The Jamaica Link Ministries (JLM) religious charity celebrates 20 years of innovation, growth and dedicated service to the most vulnerable in western Jamaica.
Members and supporters of the charity will come together virtually on Saturday (November 13) to celebrate the legacy of the organization and its impact on the lives of those in need, especially during difficult times.
The 20e The anniversary event, which kicks off at 6:00 p.m., will be streamed live on JLM’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Social media manager for JLM and youth pastor Luke Smith share with JIS News that “we will have people who have been touched by the organization who will share that evening.”
“We will also have Pastor Dave [Falconer], who is the president, sharing her vision for the next 20 years and just spending the evening celebrating the legacy of the organization and what it has done and what it will do for the future, ”he said .
As part of the 20e anniversary, JLM has launched a campaign to raise US $ 20,000 to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Meanwhile, JLM President Hector “Dave” Falconer, whose passion for service spawned the organization in 2001, says it has creatively responded to the needs of the poor and underserved through several programs.
The charity has a myriad of community projects targeting young singles, the education sector, orphanages and infirmaries.
“In the Montego Bay area, we work with all the different charities, like Open Hearts downtown [and] the infirmary. We support public schools because when we mobilize our groups to go to our public schools, we just won’t preach, we will bring a computer as a gift, ”said Pastor Falconer. JIS News.
The president of JLM, who minister at Uprising City Church, notes that the charity connects with local and international churches to serve those less fortunate.
“We are connecting with other churches in the United States (United States) to go beyond the spiritual to have a social intervention, which is, for us, to bring the good news of the gospel with good works. We believe that this type of intervention will bring a significant transformation ”, indicates the president of the JLM.
“If we could connect with other pastors who are in similar situations, then we could solve many of the resource issues that we have, as the government cannot do it alone, so we need to step up and give it our support. support. , he specifies.
“If the church scales up in a more meaningful and strategic way, we can see a different Jamaica,” he says.
JLM pays special attention to the Whitehouse and Flanker communities in St. James through charitable and sports donations.
“When we look at what’s going on in Flanker, a lot of young people are alone, so we came up with the idea of a mentorship program in football where we try to get churches to work with these young men. Football is where they are, so we [developed] a program to help churches better engage with them, ”notes Pastor Falconer.
Since the pandemic, the religious charity, in partnership with HiLo Supermarket, has distributed more than 1,500 care packages to families in the Whitehouse area.
“Every family there, we were able to offer care packages… and that averages out at $ 4,000 per package with the help of HiLo. Thus, more than 600 people have been impacted by our program since the pandemic, ”he underlines.
The beneficiary, Ann-Marie Lumsden, tells JIS News that when she lost her job in 2020, after the pandemic began, JLM immediately stepped in to help her family.
“I was the breadwinner for my family and I was unemployed. The ministry provided care packages and when I say care packages it is a solid care package with a bit of everything. It wasn’t a thing once or twice; it was consistent; so I’m grateful, ”says Lumsden.
In addition, JLM has forged a partnership with Region Four of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to help meet the educational needs of underprivileged schools.
“We are helping to identify underfunded schools and we are working with these teachers to provide them with the educational resources they need to better deliver their instructional instruction,” said Pastor Falconer. JIS News.
The organization has also built libraries at Catherine Hall and Farm Elementary Schools, Bogue Hill All-Age and Infant School, and Hemming Gay Preparatory in St. James.
Now, as the Foundation celebrates its 20e year, new initiatives are underway.
Pastor Falconer tells JIS News that the charity expand its outreach efforts through a program called “Help the Helpless,” which will target economically struggling Jamaicans.
“We have more people coming knocking on our doors who just need food, so we want to increase that effort and expand it as much as possible. We realize that we need to provide more food, clothing and even shelter to the poor, ”he notes.
An initiative which will also aim to equip people with the necessary skills to become entrepreneurs is also in preparation.
“Jobs are becoming scarce, so instead of people waiting for jobs, we want to teach people how to create their own jobs,” says Pastor Falconer.