Local Help4friends Foundation representative Ann-Marie Whittingham (fifth from right) hands over personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to the principal of Goodwill Primary and Infant School in St James, Camille Hoarde ( fifth from the left) and to the students of the institution, recently. Help4friends is one of three US-based, teen-led charities that donated the items. (Photo: Nickieta Sterling)
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Three American teenagers have donated much-needed school supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) worth US$5,000 to six schools in St James and Hanover.
According to a statement, the supplies, which include hand sanitizers, masks, face shields, gloves, books, pencils, crayons and other stationery supplies, were donated to St James Preparatory, Providence. Basic and Farm, Glendevon and Goodwill Primary and St James’s Nursery Schools and Hanover’s Bethel Primary and Infant School.
The donation was initiated by Aditya Shrinivasan, 16, a grade 11 student at Evergreen Valley High School in California, through his charity, Help4friends.
Shrinivasan shared that he received support from Meha Gaba, 17, who runs the Ayuda Foundation, and Rahil Kapadia, 18, who operates Face Shields Against Corona.
Shrinivasan does not have Jamaican roots, but says he recognizes the economic challenges faced by many families around the world due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and wanted to give back to as many students. as possible.
He shared that through a family friend, he got wind of the back-to-school needs of Jamaican students and jumped at the chance to lend his support.
“With my organization, Help4friends, we decided to start this summer putting together a list of supplies that these schools needed and finding a way to get them to Jamaica,” he said. “Rahil helped with the face shields and Meha helped with the masks and together…we collected all kinds of school supplies,” Shrinivasan said.
The 16-year-old says he is happy to be able to provide much-needed safety items and school supplies to Jamaican children.
Because Rahil Kapadia, who donated 1,800 face shields, says his desire is to help fight the pandemic in any way possible.
“Meha and Aditya reached out to say they were doing this and asked me if I could donate face shields to schools in Jamaica and I was sure. When you donate the shields there is a huge feeling of gratitude to do something to help fight this pandemic,” he said.
Meanwhile, the administrations of the beneficiary schools say they are grateful for the donation.
Director of St James Preparatory, Jean James, shared that the supplies are timely and will serve students and staff well.
“We are very happy to have received much needed items from Aditya, Meha and Rahil, and we are truly grateful and grateful, and we thank them very much on behalf of the school body,” she said.
A delighted principal of Farm Primary and Infant School, Richard Miller, said stationery supplies will be distributed to students who need them most.
“We are pleased that Farm Primary has been selected as the recipient of this donation of school supplies and other materials, which will be useful. Dealing with the effects of the pandemic has truly been a challenge, so these donations will go a long way in helping students get back on track,” he said.
Principal of Glendevon Primary and Infant School, Audrey Lee Peynado, also thanks donors for ensuring the safety and well-being of her pupils.
“We are, indeed, thrilled and grateful to the students, who have partnered with us as we navigate through the pandemic, and whatever we get…to keep our children safe, will benefit our students, teachers and community. all staff,” she noted.
Goodwill Primary director Camille Hoarde says the items have been helpful, especially the masks.