DESPITE emigrating to South Florida 32 years ago, Jamaica has never been far from broadcaster Jeremiah Campbell's thoughts.
He has spearheaded several donations of medical and back-to-school giveaways to the island since 2013.
Days after donating supplies to the Spanish Town, Port Maria, and St Elizabeth hospitals, he is planning a back-to-school giveaway in July.
“It's just in me. I want to play my part in the well-being of Jamaica and Jamaicans. I was born there and I want the best for my country,” Campbell, 59, told the Jamaica Observer.
“My brother, Hubert Campbell, and I will be doing a back-to-school giveaway in Balaclava in St Elizabeth on July 26. I was born in St Elizabeth but grew up in Big Lane, Central Village in Spanish Town, so St Elizabeth is close to my heart,” he said.
Campbell is host of Real Talk and Golden Memories on WAVS, and Pinnacle of Faith and Cool Down Sundays on WZOP. He said he uses his platform as a means of communicating with the community.
“I find that because I'm on the radio and I mention it, I can get help from the community here,” he said.
On June 3, a shipment containing 53 hospital beds, 11 wheelchairs, walkers, and other essential items were handed over to the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine, the Black River Hospital in St Elizabeth, and Port Maria Hospital in St Mary.
The items, worth nearly $2 million, were acquired by Campbell and distributed through a partnership with Laparkan Shipping Company, the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Food for the Poor.
“When I listen to news, I hear that people were sleeping on the floor at the Spanish Town Hospital. I couldn't sit back and allow that to happen. My two daughters were born in Spanish Town Hospital,” he said.
“I want to continue to do what I'm doing until I pass.”
The Spanish Town Hospital received the bulk of the shipment, with 30 beds, five wheel chairs, 5,000 masks, 93 gowns for nurses, a television set, walkers, crutches, diapers, and other items.
Port Maria Hospital received 10 beds, two wheel chairs, 1,000 masks and two packs of diapers.
Black River Hospital received the same number of items as the Port Maria Hospital.
The Seventh-day Adventists received three beds.
Campbell joined the handover ceremony at the Spanish Town Hospital via Zoom. Each year, the broadcaster said he has partnership with Pastor Everett Smith, community services director at the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and Lorna Bansie, current president of the St Catherine Adventist Community Services' Federation.
In the past, their collaboration has enabled the donation of back-to-school supplies and provided food supplies to the elderly and the physically challenged. Some of the communities that have benefited from these projects include Windsor Heights, Phoenix Park, Grange Lane, McCauley's and White Marl Primary and Junior High School.
Pastor Everett Smith expressed joy that the three hospitals, especially the Spanish Town institution, will experience fewer bed shortage.
“As a result of COVID-19, the hospitals no longer have enough beds to supply the demand and I am happy today, knowing that as far as I am concerned, fewer people will be sitting on chairs for days, waiting for a bed that is available. Spanish Town Hospital is our hospital and we ought to claim it as citizens of Spanish Town. This is where our babies are born. This is where our elderly persons are taken care of and our sick persons are taken care of, from which ever denomination, so anything we can do to help to uplift or contribute to this hospital, we should do it in the name of God. I want to let you know that I am looking forward to the continuous partnership with food for the poor and our overseas sponsors. We continue the initiatives to transform communities, in the strength of Almighty God. God loves poor people and has a concern for poor people,” said added.