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Jamaican Kiwanians say #WECARE

Julie Saetre | Apr 15, 2020

Jamaican Kiwanians say WECARE

Jamaican Kiwanians say #WECAREPortmore, Jamaica, earned the nickname of Sunshine City thanks to its sun-drenched location on Jamaica’s southern coast. So it’s not surprising that Portmore Kiwanians have warmly embraced the town’s residents during a time of crisis through the COVID-19 #WECARE Plan, led by the Greater Portmore Kiwanis Club.

The targeted three-phase plan addresses the critical needs of medical and service workers on the front line of fighting the novel coronavirus in Jamaica’s 23 West Division, as well as on those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19’s effects.

Phase one began playing out in March. First, the Greater Portmore club purchased hand sanitizer and cleaning products, which they delivered to the Greater Portmore Police Station, Waterford Fire Station and Greater Portmore Health Centre so both workers and those they serve could be better protected.

When the club learned that residential care facilities for the elderly and those with mental disabilities desperately needed protective masks, it joined forces with the Kiwanis Club of Sunshine City, Kiwanis Club of Portmore and Kiwanis Club of Central Portmore. Members crafted more than 1,000 masks, which were distributed to institutions within the 23 West Division.

Jamaican Kiwanians say #WECAREGreater Portmore members also donated 10 100-pound bags of rice to the Portmore City Municipality to use in care packages that are distributed to elderly city residents, and they reached out to city residents who were quarantined with suspected cases of COVID-19. With the Kiwanis Club of Portmore, they assembled care packages with food and other essentials and delivered them to the patients’ homes.

When April arrived, so did phase two of COVID-19 #WECARE. Handwashing is critical in preventing the virus from spreading, so the Greater Portmore Kiwanians purchased six plastic drums and arranged for them to be transformed into stand-alone handwashing stations for use at hospitals and police stations.  

“The Portmore City Municipality promised to fill the drums with water on a daily basis if we are having challenges getting them filled,” says Nordia Campbell, the Greater Portmore club’s president.

To date, 19 Greater Portmore members have pitched in for #WECARE, along with representatives from the other three Kiwanis clubs, four prospective members and 25 community volunteers. They stand ready to implement phase three of the program, based on community needs.

And Division 23 West’s residents are grateful for the support.

“We got letters of appreciation from four of the 13 nursing homes, two thank-you cards and verbal appreciation from the others,” Campbell says. “The Portmore City Municipality did some photos with us, as well as sent a letter of thanks for our continued help to the Municipality.”

Jamaican Kiwanians say #WECARE

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