Dozens of children from St Ann have benefitted from school supplies provided by the Restoration Of Life Mission In Christ Apostolic Church, St Ann’s Bay, St Ann.
The children, at various stages of the education system – from early childhood to secondary – received note books, bags, knapsacks, crayons, pencils, pens and erasers. Some students received shoes.
The church staged their annual back to school treat Tuesday afternoon, August 29, outside its Jail Lane location, St Ann’s Bay.
Pastor Albertha Boswell-James is the main force behind the back to school treat. She also leads the annual Christmas treat that has been held for more than 25 years.
Most of the children, some accompanied by parents and other relatives were from communities in the parish capital but some were from as far away as Ocho Rios, Steer Town, Claremont, Moneague, Runaway Bay and Brown’s Town.
Pastor Boswell who is also a registered nurse said she was pleased to continue to help the children prepare for school. However she said with the new conditions surrounding charities she was not sure she would be able to continue.
She told the North Coast Times of difficulties she had under the new system requiring charity groups hoping to clear goods without duty for events such as the treat. She said expenses that could have gone to provide more supplies were chalked up because they were required to have a chartered accountant go over their books and paperwork to show they were a charity rather than a non-profit organization as registered in the United States. She said the fact that they have been told they have to provide more organization support, such as a secretary, to meet the requirements were discouraging. She expressed doubt that the church would be able to continue with the treats.
Parents were happy to receive. One said she was among the first to register when the church put out posters against people to set down their names ahead of the treat. This is one of the requirements of the Charities Act, to prove where the imported items went. Parents and guardians signed to receive the items.
Refreshments were also served.
Pastor Boswell-James who used her own resources to acquire a large portion of the goods given out thanked those who assisted on the day and also people including some overseas who had contributed