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Christmas at Community Residences - Making special wishes

Monday, December 15, 2014
Children at the Princess Elizabeth Centre enjoy a meal at the annual Christmas luncheon, held on its compound on December 10. PHOTO: Maria Sanchez

Christmas is the universal season for giving. It’s the time when all scrooges hang up their hats and join in the holiday cheer. It’s a time when bringing a smile to someone else’s face is what matters the most. A time when the blessed reach out the unfortunate. As we do every year, the T&T Guardian highlights today, several community residences that would like you to be their Santa Claus this Christmas. Some of these homes are not only in need of food, but they also require a number of other items, considered to be equally important.

Princess Elizabeth Home

At the Princess Elizabeth Home for differently-abled children, CEO Felix Pierre, said a fully upgraded security system was at the top of the home’s wish list this Christmas.

“We want to have a very safe and protected environment for the children. Just a good security system inclusive of CCTV cameras as well,” Pierre tells the Guardian. The director said this is important to the home considering the many unfortunate circumstances involving children in the recent years. The incident which caused the death of 13-year-old Brandon Hargreaves earlier this year at the St Michael’s School For Boys in Diego Martin, was also another reason Pierre felt the home needed tighter security.

The home also needs the installation of an electronic gate at the entrance to the facility. While a few dormitories need to be renovated and the kitchen and washroom areas, retiled. 

“The building which houses 65 children need to be extended too. This is to accommodate equipment and doctors’ offices. We also look forward to the full commissioning of the elevator for the dental facility,” Pierre revealed.

He said the Woobrook-based center can also do with the full utilisation of its operating theatre facility during the down time period in July and August, as this will generate some revenue for the home.

St Andrews Home 

For The Poor

As an all-female home for the elderly, matron Gail Louis said besides food; toiletries, bed sheets, pillows and pillow cases as well as curtains, were items mostly needed. The roof of the home is also in need of urgent repair.

“Right now we are in the process of trying to raise funds to fix that roof. One of our fundraising events will be held this coming Sunday,” Louis related.

Facilitators for computer training are also needed, but Louis says, not before the home received more computers.

To help these homes make their wishes come true, call the Princess Elizabeth Home at 627-8176 or 627-7489. And St Andrews Home For The Poor at 624-1525.

The St Mary’s Children’s Home

The St Mary’s Children’s Home in Tacarigua, run by the Anglican Church, provides residential care for children while trying to reunite families. The home welcomes general Christmas gifts for the children, but could do with help in six special projects in order to improve the quality of life of the children. These are:

• Six desktop computers (one for each dorms, so kids can do homework on an afternoon)

• Two large rugs: one for a play room, and one for the clinic

• Sofas for two dorms

• Three clothes cupboards

• Storage drawers for children’s rooms

• Repainting of the Wellness Centre

El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation

Not only people can benefit from your good Christmas actions. For those of you keen on nature and helping our wildlife, the El Socorro Centre is doing some great work in helping injured critters get back on their feet. Their mission is to promote wildlife conservation through education, rehabilitation and propagation. The Centre’s current wishlist includes:

• Green PVC coated chain link fencing (6’x100’)

• Eight to ten yards of crushed grey limestone to create suitable walkways for ease of mobility at the centre.

• 42” or larger flat screen television with USB and HDMI ports for connection to a laptop and microscope for viewing by an entire class at once.

• Printing services for signs and banners and identification cards for the resident animals.

• Glass front upright chiller for food storage.

• Building materials: cement, sand, steel, clay blocks,concrete blocks, zinc sheeting or steel sheeting (roofing material)

• Fruits and vegetables, especially soft fruit for monkeys and birds

• 480 lbs of chicken and chicken parts

• Money to assist in the various aspects of work that we do. The account # is Republic Bank Limited : 770482190201 El Socorro Centre for Wildlife Conservation.

Living Waters Community 

Meanwhile, the Living Waters Community, a Catholic charity which has a bookshop and coffee shop on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, offers basic care, nourishment and self-development programmes of different kinds for the less fortunate. Ministries vary from a home for abused children and young boys to a drug rehab centre, to homes for the elderly, for the terminally ill, for HIV/Aids patients, and more. 

Living Waters would like to highlight their Food Bank which distributes food hampers and clothes on a weekly basis to about 400 families. The weekly hampers are valued at TT$175.00 per hamper. For the Christmas season they distribute 1,500 hampers valued at $300 per hamper. Any contributions towards these hampers (Christmas or during the year) would be very, very much appreciated. Contributions can be monetary, or in the form of dry goods such as flour, rice, sugar, peas/beans, as well as tinned items such as sausages, tuna, etc.

St Dominic’s Children’s Home

Sister Arlene Greenidge of St Dominic’s Children’s Home is hoping for new types of donations from the public this Christmas. She said that the children in her care are always in need of clothing and shoes but she is hoping that members of the public can donate more practical things that fall under individual care plans like sponsoring a child’s school fees at a special education institute. She also suggested a gift of sponsoring psychological assessment for the children that need it. Greenidge added that the home receives a subvention from the Government and a lot of their needs are taken care of but they always need fresh fruit as well.

Lady Hochoy Home

At the Lady Hochoy Home, Sister Bertill Dean’s wish for the children is to receive two iPads or two Notebooks to help them with their special needs education. She said the home would greatly appreciate those electronics and it would be a great help as the iPads would be specially programmed to help the children learn more. She also said that her children were in need of shoes as the ones that they buy are usually outgrown or destroyed pretty quickly. Toiletries like soap, powder and deodorant are also high at the top of their wish list. She added that there is always a need for food items.



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