I’ll admit that when I started my Body fat challenge I didn’t give much thought into where the funds would be funneled. I just figured I would get through the hard part of unuh, losing the fat, and then i’d figure the rest out later. Now that i’m really thinking about it, nor did i really have a clue as to how many people would have actually donated or how much they would have given. In the most modest way I have to admit I’m impressed with the funds I was able to raise. To summarize, for those who may stumble on this and not have a clue what i’m speaking about, I joined a body fat challenge that Spry Jamaica was having in September 2020. The rules were simple, the person(s) who dropped the most amount of body fat (read: not weight) won. In order to push myself, I advertised my intentions for all to see on instagram with one small twist. For every 1% of Body Fat I was able to lose, i’d donate $100USD to charity. I asked anyone who was willing to join me to donate 1/100 of my pledge which would basically be $1 for every 1% of body fat i lost. Fast Forward 40 days later and i was able to lose 6% body fat. For those who are good at math, that meant i donated $600USD to charities approved and promoted by 876Volunteer. For my efforts i actually came second in Sprys challenge for a prize of $700 USD which also went towards charity. Over 40 other people, some who had never met me in their lives, donated as well for a final prize pool of $4,645 or in other words over half a million Jamaican dollars. It is by no means lost on me that all of this was done during a pandemic and expendable cash isn’t so expendable in these times so even more-so to those that contributed, it means the world to me and to the organizations that were able to benefit from your kindness.
Now that i collected the money I started to realize that distribution was a bit harder than i anticipated. As it involved other persons contributions I wanted to make sure i was deliberate in how it was spent and hopefully would be able to sample different charities so there would be something for everyone. Furthermore I didn’t want to just click a link and donate. What was important was that I got to know the charities even just a little so that the gifts became more personal to me and them. Need can be subjective, and I wanted to also find ways to hopefully make an impact that could last for years to come. No one has asked me for any accountability sheet and I imagine for the most part people trusted in me to do as i may, but nonetheless people gave their hard earned money, and as such this post is more than a thank you. Its to show them (and anyone else who cares to read) how far their money has stretched!!!
Montego Bay Animal Haven – ($80,000JMD or $552USD) – My first donation and perhaps the one i was most wary about in that I chose to donate the money towards the building of a rainbow bridge. It could have gone directly to one of the many animals vet bills but when Tammy explained the poem and the meaning behind it i knew this was something I had to do. Basically the Rainbow Bridge is to be a memorial for all of us who have ever lost a pet in their life. Whilst it may not fill a direct need of poverty which is exactly what comes to mind when we think of charity, I envision it being a place that persons can go to heal and to love which cant be discounted.
Alligator Head Foundation – ($105,840JMD or $720USD) – They are committed to abundant reefs and thriving communities. Whilst their work seems to focus primarily on the Ocean, the general manager Nikki explained to me that one of their fundamentals is actually educating persons as to how much of the ocean impacts us here on land. How intertwined we all are. To that end they are dedicated to helping the two schools in their immediate vicinity which are Drapers Basic School and Drapers Primary. The donation went towards printing material needed for students unable to participate in online learning. The $720 USD provided the 2 schools with 3 months worth of printed school material for 114 students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
Cornerstone Jamaica – ($88,200 or $600USD) – they are committed to connecting students in Western Jamaica with their new reality of online learning. They were able to secure a deal that would have them purchase quality tablets from a distributor at $100 a tablet. We donated $600 for a total of 6 tablets.
SummerField Childcare Facility – ($108,200 or $736 USD) – Sara-Lou, founder of Angelic Ladies Society, sought me out to possibly help with the needs of wards of the State in their various government facilities. She educated me on the various struggles that these young adults faced and in this one particular home there was great need for assistance with online learning. Located in the middle of the country, we are planning to drop off two desktops purchased for the start of the next school year.
Bellevue Hospital – ($81,350 or $568 USD ) Fellow ambassador Julia Bras gave me a recommendation for the Bellevue Hospital as she had made acquaintances with one of the nurses there and was looking for ways she could assist them. The donations were purposely made as a present to the hard working staff who often go under-appreciated. A fridge was donated specifically to the nurses staff room as well as a small tv for the ward itself. We were also able to get $20,000JMD worth of tokens and treats to assist with their staff day held recently. As a hospital that is currently being affected so much by covid, I can only hope that our donations were able to spread some cheer in the holiday season.
To note, there is over $1,000USD still to be donated and I plan to update this list in time as those donations are distributed. As i connected with the agencies and spoke with the persons involved i couldn’t help but feel touched by their selflessness. A common theme rang true which was that these are angels in our society giving as much as they can, when they can and where they can. Even thought we gave so much, I couldn’t help thinking that what I was doing wasn’t enough. The need is so great everywhere that I looked and i realized that perhaps I had only just begun. To that end and In the season of giving I am also linking all the agencies so that if anyone else feels so touched they can go ahead and make their own contribution. And for those of you who donated I wish you a Merry Christmas and may your baskets never be empty!