US radio jocks give back to St Elizabeth
Children and adults stand in line at last year's back-to-school treat in Balaclava, St Elizabeth, organised by US radio disc jocks Jeremiah and Hubert Campbell.

GROWING up in St Elizabeth, sibling broadcasters Jeremiah and Hubert Campbell remember the challenges their parents faced in getting them the supplies they needed for school in September.

So, for a second-consecutive year, the Florida-based "Campbell Brothers" — who co-host Real Talk on WAVS 1170 in Florida — have returned to the island to assist needy students with back-to-school supplies and parents with grocery bags, ahead of the start of the school year.

Jeremiah Campbell spoke to the Jamaica Observer ahead of today's giveaway scheduled for Union Square in Balaclava, St Elizabeth.

"We never got these kinda help from anyone growing up so we're trying to make a difference in the children's lives. And we know Jamaica hard... We're not looking for anything in return. Just seeing the happiness on the children's faces is the satisfaction we get — that's our motivation," Jeremiah Campbell, who migrated to Florida in the 1980s, told the Observer.

Jeremiah Campbell

Campbell is also host of Golden Memories and Talking Sports on WAVS, the leading Caribbean radio station in South Florida. He said he uses his platform as a means of communicating with the community.

"I find that the diaspora members are always ready to help. I'm on the radio and I mention it, and they support the cause. They want the best for Jamaica too," he said.

Hubert "Bob" Campbell said he feels obligated to give back to the "land of his birth".

"We were born and raised in Jamaica and we are giving back to the community, which is in need," he said, adding that he used $300,000 of his own money to buy flour, sugar and rice to assist with the grocery bags.

Hubert "Bob" Campbell.

According to Jeremiah Campbell, councillor for the Balaclava Division, Everton Fisher will also be on hand to assist with the giveaways. Entertainers Michigan (formerly of Michigan and Smiley) and Hal Anthony, as well as broadcaster Ed Barnes will also be part of the occasion.

"We also have some adult diapers for the Black River Hospital as well," he said.

The broadcaster said they have been spreading the word in the community through mobile speakers and posters.

"We hope every child in Balaclava gets something to assist them in school," he added.

Last year Campbell donated a shipment containing 53 hospital beds, 11 wheelchairs, walkers, and other essential items which were handed over to Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine, 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.

Brian Bonitto

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