MORE than 100 children in State care were treated to a Christmas-themed afternoon at the movies, courtesy of Supreme Ventures Foundation (SVF) last week.
Children from Homestead Place of Safety, Jamaica National Children’s Home and SOS Children’s Village, all located in Stony Hill, St Andrew, were invited to the million-dollar event at Palace Cineplex at Sovereign Centre, that included popcorn, other snacks, plus a visit from “Santa Claus”.
Santa was played by Supreme draw talent, D’Andra Collinder, who donned the bright red suit and jolly strap-on belly to complete her look.
Co-CEO of Shared Services for Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Dennis Chung, who attended the treat with a cadre of staff volunteers, said the invited homes were also part of the SVF Fire Safety programme for State-run facilities.
SVF and the Ministry of Education signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU)at the start of 2019 for the upgrading of fire alarm systems in more than 30 homes across the island over two years.
The programme was inspired by a spate of children’s homes fires, some of which claimed the lives of young wards.
“These homes were not randomly selected; they are part of our fire safety programme. The Homestead facility has already been outfitted with a new fire alarm system, valued at more than $2 million, while the other two are on the list to be addressed in the new year. Fire safety and preparedness is a vital focus for the foundation over the next two years and we are committed to seeing that mandate come to completion,” said Chung.
He added that the treat was an extension of the SVF’s involvement with the homes and provided much-needed contact time between SVL staff and the wards.
“We have a strong volunteer spirit at Supreme and our staff takes advantage of any opportunity to contribute to the community, Supreme being primarily a community-focused brand. It allows us to connect with each of the wards who have, or will benefit, from our efforts under the fire MOU on a more personal level,” said Chung.
CEO of the Child Protection and Family Services Agency Rosalie Gage-Grey thanked SVF for helping the children create holiday memories.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership with the Supreme Ventures Foundation with which we share a common vision of a safe and nurturing society for children. For our children, this annual treat is an anticipated event, as each year they look forward to a different experience yet always an exciting time,” said Gage-Grey.
The Palace Cineplex treat was the Kingston leg of the movie magic. Team Supreme also journeyed to Montego Bay at the Palace Multiplex in Fairview, where they watched Frozen 2 with 100 children from the SOS Children’s Village in Barrett Town, Melody House for Girls and the Blossom Gardens Children’s Home.
The SVF selected children in State care as their immediate focus given the Group’s years of investment and interaction with wards of the State, chiefly the annual Christmas treat and the Easter Egg Hunt that has benefited more than 1,400 wards since its inception in 2011.