Columns

The power of the Jamaican diaspora to give life

David Mullings

Sunday, December 01, 2013    

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DURING my time serving on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board I was impressed with the many Jamaicans living overseas whom I met and who were giving back to Jamaica in so many ways, but especially via volunteering their time and their money for causes that were close to their heart.

I have now found myself in a position that offers me a major platform to drive attention to causes that are close to my heart and hopefully get a few Jamaicans around the world to give back and make an impact. So I will start this Christmas season by launching a personal appeal for Jamaicans all over the world to give a child life in 2014.

My friend Gabrielle Miller recently sent me a Facebook message explaining that she was trying to help the Jamaica Kidney Kids Foundation to raise money to cover the treatment costs for a six-year-old named David who will run out of supplies by mid-December if the funds cannot be raised.

A very close friend of mine is currently going through dialysis as he awaits a kidney transplant, and so this hit close to home. In addition, this child shares my name, which is a clear sign to me. This can happen to any of us; it could have been this David.

We can never predict what a six-year-old will grow up and achieve for the country. He could be the next Usain Bolt, or the next Douglas Orane who excels in business, or a future prime minister who lifts the country.

One thing is guaranteed: this six-year-old and his family will never find out if they cannot find the money for his supplies, because 2014 is not guaranteed for him. This is where we can make a difference today. Jamaicans can find the time and the money to vote to keep Tessanne Chin flying the flag high on The Voice, so surely we can find some cash to contribute to saving a life.

I am told that the University Hospital of the West Indies cannot afford to pay for the supplies which are already in the island. The cost of next month's supplies is J$134,136 which is roughly US$1,269. Surely 1,300 Jamaicans around the world can donate US$1 each to save a life.

If we can raise more, then we can grant David more than just one month. I am asking my friends to give up one party for Christmas and donate the ticket money to this very good cause instead. I am asking Jamaicans around the world to donate just $2 to help him and the other children.

Donations can be made via the PayPal at www.kidneykidsja.com - http://bit.ly/kidneykidsja or at Ruthven Medical Centre at 4 Ruthven Road, Kingston 10.

If ever I wondered why God gave me the chance to write an opinion column, this is a clear answer -- to help save a life. Now Jamaica, let's show David how much we care about our children.

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest." -- Cardinal Roger Mahony

David Mullings is CEO of Keystone Augusta and was the first Future Leaders Representative for the USA on the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board. He can be found at facebook.com/InteractiveDialogue and twitter.com/davidmullings

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