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Making a difference this Christmas

Minister Simona Broomes drinks soup from the pot which was delivered to serve the homeless and less fortunate 

The last few days have seen organizations and individuals giving back to persons within our society who desire various forms of help, pampering and recognition, ultimately bringing smiles to the faces of many during the season of giving and BIG Smith News Watch has been following these noble gestures and presents to you this report.

23 year old Alexis Vaughn smiles after treating the visually impaired

On December 20, 23 year old Alexis Vaughn of West Demerara maintained a three five year old tradition of treating staff and members of the Guyana Society for Blind on High Street, Werk-en-Rust. The occasion was Ms. Vaughn’s birthday.

“I am not really the party type so I told my mother three years ago that for my 19th birthday I want to give back, I don’t want a party. So she said lets feed a home and I said just pick one and she told me about the Society for the blind and I said no problem and I said no problem let’s do that and we did that for my nineteenth birthday and we have been doing it since.

Vaughn said she feels sense of happiness of giving back and that is the sole reason for what she does. On December 20, she feted the members and staff food, cake and none alcoholic beverages.

39 year old Sonia Wilson of Long Island, United States who lost three children under some very tragic circumstances has been using her heartbreak to bring smiles and joy to the hearts of hundreds of children.

39 Year old United States Based Guyanese Sonia Wilson

“I have lost three children; two sons in a house fire and four years after that, my daughter went to sleep and never woke up and there were so many people who have over the years reached out to me and poured so much into my life that I decided to pay it forward and just meet people at the point of their need. I also was in abusive marriage and I made it out of that”

Toys for girls ready for distribution
Hampers which were also prepared by Sonia and her team
Some of the toys the boys were presented with on Monday

On December 23, she spearheaded the distribution of hampers, toiletries, Christmas and school supplies to children drawn from the General Lodge/ Werk-en-Rust, Sophia communities. The items which were shipped from the United States formed part of what collaborative effort of Wilson’s colleagues and employers. Her employers have also been supportive of what she does and has been giving her leave to ensure the initiative is rolled out effectively.

Men waiting to have their hair groom on Christmas Day
A man confined to a wheelchair is seen by a doctor on Merriman’s Mall

 

Christmas day saw Government Minister Simona Broomes and Dominion House Guyana pulling together several individuals and organisation to continue a tradition which entered it’s third year. Under the Broomes Foundation, the Merriman’s Mall was transformed to provide complete makeovers and other pampering services to the destitute, vagrants and the vulnerable.

“It’s purposeful and I want to thank all those who are involved they have been with me from day one. This has no governmental ties, I want to make it clear, this is Broomes Foundation; my children do have a foundation and the Kings Family along with Dominion House so it has no political ties, this is what God would want us to do and I don’t really mix those two together” Broomes told BIG Smith News Watch.

The event which got underway at 05:30 on Christmas morning saw the targeted persons being afforded baths, medical check-ups, meals, clothing, haircuts, pedicures, manicures and were also treated to live singing, counselling and prayers by those who were part of the organizing team.

The Broomes and King families pose for a photo on Christmas Day

“A lot of volunteers people who we have never met before who just showed up today to say they want to extend their hands to poor, needy and homeless and we have accepted their contributions so I think the spirit of it is good and we are really looking forward to the feedback we get from these people” Pastor Kind related.

Rolling out the event this year did have its own challenges with thieves breaking into a storage and carting off items which were put aside for the day’s activities. That forced the organizers to double up in replenishing those in order to ensure those turning up would not be disappointed.

On December 24, the Guyana Water Inc. announced that concessions would be granted to indigent homes and orphanages, this followed discussions with the Public Utilities Commission and the board and of the water company.

Dr. Van West- Charles and representatives of the homes and organisations who will benefit from the rebate

Dr. Richard Van West-Charles, head of GWI said a fifty percent rebate on every occupant’s consumption would be granted. He assured those to benefit that the move is now a policy decision and would stand irrespective who manages the water company.

Big Smith News Watch would like to formally recognize and congratulate all those who have been named or not named but have been working behind the scenes to bring relief to the less fortunate and persons in need. We do use our platform to salute you all and pledge our continued support to your work in these areas.