Donate to charity, J’can philanthropist urges
Last June, Jamaica-born Joan Wilson was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) at Buckingham Palace, for her service to fostering.
The St Mary native, who has been providing foster care in the United Kingdom for the past two decades, has extended her charitable deeds to children in Jamaica's state care.
Earlier this week, she visited the Glenhope Nursery and Place of Safety, where she donated several boxes of children items.
"I have been doing this for the past eight years, so this year was no different. I am very concerned about the rise of dengue fever, so I ensured that I donated repellent, diapers, baby clothes and just about any other item that is needed for babies. I really feel a connection to these kids so I make a pledge to myself to continue to assist the best way I can," she said.
Wilson said that she has fostered more than 100 children between ages 14 and 18 at her home in Crystal Palace.
"I have a special love in my heart for children so this was never done for the spotlight. I am in Jamaica now and it feels like I am back home, because my boys call me daily as if I am still in England. They are my babies you know. I instil discipline in them but I also show lots of love. If I can save even one child from going down a path of crime, I am going to do it," she said.
Wilson told THE WEEKEND STAR that she is imploring others to contribute towards the well-being of the children living in state care.
"Even if it is a toy, you can make a child happy and will put a smile on their face. Sometimes when we go to the shop or supermarket, we can even add an extra item or two and just donate. It will be appreciated no matter or small it may seem," she said.
She also has another treat lined up for the children of Glenhope.
"I don't know if this is allowed but if given permission, I will try and organise a reputable hairdresser to visit even once a month to professionally groom the kids' hair. The staff are all doing a fantastic job but it wouldn't hurt to ease the work off them a bit at times," she said.