Student Santa looks to Spread Christmas Across Jamaica

December 16, 2016
Camelia Gayle

Having finished her exams for this semester, Camelia Gayle, a final-year student at the University of Technology (UTech), is heading back to the Garden Parish of St Ann to spread Christmas cheers.

Gayle hopes to travel with a bag filled with goodies so that she can put a smile on the faces of the children in select orphanages.

In addition to reaching out to members of the public for clothes and food, which she hopes to donate to these orphanages, Gayle is using the crowdfunding website, GoFundMe, to raise money to fund the venture.

Gayle noted that many persons will not be able to enjoy Christmas because of an absence of resources.

"Let's take the time to remember these individuals, and, even if for the season, add them to our circle of friends and family so that they can share in the Christmas spirit. To do this, I'm asking for your donations of clothes, non-perishable foods, and/or gift items. These items will be distributed to a select group of homes and shelters. I am also asking for volunteers to join our team to help us collect and distribute these donations," Gayle said in her GoFundMe post.

She has set a goal of raising US$1,000 to spread the spirit of Christmas and has so far raised US$385.

The student, who is from Liberty Hill, St Ann, told THE WEEKEND STAR that she was spurred into action after she visited a home run by Missionaries of the Poor last year.

"My last project at school was with my peer counselling group. We went to one of Father Ho Long's facilities, which is located downtown Kingston, and we distributed clothing items to them. It was then when I said 'I really need to continue doing this,'" Gayle said.

The 25-year-old Gayle, who was born in Clarendon, said that her 'Spread Christmas Across Jamaica' project was conceptualised after she visited the website of an orphanage in Trelawny and discovered that it was in need of a stove.

"If it is a case where you can donate, contribute to this project in whatever way you can, whether monetarily or by contributing clothing or food items. It would be really appreciated."

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