Birthday boy Damoi Morrison brings joy to Melody girlsThursday, April 22, 2021
BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James — While many would choose to celebrate their 21st birthday at a hotel or restaurant with friends and family, Montego Bay resident Damoi Morrison celebrated his 'special' day with the staff and residents of the Montego Bay Community Home for Girls in St James last Friday.
The opportunity to celebrate at the facility, he told the Jamaica Observer West, was a dream come true as he wanted to give back “in the little way he could,” so he along with his sister and cousin brought meals from his father's restaurant, Peppa's, to share with the girls at the home.
“I wanted to do this because of the whole COVID-19 [pandemic] and how hard it is on a lot of people, I just wanted to give back,” Morrison stressed.
The celebration was joined by custos of St James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, and deputy mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, who both lauded the young Morrison for what they described as a kind gesture.
“Damoi chose to celebrate his birthday in a unique way. I consider this to be a very selfless gesture and one that demonstrates care,” expressed Custos Pitkin.
The custos applauded the young man for his generosity and selflessness, while encouraging him to continue leading a life of service.
“Damoi, I congratulate you and I share the sentiment of all the girls as I know they are very impressed with the action and for you to choose to celebrate your day like this, you could have chosen to celebrate your birthday with some friends, having a good time but this is how you chose to celebrate [your] day. This is the beginning of great things for you, I believe,” said the custos.
“There is no better way for [you] to establish yourself and make your mark, Damoi. We are [here] to make things happen and not just see things happen and this was a great gesture. As the custos of St James, these are the things I take notice of and I will continue to follow your track record.”
Deputy Mayor Vernon, who is the youngest person in Jamaica's history serving in that capacity, also commended the young man for the gesture. Vernon revealed that young Morrison reminds him of his younger self.
“I thought it was a selfless thing to do. Mr Morrison reminds me of myself growing up in the family business and helping the community,” said the deputy mayor.
“Not only do I appreciate his kind gesture to the Melody girls (Montego Bay Community Home for Girls), but it is also timely. In the midst of the burdens of the pandemic, the initiative has spared the girls a moment to enjoy a little treat, while he self-actualised in the form of giving,” Vernon said.
The deputy mayor is encouraging more Jamaican youths to take a page out of young Morrison's book and join in impacting the lives of others in whichever way they can.
“I want to encourage more people to think like Mr Morrison, give without expecting and serve with a clean heart. When we have acquired all the things of the world and did not impact the lives of our fellow men, what did we really achieve?” he questioned.
Operations manager of the Montego Bay Community Home for Girls, Yvette Mahoney, expressed appreciation to young Morrison on behalf of the members of staff and residents of the home.
“We thank you for coming and sharing your special day with us and I am praying that you will continue on this [path] and turn it into something that the Lord will have his hands over. It may seem simple, but we have been in lockdown since March of last year, and it has been a challenge for us because we have not seen new faces in a while, but this makes a difference. We are truly thankful,” Mahoney said.
The selflessness that Morrison has shown, she shared, is deserving of recognition and praises as “it is seldom that we see a young man of [his] age wanting to do something like this”.
“I thank you so much for coming, especially you, Damoi. We big you up my yute,” she remarked with a smile.
The Montego Bay Community Home for Girls, also called the Melody House for girls, was established in 1979 and is a private, non-profit organisation that provides housing to girls with various challenges in the parish of St James. The facility, which sits on several acres of land, can accommodate 16 girls. It is currently housing 11 and has five members of staff.
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