Dear Santa ...
Christmas wishes from wards in children’s homes, places of safety in western Jamaica
With two weeks to go before Christmas Day, 256 wards in children’s homes and places of safety in western Jamaica are hoping that Jamaicans will open their hearts and extend the kindness and cheer of the festive season to them and make their wishes come true.
There are 13 childcare facilities across the parishes of St James, Westmoreland, Trelawny, and Hanover which are home to children as a result of abuse, incest and abandonment, as well as others deemed in need of care and protection.
This includes the Government-operated Blossom Gardens Childcare Facility in Montego Bay, St James, which was founded in 1975.
“We can cater for up to 65 wards of the state, male and female, from birth to eight years old,” Manager Gaylann Wilson Dixon told The Sunday Gleaner during a visit last week. “We have a nursery for our babies, a toddler dorm, and a separate facility for our older children.”
The facility also operates an on-site school, through which trained teachers expose the wards to the early childhood curriculum in a regular schooling environment.
But Wilson Dixon is hoping that along with the wishes of those in the care of her 33-strong staff, a Good Samaritan will also gift the facility a new industrial kitchen sink in the season of giving.
“It’s not just a job. For us, it’s a ministry. We offer care to Jamaica’s most vulnerable and we have seen positive outcomes,” the home manager said.
As The Sunday Gleaner perused the wish lists of children at the various facilities across the region, it was evident that most are hoping to get tablets or laptops to assist with their schooling.
This was also a priority focus for the wards at Clifton Boys’ Home in Westmoreland.
Located on seven acres of land, Manager Patrick Newman is also hoping that corporate Jamaica will support the home’s animal rearing and farming project.
“We have started to utilise the land available to produce food and vegetables and we would appreciate a person or company to come on board to help fund our piggery, cattle rearing, and goat project,” he said.
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) launched a Grant A Wish programme during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when visits were restricted, traditional treats could not be held and customary donor support dwindled. The programme allowed the children to say what they would want for Christmas and invited Jamaicans to fulfil the wishes of a child from the populated list.
As the Take a Child Home for the Holidays initiative was also suspended during that time, this allowed the children the opportunity to still share in the festive cheer.
Although those restrictions have now been lifted, the Grant A Wish programme is continuing and Jamaicans can log on to the CPFSA’s website at https://childprotection.gov.jm/grantawish/ to see the wishes and contact the agency CPFSA and inform them of the wishes they want to fulfil.
Eric Vassell, the CPFSA regional director for western Jamaica, who supervises the 13 facilities, is hoping that no child will be left heartbroken and without a gift this Christmas.
“It is gratifying to see the smile on the children’s faces when their wishes are granted. Christmas is a very special time for many, and children especially, look forward to receiving gifts, and all that the season brings,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.
Blossom Gardens Child Care Facility, Montego Bay
MB Frog Toy
JC Paw Patrol
SH Fire truck
JJ Batman car
MH Toy bike
AD Soldier truck
RH Iron Man truck
KB Fast car
JB Police car
DP, AP, IG, RW, OR Car
KH, TM, LS,AC, KJ Princess Doll
TS Eye glasses & beauty set
BM Sponge ball
Wish for the home: Industrial kitchen sink
To grant any of these wishes, contact Gaylann Wilson Dixon at 876-522-4773.
Name Age Sex Wishes
TW 14 M Bicycle, cell phone, laptop
AW 17 M 50-70 exercise weight vest, watch
AM 15 F Watch, necklace, white Air Force sneakers (size 6)
JC 7 F Big doll, story books, tablet
RR 16 F Laptop, phone, suitcase
RS 18 M Black Air Force sneakers (size 8), laptop, airbed for camping
DC 13 F Cell phone, suitcase, shoes (size 9)
RB 14 F Laptop, size 8.5 or 9 sandals. Clothes (small)
GD 10 F Cell phone, clothes, story books
DD 13 M Bicycle, cell phone, shirts (small)
MM 8 M Toy truck, remote control car, bicycle
RM 13 M Laptop, football shoes (size 8), football
TC 5 M Toy truck, remote control car, bicycle
GF 1y8m F Blocks, interactive books, sorting manipulatives (otherwise wipes, size 3 diapers, cereal and formula)
KA 18 M Refrigerator, television, cell phone
SS 18 F Graphic tablet, sewing machine
OR 10 M Bicycle, cell phone, size 7 football shoes
MC 13 M Tablet, mattress, clothes (size 14 shirt and size 16 pants)
AF 14 F Laptop, headset/earphones, reading books/novels
KM 9 F Tablet, reading books, big doll
EM 6 M Bicycle, Toy truck, Remote control car
JB 18 M Laptop, 2 pairs of pants for church (size 36 waist, 44 length), 2 large shirts for church
AM 13 M Bicycle, clothes (shirt M, pants 25), size 9.5 shoes
KH 17 F Size 37 white Air force shoes, cell phone, clothes (small)
SG 17 F Size 8 Kickers shoes, natural hair treatment, laptop
EM 15 M Bicycle, clothes (pants 30, shirt medium), size 10 shoes
PH 12 M Cell phone, football shoes (size 8.5), tablet
CE 16 F Laptop, boom box, art/drawing set
CA 16 F Laptop, mannequin head for cosmetology, 1 Airforce shoes size 6.5
AK 5 F A big doll, size 4 sandals, small dress (size 4)
DH 6 M Tablet, toy truck, clothes (size 6)
To grant any of these wishes, contact Elvis Farquharson at 876-552-4775.
