Christmas is usually a time of happiness, sharing and fellowship; togetherness with one’s friends and family; exchanging gifts, singing carols, and just bonding and catching up on old times. Children are especially excited when this particular time of year comes around.
However, for some children, spending Christmas with their families in the comfort of their own homes was not to be this past Christmas. Struck with ill health or a longstanding ailment that chose to act up at this very inopportune time, they had to spend the holidays with a family of a different kind — their extended family at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay.
But like a beacon in the night, Hot 102 FM in collaboration with the Montego Bay Co-operative Credit Union (MBCCU) was there, for the ninth year running, to bring some holiday cheer and to soothe, if only for a few hours, any pain the patients of the 8th floor East may have been experiencing.
It was the day before Christmas 2013 when the Hot 102 and MBCCU teams arrived at 8East. They greeted some of the ‘little people’ that were able bodied enough to walk around. Doctors on duty did their usual rounds; a few parents were present, displaying solemn expressions hoping for some encouraging results or news of a release for their children.
The teams had the privilege of speaking on air with some of the “honourees” who were not too shy to tell the listening public what they wanted for Christmas. Some of their wishes ranged from dolls to, as you could probably guess, going home to their families. They also spoke with some of the members of staff at the Cornwall Regional Hospital including a stalwart in the field of medicine, the now retired, but still fully involved Dr. Juanita Jordan.
Despite being fairly new to the MBCCU family, Santa aka Andre Cleghorn (Acting Marketing and Public Relations Officer at MBCCU) was very cognizant of the importance of his institution giving back to the community. He underscored the fact that MBCCU is not only on the receiving end of customers’ investments, but plays a major role in community outreach programs and regularly contributes to development programs of schools in the Montego Bay, St. James area of Jamaica. He, along with his team look forward to the continuation of sharing and spreading holiday cheers in the coming years.
Santa, or Mr. Popularity, was just that – popular. All the children who could, gravitated towards him like bees to honey. Their curious eyes, especially those of the younger ones seemed to ask whether he could really make their wishes come true for the holidays. The sharing of cake and ice cream made the afternoon even more exciting. But among the cheer and happiness, one young man stood still, his saline stand his apparent partner. A sign hung on the stand saying, “Please do not feed this patient”. It was unclear to us what his particular illness was but it prevented him from partaking in the fun as much as he would have liked. However, after a few checks and double-checks with his doctors, the decision was made that he could indeed have a small amount of ice cream.
So, with tummies full and hearts overflowing with joy, the day ended at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. The day was indeed a success thanks, in part, to the generosity of the Montego Bay Cooperative Credit Union.
By: Karlene Thomas
Karlene Thomas is a freelance writer, editor, an advertising account executive and a broadcaster at Hot102.com.jm. She is a former teacher of English Language and Literature. Karlene is also a certified Massage Therapist. Contact her at email@example.com