Anchovy, St. James – April 24, 2018: The children of Garland Hall Memorial Children’s Home in Anchovy, St. James were filled with gratitude after a visit from Starbucks and YUTE Work trainees in the Montego Bay Cohort. Facilitated by Starbucks Jamaica and The MultiCare Youth Foundation through its Youth Upliftment through Employment (YUTE) programme, the home was given a well-needed facelift on Saturday, April 21 ahead of Earth Day celebrated on Sunday April 22. Starbucks and YUTE, along with the HEART Trust NTA and the National Youth Service (NYS), have been collaborating on a project which seeks to provide a positive alternative for 60 NEET (not in employment, education or training) young people from vulnerable communities. The project will be training cohorts in both Kingston and Montego Bay to receive Level 2 Certifications in Food and Beverage. As a part of this project the organisations held a ‘Day of Service’ to teach the trainees about the importance of community involvement and giving back.
“It is especially heart-warming that our young people who will benefit from our Starbucks YUTE Work project are now able to give back,” commented Alicia Glasgow Gentles, Executive Director at The MultiCare Youth Foundation. “This is our first project in Montego Bay and I believe that with the support of other corporate sponsors like Starbucks, we can expand into other parts of the island.” The recruits from the Montego Bay cohort along with officials and volunteers from MYF and Starbucks visited the home to participate in numerous outreach activities. This included a book-reading, art and craft activities, and the planting of a herb and vegetable garden. Representatives from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) provided vegetables and supervised the planting activity. Additionally, the children from the home were gifted with two garden benches, which were adorned with inspiring messages from the participants and received books donated through a drive organised by Starbucks.
Nicola Groves, Marketing Coordinator at Starbucks, helped to spearhead the trip to Garland Hall based on a long-standing relationship between the company and the home which predates the Starbucks brand’s launch in Jamaica. “We actually began working with Garland Hall a month before we opened our doors in November 2017,” said Groves. “We selected this home as our community partner for our Doctors Cave location and ever since our first project, we saw how deserving they were so we really wanted to do something for them again.”
It was a day well spent for the volunteers and participants, who dedicated their time to create a positive change for the less fortunate. Similarly, the Garland Hall children and staff were delighted by the support.
“This day of service has really helped to motivate the children,” said Dahlia Ingram, Assistant Manager for Garland Hall. “Many of our children have been abused and neglected but the fact that they can see other people showing an interest in them is really good. I appreciate especially the young people who came out to show our children that they are worth it and loved.”