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The Monroe College Saint Lucia family is symbolizing the true spirit of Christmas by giving back to those in need through two donations.
On Wednesday, December 19, the College’s Outreach Director Mr. Jerry George presented a cheque of $1,400 to the Missionaries of Charity located at Faux-a-Chaud, Castries.
Run by four nuns who have vowed to a life of poverty, obedience and service, the organization is home to 13 elderly wards, most of whom have been abandoned. The sisters operate a soup kitchen, providing hot meals to needy children in the community and also conduct outreach services, spreading the word of God to others.
Wednesday’s presentation was the first of its kind for the College, as the funds were raised by its employees. Staff members organized a raffle, the proceeds of which were matched by the administration.
Mr. George believes it’s important to support the selfless work of organizations such as the Missionaries of Charity, as they continue their mission of alleviating suffering among the most vulnerable.
“Our small donation we hope will go a long way to help you in the work that you do. We hope that today will be the beginning of a wonderful relationship which we can build over the coming year, so that next time when Christmas comes around, we can do bigger and better things for you and for the residents of your home,” he said.
Sister Jyotishma accepted the cheque on behalf of the Missionaries of Charity. She described the Home as one operating solely on the benevolence of others and said the funds will be used to purchase groceries and other supplies for the wards, most of whom have no one to care for them.
“Thanks very much for offering this beautiful gift to us. We are fully depending on charity. This is a home for the less fortunate and we appreciate it very much, for it is a great help for us,” she said.
On Thursday, it was another branch of the Monroe family, the local Alumni Association, which spread some festive cheer.
While it is the most wonderful time of year for many people, some children will be spending the Christmas holidays at the hospital. The Association sought to make the season a bit brighter for those children with their visit to the children of the Pediatric Ward of the Victoria Hospital.
Bearing Christmas gifts, decorations and snacks, members sang carols, visited with the young patients and brought smiles to the faces of the children.
It is the fourth consecutive year that the Association is visiting the Pediatric Ward and Alumni Vice President Ms. Joan Small says it’s all in an effort to lift the spirits of the children.
“We know, especially the kids at this time, most of them will not have the opportunity to be with their families at Christmas and this is why we make a very special effort to come in and bring some cheer to them and present them with gifts and tokens,” she said.
Monroe College celebrated five years in St. Lucia this year and will next year be celebrating 80 years as a tertiary level institution. The College offers degrees in accounting, business management, criminal justice, hospitality management, information technology and public health.
Giving back is an important aspect of the College’s mandate and the Christmas donations are part of Monroe’s philanthropy, which includes scholarships, sponsorship of activities such as the National Science Fair and free college level classes for high school seniors as part of the Jump Start Programme.