ST JAMES WARDS
Name Sex Age Wishes
KD M Tablet
EL F 2 Leapfrog 2-in-1 Leaptop touch screen, learning toys
JA M 12 Bicycle, tablet
JW M 14 Laptop, football boots (size 12), tablet
SM M 15 Laptop/tablet, bicycle
JH M 2 Bicycle w/ training wheel, educational toys
CB F 8 Scooter
MR F 6 Remote control truck, Leapfrog 2-in-1 Leaptop touch screen, tablet
DF F 12 Tablet, laptop, cell phone
DF M 6 Tablet, Leapfrog 2-in-1 Leaptop touch screen
NG M 12 Tablet, bicycle, headphone with SD card slot
TW M 5 Leapfrog touch screen tablet, tablet
AK F 10 Pink Samsung Tablet case with keyboard
MW M 10 Dirt Bike
AM F 12 Blow-up plastic pool
KF F 13 Smart phone, watch, Bible
DS M 12 School bag and composition books
KS M 14 School bag and composition books
To grant any of these wishes, contact Malika Dixon at 876-475-8314.
Name Sex Age Wishes
BJ M 17 Football, cell phone, football boots (Size 12½)
CP M 16 Watch
CW M 14 Football boots (9W), llaptop, football
AT M 13 Jeans pants (size 14), black shoes (size 39)
TM M 8 Shirt (size 12), jeans pants (size 9), black shoes (8)
BB M 6 Tablet, jeans pants (size 6), shirt (size 5)
JC M 7 Tablet, basketball, remote control truck
AW M 4 School bag, toy truck, bicycle with training wheels
JB M 1 Educational toy, bedtime story book, stuffed animal
RG F 10 Clothes, large doll, storybooks
KT F 17 Books, toys, shoes
RR F 7 Tablet, doll, watch
AM F 4 Storybooks/puzzles, large teddy bear, interactive games
AG F 14 Casual/formal dress, slippers/shoes, jeans pants
TS F 10 Learning toys, books, school bag
KC F 17 Perfume and lotion set, slippers (41/42). clothes (m/l)
JG F 8 Tablet, storybook, school shoes (size 2)
Wish for home: The Granville Place of Safety is in need of a generator
To grant any of these wishes, contact Ms Lisa Hill at 876-469-5954.
Name Sex Age Wishes
RM F 14 Tablet
RP M 16 Laptop/tablet, PlayStation
LB M 14 Tablet, PlayStation
TM (special needs) F 14 Fidget toy set
SR F 11 DIY bracelet making kit set
AC F 7 Doll house
KD M 8 Toy car
SS M 17 Acrylic paint set and canvas, pastel crayons set
LB F 2 Dolls, colouring books
MJ F 17 Novels (criminal investigation and romance)
AG F 4 Reading books
MW M 16 Phone
MP F 15 Tablet
AS F 6 Tricycle
CG F 9 Bicycle, DIY bracelet kit
CG F 3 Doll house
JA M 13 Phone
KS M 7 Bicycle
OW M 11 Bicycle, tablet
RW M 7 Bicycle
KB M 14 Tablet, phone
Wish for home: Clifton Boys’ Home is seeking support for their farming project
To grant any of these wishes, contact Candice Williams James at 876-475-8545.
You may also contact Eric Vassell, regional manager, CPFSA, at 876-469-6045, or CPFSA Western regional offices at 876-979-3446 to grant wishes this holiday season.
For a more comprehensive list of wishes, including those from children in other parishes across the island, visit https://childprotection.gov.jm/grantawish/