11-year-old boy grants wishes to sick kids
While other 11-year-old kids are busy seeking ways to enjoy the last days of summer, young Elijah Turner is busy seeking ways to put a smile on the faces of terminally ill children across the island through his charity, Bright Star Wishes.
The charity, which focuses on granting wishes for terminally ill children in Jamaica, staged it is first event on the weekend in partnership with Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation.
Twelve children suffering from renal failure benefited from the event, which was sponsored by FLOW.
Elijah described the day as a success with the children, along with their families, spending the day free of cost at Coco Jam, a popular family entertainment and party centre.
"At first we played some games to get to know each other. Then we had lunch and continued to play games at Coco Jam," Elijah told THE STAR.
"I feel great. I feel really happy knowing I was able to help all these kids. I brought them out to have fun, and that's exactly what happened," he said.
At the end of the day, the children were presented with back-to- school supplies provided by FLOW. Elijah said that was the highlight of the day for him.
"It made me happy to know that it will ease some of the financial burden off their parents when it's time for back-to-school," he explained.
Elijah's mother, Cherie Turner, who assists with the foundation, told THE STAR that she is oftentimes left in awe when she sees her young son in action.
"Most times I'm astonished by him. Even when we went to board meetings with FLOW, he presented his ideas to the board managers without hesitation. It just goes to show that children are capable of accomplishing anything they put their minds to," she said.
The big-hearted youngster, who will be attending Glenmuir High School in September, launched the charity in June. He explained that he felt compelled to do so after watching a documentary about the American-based Make a Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to sick children. He said he realised Jamaica did not have an equivalent to that charity and he wanted to fill the gap.
"I wanted to start this charity because I've been seeing children that are terminally ill here in Jamaica and needing help. I felt that someone should help them, and that someone will be me," Elijah said.
The lad and his mother are imploring corporate Jamaica, as well as local celebrities, to come on board and assist the charity in its quest to make life better for the island's terminally ill children.
Persons seeking to be involved with the charity can contact Cherie Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.