
“Our Community Heroes initiative is, therefore, our way of encouraging individuals to continue to do good for the betterment of their community. One act of kindness deserves another, and we’re delighted to recognise and reward these exemplary individuals that continue to give of themselves to make others and their communities shine brighter,” Carter added.
Brettina Lloyd, a law student from Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine, lost her mother at the age of 16 but continued to excel and motivate her peers to keep pushing towards their goals. She’s planning to pay it forward by using her vouchers to purchase tablets for students in her community and a washing machine for her father. “I’m very grateful for this. It has not been easy, but I’m remaining focused on my goals. I also want to see others around me succeed, so I’m always encouraging other young people in my community and church to not allow their current circumstances to define their future.”
Evon Bartley is a teacher, also from Old Harbour Bay, who sacrifices and goes to great lengths to provide educational support to both adults and children in her community. From the Port and Refinery Council communities in Hayes, Clarendon, are Marva Morgan, a part-time vector aide who uses her own resources to prepare warm meals for the elderly and needy, and Elder Carolyn Phillips who takes the mentally ill and elderly to their medical appointments and runs errands for them.
SOURCE: JAMAICA OBSERVER