‘Cheerful Givers’ come together to spread Christmas cheer
And a little child shall lead them…
The wish of seven-year-old Tyamke Kaswaswa to help those less fortunate has given birth to a project that saw around 70 people receive free breakfast in Queen’s Park this morning.
While most Barbadians were spending this Christmas Eve in last-minute preparation, around a dozen people were up from 5 a.m. getting ready to treat the less fortunate with a breakfast spread that included oats, ham, eggs, seasoned potatoes, hash browns and hot beverages.
Marcia Walthrus, the main organiser of the group of friends who have dubbed themselves the ‘Cheerful Givers’, told the media that the project was spawned from her daughter’s desire to help others.
“Earlier this year in March, Tyamke voiced her concern about what happens to people who don’t have enough to eat. She said, ‘Mummy, we should help – we need to feed them’,” said Walthrus, recalling that the subject made Tyamke very emotional.
“And so from that Saturday throughout the year, every other Saturday, we would come in – just she and I – and give brunch or breakfast or lunch… whatever we could afford at the time, to about six to eight people. But having not done it in October or November, I said let me give back in a bigger way.”
Walthrus reached out to colleagues and friends, who were happy to get involved.
"We realised that this Christmas especially, a lot of people didn't have. We're always complaining of challenging economic times, but as little as we thought we had, we acknowledged that others had less. So we basically started through personal contributions and then we also reached out to corporate Barbados,” explained one member of the Cheerful Givers, Shakida Grant.
Donations were made by WIBISCO, Purity, Bajan Bakeries, Digicel, Bryden Stokes, Chef Michael Hinds of Terasu Café, ANSR Investment Ltd. (SOL Top Rock) and Pastor Orson Clarke.
Men were in the majority of persons receiving meals and a wide range of ages turned out to take advantage of the initiative. They also received goodie bags with soaps, biscuits and other items that they could make use of later.
Grant indicated that going forward the Cheerful Givers would aim to assist existing charitable organisations in their efforts to help the less fortunate.
She added, “I want to say thanks to the team that came out this Christmas Eve. You have your own personal responsibilities and to get up this morning of all mornings at 5 o’clock to help someone that you don’t even know, who can in no way return the favour, I think that I am lucky to be part of such an awesome group of people who are so selfless.”
After serving breakfast in Queen’s Park for just over two and a half hours, the Cheerful Givers boxed up meals and distributed them in other parts of Bridgetown such as Heroes’ Square and Jubilee Gardens.
Little Tyamke told Loop News that she was happy about this morning’s activities, adding: “It feels good to give a helping hand.”