Foundations lighten load for Mustard Seed Windsor Lodge
WINDSOR LODGE, St James — A washing machine and a smart television donated to Mustard Seed Communities Blessed Assurance in Windsor Lodge, St James during a holiday treat are expected to make a difference in the lives of the facility’s 31 mentally and physically challenged wards and 32 workers long after the festive season.
The items were donated by Usain Bolt Foundation, through Janet Richards Foundation.
“These are two gifts that we are really in need of,” Administrator Cordell Howel told reporters. “It has been a struggle to do laundry but the donated washing machine will change that.
“We have been struggling quite a while with water pressure in the area and there are times when we are out of water totally, as far as up to four weeks,” said Howel. “The washing machine that we have, if the water pressure is low, it is of no use. Hence, the ladies have to be washing with their hands and it is not easy to wash for 31 mentally and physically challenged children. So getting a washing machine that you can actually pour water into is great for the laundresses and for us here. And so I am really grateful for the gift,” Howell said.
The smart TV that will give the children access to more features than the TV they have now has also been a big hit.
“We do have one, but it is not a smart one. And so, getting a smart television, and a bigger television as well, is going to also benefit our children and they will be able to do more activities and to enjoy movies, whatever it might be. So we are grateful for the gifts, and I want to thank the Usain Bolt Foundation, and, of course, the Janet Richards Foundation for the wonderful job they have been doing over the years,” Howel added.
During the treat, held at the home on Christmas Eve, Janet Richards also lauded Usain Bolt and his foundation for their continued support for Mustard Seed Communities Blessed Assurance over the years.
“It is my pleasure to stand here once more at December, near to Christmas, to do this treat on behalf of the Usain Bolt Foundation. I called Nugent [Walker], who is Usain’s manager, a week before December and he said he will do this. Within two weeks he sent the money for this treat. We have to thank Usain Bolt; I want to thank Nugent… the directors of the Usain Bolt Foundation. They always have my back and ensure that the children always have something to smile about this Christmas,” Richards said.
“This afternoon I am so proud to present [these items] on behalf of Usain Bolt Foundation, a young man that loves people, a young man that loves children,” she added.
As part of the treat, members of Janet Richards Foundation served hot meals and snacks to the children and staff during lunchtime. Toiletries and educational items were also handed over to the home. Each member of staff also received a gift package from the foundations.
Bolt is an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, the only sprinter to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympic Games (2008, 2012, and 2016). He also won two 4×100 metres relay gold medals.
Richards, a retired banker, pledged her continued support for the Mustard Seed home. Her foundation had its official launch via Zoom in 2020, a year after it was registered.
Mustard Seed is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation which has been in operation since 1978.