Chaos at Spice's back-to-school treat


Chaos at Spice's back-to-school treat

Observer writer

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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WHAT was supposed to be a labour of love quickly turned chaotic at Spice's back-to-school giveaway at Maverley Gospel Hall on Molynes Road in Kingston yesterday, as far more persons turned up than expected.

“I never expected so many people. There are over 1,000 people outside, and unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of sponsors to come on board, so I know that children will leave here disappointed today, and that really breaks my heart,” Spice told the Jamaica Observer.

Spice (given name Grace Hamilton) said she made provisions to assist about 500 children with school supplies, as well as help parents to purchase text books.

As the crowd swelled, some parents felt they would not be beneficiaries of the entertainer's larhesse.

“Mi deh ya how long an' not even fi get inna the church! Inna di sun mi stan' up, it nuh mek no sense again, better mi just gah mi yaad. Some a dem people ya all deh ya from morning an' still nuh get nuthin,” one parent told the Observer.

That was the sentiment of a number of persons. However, those who were fortunate to receive some form of assistance were grateful.

Spice said there was a time when she had very little resources for an education. This inspired her to help.

“I, too, was in a similar position to everyone outside, wanting and in need of assistance. I was a child who came from humble beginnings, never used to have bags for school, never used to have books, never used to have shoes. So the fact that I am in the position now to give I do it, because I can relate to them. It really means a lot to me to give back,” she said.

Entertainers including Elephant Man, Richie Stephens, Ce'Cile, and Quite Perry were present and assisted Spice.

“Wi were in New York together, two days ago. Wi were talking about it in the airport, what wi gonna do, wi gonna meet up an' shi want wi come help her monitor di thing, hand out di books dem, suh mi come give her a strength,” said Elephant Man.

“All who might leave an' nuh get, still reach out to wi. Wi will get back to unuh 'cause as you can see, wi are only humans and over ya ram,” he continued.

Stephens agreed.

“I love what Spice is doing!” he said. “As I told her, it's impossible to give every single soul dat come out because there was no limit to the crowd and it might be 10 times the amount of people here today than she expected. Hopefully, it turns out great in the end.”

For next year, Spice hopes to reach more persons.

“So many kids outside is in need of even a bag and they would appreciate it, so I'm going to try my best to make sure that this does not happen next year and everybody can get something,” she said.

This is not her first attempt at assisting needy students and parents. In May 2018, she launched the Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation. Since then, she has assisted individuals with tuition fees for tertiary education.

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