Cassandra Terrelonge renews her plea for assistance
Cassandra Terrelonge’s tale which began with a resilient spirit threatens to fall flat as the lack of support to see her dreams come true has caused her despair and feelings of helplessness.
Terrelonge had expressed her desire to care for young disabled children in August of last year during a Gleaner interview.
This kind of love, patience and tenderness was derived from her competence and dedication in caring for her now 20-year-old son Maurice, who is challenged with autism spectrum disorder, a condition that can cause major communication, social, and behavioural difficulties.
Terrelonge became pregnant at the age of 19 after being sexually assaulted and had to deal with becoming a young mother soon after.
Many years later, she started her own natural juice company to make ends meet and to sustain herself and her son as a single parent.
But Terrelonge had greater ambitions.
In the October 7 published article by The Gleaner, she appealed for support from corporate Jamaica or any other interested persons to help her achieve her lifelong dream of establishing a restorative counselling centre and later a children’s home so that she could provide all the love, support and care to other children who had felt unwanted or abandoned by their parents.
Despite her plea, Terrelonge has been met with closed doors from entities to which she has appealed.
She has also faced with the difficulty of getting a loan for the deposit on a two-bedroom, living, dining, bath, and patio building with a basement facility she located in Gravel Height, Spanish Town, St Catherine, that has proved to be the perfect fit for a foster home.
The deposit amounts to $280,000.
“I just feel like to give up on everything right now ... I feel like I just reach rock bottom with everything,” she said.
The property owners, on the other hand, have entrusted her with the building despite her failure to pay the deposit.
This, she believed, was a divine gesture meant to remind her that her purpose is higher than what mankind can see.
“It’s just favour right now carrying me through on the people dem property with them key,” she said.
However, it hasn’t changed her inability to carry on, especially because she is currently living in a house without electricity. As a result, her natural juice business, which is her main source of revenue, has hit a significant production roadblock.
This, combined with her grandmother’s stroke last year, has completely depleted the little money she earned and had set aside for rainy days.
“Things are so difficult in Jamaica when you really want to do something positive and something worthwhile that will empower people. But when you want to do the wrong thing you get help so easily to do it,” said Terrelonge, frustrated at not being able to acquire a loan.
So far, Terrelonge has received assistance from an accountant in completing her business plan. Her taxes have been filed, and all fees for processing have been paid.
“I can’t see why a single mother with a autistic child, who, just really want to do something that will benefit the community, is so much red flag to get a decent loan,” she added.
Terrelonge is reiterating her appeal for assistance because she believes she is pursuing a worthwhile mission that would benefit Jamaica’s disadvantaged youngsters.
“This is a cry for help to not let this vision die,” she exclaimed.
Persons willing to assist can contact Terrelonge at 876-406-1703 or 876-790-7243.