Viewers of online media and local television will be treated to a three-hour showcase of poetry, comedy, song and dance when the Jamaica Red Cross, (JRC) in partnership with Television Jamaica (TVJ), hosts a live telethon on Sunday, December 12, at 3 p.m. under the theme ‘Helping Communities, Protecting Lives and Dignity’.
The telethon, which will set out to raise $10 million in donations to support the critical financial needs of the JRC, is aimed at funding the School of Transformation, Meals-On-Wheels programme, COVID-19 and JRC disaster response efforts.
The programmes, which have been earmarked for support, have been shown to have the greatest immediate impact on the lives of the most vulnerable. However, with the generally grim outlook brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, their sustainability are under threat. Furthermore, the youth and elderly, in particular, could be left to fend for themselves if these programmes are discontinued.
The public can make early donations to the telethon through JRC-labelled tins placed in Corporate Area supermarkets and pharmacies, or via direct deposit to Scotiabank account No. 631301.
Established in 1998, the School of Transformation serves 100 at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 18 by providing basic numeracy, literacy, and skills training in barbering, cosmetology and music, while creating a platform for the students to re-enter the formal education system.
The Meals-On-Wheels programme is undertaken by several of the 13 JRC branches islandwide; some seasonal, while others are on a weekly basis. At the Kingston and St Andrew branches, cooked meals are delivered five days per week to needy and indigent individuals, primarily in inner-city communities, following referrals by social agencies and concerned citizens and an assessment by staff and volunteers of the JRC.
The JRC has been integral to the national COVID-19 response and was among the first responders in Bull Bay and several other communities placed under quarantine, following a breakout of the COVID-19 virus in Jamaica in March 2020.
The JRC is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. It was established by an act of Parliament to serve as an auxiliary to the Government in times of emergencies, disasters or crises, such as a fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake or pandemic.