Everyday Heroes : Yvonne Townsend serving others selflessly
She is a woman that has walked among kings and queens but has never lost the common touch. Her life, from a very tender age, was about serving people selflessly.
Now founder and CEO of the charitable organisation Friends in Need, Yvonne Townsend has left behind a life a luxury to meet the needs of the homeless, HIV patients, abandoned children, abused children, battered women, cancer patients, and fire victims, among other underprivileged persons.
"I was able to acquire a lot of things before age 30. I had my two degrees, my land, house, car, visa. I worked as a police officer here in Jamaica before moving to The Cayman Islands, earning the equivalent of $J250,0000 monthly ... I have been the bodyguard for the prince of Morocc - travelling on his yacht, I body guarded Portia Simpson Miller. and the list goes on."
NEVER LOOKED BACK
She continued: "I have been in the charity for 25 years, and I have never looked back. There is nothing more rewarding than giving back. I have opened up my house to these persons. It is compartmentalised in three sections: the women are to one section, children to one section and the men are to one section"
Accepting no cash donations, Townsend relies on the sales from the organisation's thrift shop to offset expenses.
Townsend has, to date, cared for 90 children, some of whom are now overseas, back in schools, and are working professionals.
"It is a faith-based organisations. We don't know how it's gonna work sometimes, but it works. Those who donate to us are the average Jane and Joe, the widow's mite ... We don't get help from really affluent persons, but we can't stop doing what we are doing"
"Though we are based in Mandeville, it is our aim to impact all the parishes in the Island ... We cater to everybody, but our main aim is to get clothes for homeless men. Sometimes we go out there and you bathe them, but you run out of clothes. So we are appealing to every man out there to donate even one pants. Women, whether it's from your father, your uncle, your boyfriend, your husband, please donate some male clothing for the homeless, we would be grateful."
"I believe it is our God-given duty to help the less fortunate, and we should live out our dreams ... I have become poor to make others rich. But though I am poor financially, I am wealthy with the rewards of knowing I have touched a life."