MONTEGO BAY, St James - The Good Shepherd Foundation got a boost this week when multiple times returning guest of Sandals Montego Bay Virginia Warren presented the organisation with a cheque for roughly $1million towards the construction of its multi-million-dollar Hope Health Clinic, which is being constructed on the grounds of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, in Montego Bay.
Over the past several years, Warren, who is no stranger to the island has contributed tremendously to a number of worthy ventures, particularly those geared towards the alleviation of poverty.
"I have been in love with Jamaica for over 40 years," declared the resident of Boston, beaming with delight, "and even though my husband passed away 20 years ago, this is truly my home away from home," said Warren.
" I feel confident as always that the foundation will continue its great work and hope that many more will respond generously and make this vision become a reality very soon."
The health facility which started just over a year ago will upon completion have an out-patient clinic, doctors' rooms, a pharmacy, living quarters for resident and visiting doctors, dentistry, a waiting area, a canteen, and an operating theatre to undertake minor procedures.
A laboratory and a rehabilitation centre for patients who may need ongoing therapy will also be included.
Yesterday, Jeanne Robinson-Foster, chairman of the Good Shepherd Foundation praised Warren for her donation.
" We appreciate it very much, as it will go towards the much- needed medical centre, which will serve thousands of people across the western parishes," said Robinson-Foster.
" We are really happy that persons who come to our shores are kind enough to make such donations."
Meanwhile, Robinson - Foster said that staring next month the foundation will be embarking on a massive fund raising drive, in an effort to raise more money to complete the construction of the facility, which is expected to cost roughly US$3.5 million.
Among the planned events, she noted, is the foundation's annual dinner and auction, which will be held within another few months.
When complete, the new facility will replace the existing Brenda Stafford Medical Centre located in the Albion area of Montego Bay.
Last year, roughly 30,000 patients received medical attention at the centre.
The Good Shepherd Foundation is supported purely on charity through donations and various fundraising efforts, and is the brain child of Most Rev Charles H Dufour, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, and Founder/Patron of the Foundation. It was founded in September 1996 and has since provided assistance for thousands of persons in the western parts of the island.
In addition to the Brenda Stafford Medical Centre, there are a number of other institutions that the foundation helps to run. They include:
* Home of Charlotte's Children, which is located at Albion, St James and is home to underprivileged children;
*Children of Hope in Montego Bay, which feeds and schools children;
*the Seaford Clinic in Westmoreland;
*the Blessed Assurance Village in Adelphi and
* the Widows Mite in St Ann.