Posted originally on December 6, 2012. Scroll down for the Shoe Delivery Post from December 6, 2012.
Last Thursday, November 29, we hopped a taxi cab with our hotel nanny, Tamara (who is also who directed us to Servite Primary) and headed into the hills of Jamaica to Brown's Town. Our final destination was Servite Primary School, serving 700+ children in their 19 room school. (Think an average of 37 kids per classroom!)
We arrived a little after 9:30 and watched as the children were setting up their desks outside in the common area between buildings for an assembly. They were there to see us give gifts to the school and then continue their day with a major sports all-school competition.
The school's main entrance
Seeing the children get ready for the assembly
We emptied the taxi of supplies and headed up to the front part of the school to be introduced to everyone and present them with all our gifts to them.
Unpacking some of the goodies we brought for them
So many smiling faces, all excited to see us
Doing "Twinkle Fingers" as a sign of excitement
Mrs. Crawford, the Principle, had the children sing some great songs. She then introduced Tamara, and thanked her for helping us pick Servite as the school we would help on this trip. Next she introduced us as Americans who'd come a long way just to see them and give gifts to the school.
Mrs. Crawford introducing Tamara
Mrs. Crawford introducing us to the crowd of kids
Sharing with the kids what we'd brought; books for their library, crayons and colored pencils, pens and pencils, wall decorations for their classrooms, scissors and glue, and notebooks.
Saving the best for last - giving Mrs. Crawford the surprise video projector she'd asked for, but I'd told her would be impossible due to cost. It was donated to the school and we were thrilled to deliver it.
After we presented the goodies, Mrs. Crawford called up the head boy and girl from the school to receive everything on behalf of the students. The head girl then thanked us so very nicely.
Trevor with the head girl
Melissa with the head boy
Trevor and Melissa with some of the younger students
The head girl thanking us for coming and bringing so much for them
A few days later Tamara came into the hotel carrying a bag that she handed to me. Inside was this lovely thank you card, and two gifts. Mrs. Crawford had picked out a set of Jamaican drink coasters and a bottle opener as thank you gifts.
The front of the card.
Her lovely message to us.
You're welcome, Servite Primary School. You are so, so welcome.
Shoe Delivery originally posted on December 6, 2012.
On Wednesday, November 28 we handed out 60 pairs of shoes. All 5 of the suitcases had been packed and were holding shoes, socks, and school supplies. We'd packed the shoes and then filled in the cracks around them with socks and supplies, so we had to unpack all the cases, sort the contents, and get it all ready to hand out. Our friends on staff there helped as well, but it took a little while to get it all organized. The shoes were tagged with sex and size, so that helped some. Once everything was sorted, we started handing out shoes and socks.
48 women, and 12 men received shoes and two new pairs of socks.
In singles and pairs, women would come into our room to look at the shoes, try on a pair, and leave happily with their goodies. It started out with the house keeping/nanny staff, and then when my husband Trevor saw a cook walking around with poor shoes on, we invited the kitchen staff to come get shoes. The men's shoes and socks were loaded up and taken to the men on the maintenance crews who couldn't break away from their work to pick shoes out, but were still in need.
We saw so many smiles and received little thanks here and there throughout the rest of our stay. It was wonderful to be able to help so many people and make such a huge difference in their daily lives.
Janice showing off her new shoes
Shoes in action - she'd had them for about 20 minutes
Shoes in action!
Loraine, with my son Ollie, after receiving shoes